Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Other Way Around

Instead of showing you today's bird first, I'm going to show you the inspiration, and what I was looking at when I was choosing fabrics.

The first morning at the Hot Springs in Colorado, I had eggs on grits for breakfast. I ate out on the deck, in the shade, so everything had a blueish cast.  The inspiration colors from this photo were the orange on the purple chard leaf.

I've made enough birds to know that the beak needs to stand out.  So this fabric was just perfect. You're looking at a scrap barely 2-1/2" wide by 1-1/2" tall, and YES, it was fussy cut too!

Orange was easy, but I didn't want a purple that was too dark.  As I was browsing through my stash (and if you wonder about what it is that I buy and why, read this post all about my stash) I found this wild Paula Nadelstorm print.

It's the kind of print that would freak out most quilters because it is just so wild and crazy and the colors are so bright, but what I see when I look at it are all kinds of shapes I can fussy cut. There are lots of swoops for bird wings and beaks and lots of other possibilities. This is how you should buy fabric. Not necessarily for what it IS but for what it can BECOME...

The body fabric was the same fabric I used to make the mountains in the distance in the barn block.

Did I place the wing fabric strategically so that wonderful curve would fit perfectly and not be chopped up by a seam? You bet I did! Is the purple in the swoop the exact same shade as the purple in the body? No, but it is plenty close enough. It does not have to be an exact match.

So the finished bird doesn't really follow the inspiration colors, but hey, it's called INSPIRATION not IMITATION.

To one reader who noticed the other day, YES, I use White on White fabrics interchangeably and randomly when I make a quilt with white as a background. I love the way the light hits them differently and I think it makes for a more interesting visual surface (as opposed the the boredom of solid white). I buy them in half yard cuts, and I keep a wide variety of shapes and visual textures on hand.

Wanna make some birds? Check out my tutorial, here, at my Etsy shop. It's an instant download so you can get going right away. And you can use your scraps. And hey, at twelve bucks a yard, the average bird costs less than $1.50, and I know you've got at least that much fabric kicking around somewhere!


Quiltdivajulie said...

Love the inspiration photo - and that is one gorgeous bird.

Sewing Up A Storm said...

Wow that one is stunning! The fussy cutting on that one really makes it shine. thanks for sharing the thought process of how it went together.

The Selvage Fairy said...

I love that wing fabric because you could have birds that walk to the right or the left. I cut a bunch of wings from the same fabric for my kitchen curtain so they would all look like a family. I think my favorite so far is bird number 3. I would never have used the words elegant or sophisticated to describe the scrubby landscape of Colorado, but it really is.