Thursday, March 19, 2015

TREE BIRD BLOG HOP -- Day 5 -- MY DAY -- A BIRDER'S DREAM!!

 
Finally it's my day to share a project with you using the panel of birds that inspired Madame Samm to organize this blog hop.  The bird house above is waiting for it's first occupants in many years.  It was rescued from the barn of a renowned birder in my area and I'm hoping to bring it back into active duty this summer!
 
I owned a quilt shop for 26 years and I stocked bird prints regularly but this is the first one I've seen which depicts the birds so true to color -- love that about it.  This panel was designed so the tree in the background looks real and that was my inspiration -- to expand the tree.
I achieved that by alternating the bird panels with "wonky" 9-patch blocks of leafy greens and sky-like blues.  Instead of offering a "hop-prize" that only one lucky visitor can win, I'm going to share a simple tutorial on how I make these easy blocks to inspire everyone.
 
 I begin with an assortment of prints, the more the better.  The search begins in my "scrappy" leftovers because I only need pieces that are about 2" larger than my target block size -- in this case, that was 7" by 9".
 
I pick 9 different prints at a time (this is my auditioning layout) and then stack all of them together with the right sides up.
Using my ruler and rotary cutter, I cut the stack of  nine prints into 9 pieces -- no measuring, just set the ruler down and cut.  Notice my cuts are slightly angled. 
Next, I shuffle the prints so that each block will have all 9 prints and they will be in random order. 
I leave the first stack alone. 
I move the top piece to the bottom of the second stack. 
I move the top 2 pieces to the bottom of the third stack and keep going.
For the last stack I move the top 8 pieces to the bottom of the stack. 
Now its off to the sewing machine.  I stitch 3 rows together just as I would for any 9-patch block.  I've found that pressing the seams to one side in the first and third rows, then the opposite way in the middle row works best.
When I stitch the rows together, the seams may or may not match -- oh, well.  The outside edges of the blocks look really wonky because I don't measure the piece of fabric at the beginning exactly -- they were roughly 7" by 9" but some were larger. 
Now I trim the bird panels -- it was 5" by 6" for me
and trim the 9-patches to match.
I began the layout by placing the bird panels in the same order they appeared on the fabric to maintain the continuity of the tree in the background.  I moved a couple of them (a yellow warbler would never nest that high in a tree) to suit my personal sensibilities.  I spent several days "squinting" at it on my work wall before setting the blocks together to be sure I was achieving the look I wanted.
I kept the quilting simple and chose to use only vertical lines to highlight the vertical design of the border print.  The quilting is more subtle in person than in these photos. 
I've named the piece, A BIRDER'S DREAM -- to have so many birds in one tree at the same time!!!
 I'm not sure this "artisty" photo attempt enhances the quilt, but my yard is too muddy right now from all the snow melt.  You can see the border fabric -- a pale blue covered with gray naked trees -- exactly what the large beech forests look like all winter here in Northeast Ohio.
Not much better with it pinned to the two shrubs near the fence.  I like the way the trunk and branches of the tree flow through the 9-patch blocks.  The finished piece is 40" by 47".
I enjoyed making this piece -- it gave me a chance to plow through my stash of "landscape" prints.  I have used the "wonky" 9-patch for several landscape inspired quilts in the past and love the spontaneous process of whacking and stitching.  I included a photo of my first one in a post last spring and you can see it HERE -- scroll towards the end of the post for Redbud Spring.
 
I had to go shopping for the binding fabric -- just didn't have the right shade of charcoal.  Marty Anastasio at The Quilted Thimble in Chesterland, Ohio quickly suggested several options and this "mushroom" shade is perfect.  She has both this panel and the newer birdhouse panel in stock and I think I'll loan the quilt to her for display for the month of April.  If you live in Northeast Ohio, she is located at 12628 Chillicothe Rd. ( intersection of Rt. 322 and 306, same plaza as Giant Eagle) and her phone number is 440-729-2259.
 
The "wonky" 9-patches will work with any panel -- just start with fabric pieces that are 2" larger than the trimmed size of the panel.  The process goes quickly and lends itself to very simple quilting so it's a great strategy for those "need a quilt in a hurry" moments.   If you decide to give it a go and have questions, just e-mail me at maryhueyquilts@hotmail.com
 
 Thanks for visiting today and I hope my project inspired you!!
 
Don't forget to visit the other quilters who have been working hard to share their inspirations with you!!
 
 
 
Mary Huey
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

62 comments:

  1. What a beautiful quilt! Love the way you alternated with the wonky 9 patch - and the quilting finishes it off so well. Thanks for sharing how to do the wonky 9 patch.

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    2. Love it how your wonky nine patches make it look as though the birds are in the woods in your quilt! Beautiful effect and quilt!

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  2. This quilt is simply gorgeous! The wonky 9-patches and the quilting makes it perfect! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Mary, your quilt is beautiful and I really like the way you quilted it !

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  4. Mary, your quilt is beautiful and I really like the way you quilted it !

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  5. The way you expanded the tree is very clever, and the quilt is really beautiful!

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  6. Very nice. It truly does look like you are looking up through the branches of a tree. Nice job.

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  7. What an interesting tree, such pretty birds. You did a great job.

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  8. I love how the tree flows through the wonky 9 patches!

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  9. Wow! I love the fussy cutting that made the tree and birds just flow! blessings, marlene

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  10. Love all of the movement in your birdie quilt! Great tutorial too! Thanks for sharing today!

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  11. Mary....this is GORGEOUS!!!!! As always, you are so creative in how you interpret the design of a piece of fabric when you create a quilt. And thanks for the tutorial on stack and slash...always good to get a refresher!!! Dianne

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  12. Very nice, Mary!! this fabric line does show off the birds so nicely

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  13. Hi, Mary. What a wonderful quilt and that quilting is perfect for it! I've used that wonky 9 patch method many times and it is a great way to give a quilt movement. Thanks for sharing the steps for this. I know it took extra time, but I'm sure a lot of visitors will be blessing your name. So glad to see you on the hop.

