Sunday, January 17, 2016

Piecing the Bird Flimsy

There's really no magic, no tricks, and no shortcuts to sewing these together. It's a one step at a time, one block at a time, one seam at a time process. These three birds above easily fit into one "panel."

Photographing this panel on my ironing table highlights the different WOWs I've added to fill in the spaces and make to make the bird blocks fit together the way I want them to.  Regular readers know I use different WOWs interchangeably throughout my quilts. 

Things don't always fit neatly into rows, however, and sometimes I have to fiddle. The WOW square above the bird with the dragonfly wing, above, is an example. In order to have the birds on different levels, I have to tinker. It's sewing into a corner, really, or a Y seam. I never sew into a corner, but I don't mind sewing my way OUT of one. Here, I've sewn the square to the block with the purple winged bird, then sewn that panel to the panel in the photograph above. I'll sew another row of birds to the top of the piece above, then I'll sew another panel into the corner they create.


Now I'll sew the two panels together that line up above the purple winged bird.

Like this. Then I'll press the seam, and then finish sewing the seam the attaches the sections together.

The finished large panel is the one on the left. I'll go through the same process to add panels to the two panels above.

This row of birds will go to the far left of the quilt (after the top edge is trimmed straight).

My students always ask which way they should press seams over. They assume I want them to press toward the dark fabric. That isn't always possible. My rule?? "Press whichever way minimizes bulky seams." You can't really tell in this photo, but that top row has more birds out to the far left.

Next I sewed the top two panels together, above, and finally, the horizontal seam that unites them.

I suppose it's hard to tell in this photo, but this is the top third of the birds quilt all sewn together.

Is it hard? No. Is it tricky? Not really. The most important thing is that each panel must lie perfectly flat, and each must be perfectly square, by which I mean the edges must be straight, and each corner must be 90 degrees exactly. And, of course, you have to be able to sew a consistent 1/4" seam every single time.

How much time did this take?

Probably six to eight hours.

Is it worth it?

Hell yes.


Pat said...

Hell yes, indeed! I'm loving the way this is coming together. Thanks, too, for sharing your process.

suzanne, dutchess county NY said...

Love the mix of whites in the background. Subtle but adds texture so nicely.

Debra said...

I've always imagined this quilt with your little birds. I'm very glad to see it happening!

Rebecca said...

As you said....
Hell Yes!

Mary Ellen said...

This is the type of project that keeps me engaged in the process. You are constantly engineering the next step. This has to be a lot of fun to work on. The birds are just delightful.

Art by Rhoda Forbes said...

OMG! I have loved every bird you posted, and to see them all together is fantastic. It is such a unique great top! Love it.

lindaroo said...

Your eye for arrangement is amazing, and your commitment to flawless construction is a great complement.

Sandi said...

Loving all your WOW fabrics, that leaf one is gorgeous, another fav is the linear one. I lo
Ike picking up WOW fabrics but haven't mixed them as much in projects. I've done other tone on tones but not whites. That will be an addition to my to do list. Thanks for the inspiration.

Shasta Matova said...

Love all the birds, and I love the way you have decided to set them with all the wonderful WOW fabrics.

Idealic said...

Love your birds and description of the process. Thanks!!! Cant wait for some me time to play. Any good resource for the WOW fabs??