Sunday, April 8, 2018

Bird Quilt Project on

2441937P143I’ve seen this bird quilt on before, and really liked it.  I recently acquired the bird block fabric (Nestled in the Branches Square Blocks) from a friend, so I decided to give it a whirl.

The directions are vague, and some of the dimensions are missing.  The reviews are not good—mostly because the directions are so vague.  You have to guess what size to cut the sashing.

I’m going to attempt to explain and break down the directions here.  Each block (without the border) is approximately 6.75” wide by 7” tall.  The red border is .75”, making the total size of the block with the border 8.25” wide by 8.5” tall.  The directions say to cut 9.5” squares.  This adds at least a .5” seam allowance, and cuts into other squares.

(Click here to read the full step-by-step tutorial!)


(The Blocks measure 6.75” across by 7” tall.  The red border is .75”.)

As mentioned above, if you follow their directions, you will be cutting into other squares, making them useless.  I have chosen to make my own border around each block.  I do this by cutting in between the red border, making approximately .25” seam allowance around each block.
around borderin between the border

1.125 yard (40”) provides 25 blocks in the following colors (depending on where the yardage is cut):
8 Red
8 Green
4 Tan
4 Brown
1 Purple

So if you want more than one purple block, you will need to get more fabric.  You only need 12 blocks for this quilt, which you can get out of 2/3 yard; however, you will not get a good variety of colors.

The directions say that once you have your sashing around the block, it will be a 13” square.  If this is correct, using the measurement of the block with red border (8.25” wide by 8.5” tall), the sashing is only 2.25” (2.5” before stitching to the square).  This would make the finished size 2 inches, which means you will need a 2.5” wide strip of fabric.

From the Joann website (red text is what I have added):


  • 1-1/2 yd center block fabric
  • 3/8 yd of 4 fabrics for sashing (You will be cutting each fabric widthwise in 12 sections, so each piece will be 13.5” by 2.5”.  You can get seventeen 2.5” pieces out of a 43”-wide fabric.  You may also opt to make a larger border, which would mean altering the side and top/bottom border.)
  • 2-1/8 yd fabric for 5" border
  • (3/8 yard for border around each block, if you opt to do it this way.)
  • 1/2 yd fabric for binding
  • 3 yd fabric for backing
  • 52"x62" batting
  • Sewing machine
  • Basic sewing supplies


1/4" seam allowance used.
Enlarge pattern (There is no pattern online, so I made one.)

2birds quilt template


Keep in mind while using fabric that is directional, you will have to be sure to cut the right direction, especially with the side and top/bottom borders and the backing.

12 – 9-1/2" squares for center block (when cutting in between borders, the measurement is 7.75”x7.5”)

12 each of 4 fabrics for sashing (Cut 12 strips that are 13.5” wide by 2.5” tall.  You will have a total of 48 strips.)

(10 – 1.25”xWOF for block borders)

2 – 5-1/2"x62-1/2" for side borders

2 – 5-1/2"x39-1/2" for top and bottom borders

6 – 2-1/2"xWOF for binding

2 – 52-1/2"x31-1/2" for backing

1. Lay out center blocks and sashing as desired. Refer to photo if needed. (Add border around block, if that’s the route you’re going.)
2. For each block, sew top, bottom and sides (in that order) to marked circle (stop at each corner 1/4” from edge.)
3. Sew diagonal corners. (Watch a video on youtube for instructions for mitered corners.)
4. Press.
5. Repeat with remaining squares, making a total of twelve 13" squares.
6. Sew squares together.
7. Press.
8. Sew borders onto top and bottom then onto the sides.
9. Sew backing together into a 52-1/2"x62-1/2" piece.
10. Press seam open.
11. Sandwich batting between backing and quilt front.
12. Pin/baste through all thicknesses and quilt as desired.
13. Sew binding strips together, press seams open, and fold in half lengthwise.
14. Sew binding to outer edge of quilt using a 3/8" seam.
15. Turn binding to back and slip stitch along seam line.

Here’s a really good video on youtube about binding.

I designed my quilt in Photoshop to play around with different fabrics to see how it would look.  You can read my post about how to use Photoshop to design a quilt here.

no border bird quilt

I felt it needed a border around the 13” blocks, so I added a 1” border.  This is how it looks with the border:

with border

Of course adding a 1” border means some adjustments.

1/4 yard fabric for new border (cut 5 strips 1.5”xWOF)

2 yards (2 – 5.5"x64” long for side borders)*

1/3 yard (2 – 5.5"x40” wide for top and bottom borders)

1/2 yard (6 – 2-1/2"xWOF for binding )

3 2/3 yards (2 – 28” wide by 66” long [lengthwise] for backing)*

54"x66" batting (or twin size package)

Everything else stays the same.

*If using the same fabric for the side borders as for the backing, you can use the excess from the backing for the borders. [43-28=15”])

The new size will be approximately 52”x64.

Click here to read the full step-by-step tutorial!