I posted earlier about participating in a block swap hosted by my sister’s guild. I made an applique test block originally, but I was just not very happy with it.
The block exchange has three basic requirements: there must be a bird on the block, the block must use primary colors, and it must be 12.5 by 12.5 inches.
I decided to change my block from applique to a free piecing technique inspired by Sarah on her blog, house of krom. In this technique, you don’t follow a specific pattern. Instead, you start with a block idea and just “wing” it!
The result is that each block with have its own unique characteristics. In my case, each bird block has slightly different shaped birds. The beak on one may be shorter than the beak on another bird. Or perhaps the bird legs will be taller or wider than the other birds. This is a fun technique that is a great scrap buster and will encourage you to experiment!
Here’s a closeup of one bird. I added 2 buttons for the eye (which can be easily removed before quilting).
Free Pieced Wonky Bird
I made 6 bird blocks in total:
Happy Wonky Birds!
I really hope that the swap participants enjoy these wonky birds, and I’m definitely going to use the free piecing technique again.
I participated in a group swap where each participant made black & white or black/white & zinger 12-inch quilt blocks and then sent them to the swap hostess. All the blocks were designed by Carol Doak.
Yesterday, I received my blocks in the mail! I am so happy with each block that I received and feel that each one is special since another quilter made them with caring and great attention to detail.
Here are the blocks:
Black and White by Mary D
Black, White, and Yellow Zinger by Dorothy H
Black/White/Pink Zinger by Erica W
The top block is from Mary D in Oregon, the middle block is from Dorothy H F in Massachusetts, and the bottom block is from Erica W. Thanks also to our wonderful block hostess – Cathy from Texas!
Here are the blocks lined up together:
Swapped Blocks Together
I am going to use these 3 blocks and add in some of my own black/white and black/white/zinger blocks to make a fun wallhanging! I had such a great experience with this swap, and I hope you enjoy looking at the photos.
My sister recently invited me to make 6 blocks for an exchange with her quilt guild. There are 3 basic rules:
- must be 12.5 x 12.5 inches unfinished
- must use bright primary colors
- must have a bird on the block
I made up a test block using both piecing and applique techniques. This is block #555 (So Tweet) by Paula Stoddard from the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks collector’s edition, volume 6.
I went with some birchy/aspen type fabric for the tree trunk. Instead of using green leaves, I keep with the primary color theme and used yellow tone leaves to suggest an aspen tree in the fall. While I do like the tree fabric, I think I may jazz it up on the next block and use a bolder fabric.
I machine-appliqued the bird and leaves to the pieced background and then added some fun thread accents by using Ricky Tims’ Razzle Dazzle thread #266 with a bobbin technique. I think it adds a nice touch of color and sparkle to the stitching.
The bird’s eye is a button which I did not sew down in case the block goes on a long-arm. I’ll probably include the buttons separately with the blocks so they can be added after quilting is completed.
Here’s a look at the block:
So Tweet Test Block
So Tweet Thread Close-Up
What do you think of the test block? A bird themed quilt seems like a fun spring or summer project.