The concept sounded outrageously fun. Each of the 80 or so designers was asked tell a story in the space of a 6” square quilt block—the story of how sewing brings happiness to our lives—in 100 personalized tales, one per block designed. I couldn’t say ‘no.’ I’ve always felt that quilting, really isn’t about the quilt as much as it is about a community of quilters and our shared experiences.
So this is my story:
And so my block is a pieced interpretation of an American Robin, or in Latin Turdus migratorious. The quintessential symbol of the end of winter and the change in seasons - at least here in North America.I’m a bird girl. I love birds! I also love the change in the seasons. Even so, I’m usually happy to see the cold, long winter end, naturally leading to splendid springtime. When I see the first robin, my heart sings! It means winter is over, days are getting longer, and warmer weather is within reach. Soon, I can stitch outside under a shady tree once again; my favorite, favorite quilty thing to do!
Right about now, you may be looking at the pattern and the long list of tiny pieces to cut, and you might be thinking this person (me) is off her ever-loving bird-brained rocker!
I’m okay, really!
Yes, this block has a lot of pieces, and some of them are really small, and weird sizes that involve accurate cutting along 1/8" ruler markings.
However, the block is almost entirely made from stitch-and-flip units. Easy, like making a snowball block—drawing 45-degree lines on the back of one fabric (usually a square, but not always). . . placing fabrics right sides together so corners align,. . . sewing on the line, . . .
. . . trimming excess fabric to reduce bulk,. . .
. . . . and pressing in one direction or the other.
As you cut the long list of pieces, notice that this block is constructed in units. Make a little ‘kit’ from the fabrics required for each of the seven units, plus the final background pieces and arrange the little kit-stacks in place on your work table following the unit diagram on page 1 of the pattern.
Build each unit one at a time, paying close attention to the fabric alignment instructions, the direction of the drawn line seams, and the pressing suggestions. Sew deliberately and as accurately as possible. Be extra careful with unit 7 as the narrow legs don’t leave a lot of wiggle room for fabric placed or sewn out of alignment. . . .
. . . Then replace each unit back into the block arrangement.
Then sew the units into rows. And sew the rows together.
Well, we all know that every early bird is searching for the worm, but he (or she) also needs to find a mate! The Early Bird and The Reversed Robin were combined into a wall-hanging for the blocks December 2016 release date.
By the way, my label, courtesy of an embroidery pattern from Urban Threads, shows the natural progression that occurs when nature brings two birdies together. . . .
Many, many thanks to Pat and Jane for including me and my early birdie block on this most splendid journey. Thanks also to you for following along and for all of your encouraging words along the way.