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  14. How clever, Mary! Your quilt is beautiful!

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  15. Mary, this is beautiful! As always, I continue to be amazed at your creativity - not because you have it (lol) but because it results in such great pieces that most of us can't envision.

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  16. Wow Mary!!! What a beautiful, beautiful quilt and the quilting you did on it is perfect for it too!!

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  17. I love the wonky nine patches that you alternated with the bird panel blocks! Thanks for the tutorial.

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  18. Oh Mary!!!! Look at this!!!! SO BEAUTIFUL and PERFECTLY DONE!!! I love how you added the wonky look even to your quilting! That just really set this fabric off to a tee! I love what you have done here...GREAT JOB!

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  20. Thank you for this tutorial! I didn't even notice the way the birds appear to be in the SAME tree until you pointed it out! Wonderful way to use this bird panel.

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  21. That is great, Mary. I love the fabrics you selected to go with the panel prints and it does come across as a tree with dappled sunlight.

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  22. I love your photos of this beautiful quilt! The quilting really looks amazing and is perfect for it. Your wonky blocks look great...thanks for the tutorial!

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  23. Whoo, hoo, that wonky block and birdhouse combo is just spectacular. I love your quilting choice too.
    P E R F E C T!

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  24. Mary, this quilt is one of my favorites on this hop! How beautiful! Love it!

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  25. What a cool quilt. It really makes you look for those birds...just like in real life. Such a unique effect. That birdhouse is the coolest thing ever! If I were a bird....that is the house I would want to live in!

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  26. Beautiful! I love how the playful nine-patches work. Fun, fun.

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  27. Wow I really like the juxtaposition of the wonky patches against the birds and the wavy line quilting is just perfect with this pattern. Amazing work on your quilt!

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  28. Mary, that is so pretty. You did such a nice job with color and the borders and the quilting...and so on :). So nice!

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  29. Thank you for the tutorial; that's a great way of making alternate blocks for panel pieces

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  30. I have that panel and wondered how I was going to use it and I think I just found the way. It's amazing how those wonky 9 ers round out the tree. Thank you, Mary!

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  31. Lovely quilt! Thank you for sharing.

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  32. Beautiful, love that you showed how it was created also.

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  33. Awesome quilt, I love how it turned out! Thank you for the great tutorial too!

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  34. Beautiful quilt and thank you for sharing the tutorial on how you made.

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  35. Excellent. That pale leafed fabric really makes the 9 patch work perfectly. Love the border fabric.

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  36. Love the bird fabric and the quilting! summer will be here soon, right? :)

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    1. Thanks, Erin -- I'll be happy for spring at this point!!

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  37. Love the fabric, love your design, and LOVE the quilt. The border & the quilting add sew much. Thanks for sharing.

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  38. What a wonderful tutorial. Thank you very much. I love your quilt.

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  39. You have definitely achieved a beautiful Tree for the Birds and I love your wonky 9 patch to enhance the Tree Bird Panel. Brilliant Quilt. Thank you sew very much for Tree Bird Hopping and participating. Creative Bird Bliss...

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  40. love the wonky blocks- really looks like a forest.

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  41. Your quilt is very pretty, I love how your alternated with Wonky blocks instead of regular ones.

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  42. Your quilt is GORGEOUS! I love the wonky 9-patch tutorial. This is such a lovely display of the Beautiful Birds panel. I have no doubt it will inspire visitors at the quilt shop. Beautiful work!

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  43. we dropped in perhaps too early in the am...glad we returned..your quilt is very lovely...

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  44. Lovely little bird house to start your post. Love your quilt and thank you for the wonky tutorial.

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  45. LOVE your quilt.. and the quilting is fabulous!

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  46. Very pretty. Thank you for the tutorial.

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  47. That is a FABULOUS quilt! You should be very proud of yourself ☺

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  48. That is a FABULOUS quilt! You should be very proud of yourself ☺

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  49. Really nice design and fabric selection, Mary!

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  50. love the way those birds are no nestled in the tree--remarkable use of imagery!

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  51. What a lovely quilt. I, too, love that this fabric depicts the birds correctly but I didn't realize it's unusual in that regard. The wonky patchwork is perfect; don't you just love using up those scraps. The wood bird house is wonderful and looks great whether it's used by the birds or not.

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  52. Love your wonky mixed in !!!

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  53. Wow, neat, Mary! The wonky 9-paqtch blocks made great fillers to expand the quilt - thanks for the tutorial. And I do love your artsy picture setting on the bench with the birdhouse. Your quilting is fabulous - really ties the quilt together along with your fun birch tree border fabric.

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  54. Cool idea with the wonky nine patches and the quilting is perfect! The quilt is stunning!

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  55. Great quilt loved the wonky nine patch blocks, very creative

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  56. Mary - thank you for everything you've shared during this Blog Hop - I first learned of the Hop through your blog and was sad I hadn't seen the call for hoppers. But as things go, I've enjoyed it all the same by visiting your blog. Your poster and project are spectacular -- and I LOVE the Birding enthusiast combined Quilter/Artist in you. I hope we can meet one day soon and share our love of birds and quilting with one another. Take good care, Karen

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  57. I have had this panel for a while, I think it was one of the prettiest I have seen. I LOVE the way you quilted this piece. It's the perfect choice for the piece!

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  58. I love the effect of the wonky nine patches in your quilt, it makes it look as though the birds are in the woods! Beautiful!

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  59. Great quilt. Love the quilting and the blocks.

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