Feature Quilt – “The Birds and the Bees”

Happy Friday everyone!

As promised here are some pictures of my finished ‘Birds and the Bees’ quilt, which is now available on the Dimple Stitch shop here. I thought I may as well turn this blog post into a feature and include some images of the ‘making of’ – hopefully you find it as interesting as I do to see other peoples’ processes….Image

Fabric Selection –

Firstly a little about the fabric. If you’re a regular reader you will have seen me blog about deciding on fabric before. I’ve eyed up Tula Pink’s collections in the past, and finally settled on this collection as soon as I saw the little animals (always a winner for me!). Her designs are almost like little stories, and it’s easy to be drawn into her whimsical world! I’ve been reading her blog too and she’s pretty kick-ass. This is a really interesting post about her fabric designing process in case you’re interested. I chose the ‘Wasp’ and ‘Mist’ colourways for this quilt, as I love the wintery shades but also simply because I had already done a few ‘warm’ coloured quilts, that I wanted to do ‘cool’ one this time.

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Choosing a quilt pattern –

Tula’s fabric designs are so illustrative and artistic, that I really wanted to show them off, so I knew the quilt would have to include large blocks, as I did not want to cut up the prints too much. I wanted it to have something a little more than just a simple square block quilt though, so I decided to alternate large blocks with smaller ones sashed in solid white, creating little ‘windows’. And so, I did all the maths (a whole lot of maths!) to work out the size of each piece (many, many pieces!), and then got to making!

Making the quilt –

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The first steps in making the quilt are to iron the fabrics and then measure and cut out all the pieces (which can be the most time consuming part of the whole process). Then, they get laid out on the floor (the only flat space I have big enough for a quilt this size) and jiggled around until I am happy with the lay out and balance of colour and shade. Once I was pleased with the layout for this quilt, it was time to piece together the ‘window’ blocks. All 21 of them….

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When piecing, I do them in a long continuous ‘string’ so that I do not have to cut the threads each time. It just saves a little bit of time, and keeps them all in the right order. I then added the sashing and had a finished block. 1 down, 20 to go.

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Once I had pieced together all the windows, I then sewed them to my larger blocks in a checker board design and finally had a finished quilt top!

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Now for the fun part (well, actually I find all of it fun). After basting the back, the batting and the quilt top together (ok, I take it back, I don’t enjoy that part) I can start on the quilting. After much deliberation, I decided to quilt it in vertical wavy lines, in a pale grey thread. The waves echo some of the shapes in the fabrics and it gives it a very organic feel. It also creates a lot of texture in the quilt and makes it all puckered and wrinkly and lovely!

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Next came the binding. I used to hate this part but now I really love it. It’s like the final crowning piece of the puzzle that sets the whole quilt off. I pieced the binding with a dark navy cotton, broken up by scraps left over of the quilt fabrics to tie the whole thing together. After pressing in half and rolling it up (this makes it easier to handle), I machine sewed it to the back of the quilt, adding my label, and then folded it over and sewed it to the front. Voila! A finished quilt!

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I am so pleased with this one, I just want to snuggle under it myself! I particularly love the back, it’s very simple but I think the polka-hearts are just so adorable that I’m considering doing a quilt based on this back design. Watch this space!

The final part of the quilt process is naming it. I always name my quilts after songs and considered a couple of different ones until realising that there is a famous song called ‘The Bird and the Bees’ which of course was the perfect fit. It’s a golden-oldie and is such a charming and cheerful song that it really suited it.

So, because this post isn’t long enough already(!) here is the song, to cheer up your weekend!

I hope that was interesting, if so I will do some more of these.

Thanks for reading!

L xx

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3 Comments

Filed under quilts

3 responses to “Feature Quilt – “The Birds and the Bees”

  1. Pingback: Finished and Almost Finished | The Bent Needle

  2. katrina hertzer

    amazing!

  3. blessedalaskan

    I’m in love with this layout … I might have to use a similar layout some day. ;o) I’m with you on all that math, it usually takes me several tries at drawing up the design and then calculating the yardage etc. Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilt.

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