Birds of Paradise
posted by Eileen In Stitches , on ,
Towards the end of 2014, I decided that I was going to do something very ambitious and get back into sewing by making a quilt from scratch for the first time. I hadn't sewn at all since I was twelve or thirteen and begging my grandmother to help me make a cosplay costume for a convention, and back then I hadn't been responsible for anything beyond stitching the edge of the skirt so I could feel like I was 'helping.'
I devoured quilting blogs, wasted away many an hour browsing online fabric shops, and finally ordered a bunch of charm packs and got to cutting and laying them out for weeks.
This is not that quilt.
Mainly because when I said 'ambitious,' I meant 'I started out queen sized and now I can't figure out how to baste the thing in a tiny NYC apartment.'
(sad trombone noises)
I'm planning to test out the tabletop basting I've read about, but in the mean time, I decided to make a small throw quilt for a friend to practice maneuvering something smaller through the sewing machine.
The cat is very fond of the birds and had to be locked in the bedroom so I could baste it.
This quilt uses Amy Smart's Fast Four-Patch Quilt Tutorial and makes a quick baby quilt or throw. It was easy even for me with my complete lack of experience to put together, and I would definitely recommend it to another beginning quilter or someone who wants to let the fabrics take center stage - the large blocks finish at 8in, so it's a good way to show off larger scale prints.
I used a variety of different bird prints in the large squares and a fat quarter bundle of Cotton + Steel basics in Splash that coordinated nicely for the four-patches. I also pieced a bird and hand-embroidered a label out of scraps for the back. It was quilted with simple straight line quilting, and while I need more practice to avoid puckering, I'm very proud of this as a first effort!
This quilt is now being packed up and shipped off as a surprise to a friend who's had a rough year - hopefully it will cheer him up a bit!
I'm looking forward to continuing to make more quilts, including finishing up my queen-sized monstrosity and making a surprise quilt for my grandparents who are moving into assisted living this spring.