My humming bird quilt is starting to take shape, I’m quite excited about it! My new design wall has been wonderful, definitely a good buy!
This quilt is for my niece, it’s going to go in her guest room which is newly decorated with very pretty humming bird wallpaper, so I decided to make a humming bird quilt. I’m sort of making it up as I go along so the design wall has been pretty vital! I bought four different paper pieced patterns of hummingbirds from Craftsy and I’ve made seven birds in total of varying size and complexity. The idea is to have them set on a ‘low volume’ background, so I bought lots of batiks in muted shades at the Festival of Quilts.
Luckily all the hummingbirds were of a size that is divisible by three, 12″, 6″ etc, so I made lots of blocks using 3″ as a basic size. I made lots of half square triangles to make pinwheels, I found out by accident that if you sew one pair the wrong way round it makes a nice diamond block! I cut 6″ squares and some plain 3″ squares. All I had to do was arrange them!
To start with I arranged the birds in a circle shape and then tried to place the blocks round them, filling in the gaps and working outwards. It looked OKish, but somehow it looked a bit messy and just didn’t gel. I moved things round, swopped blocks, it just wasn’t quite right.
After pondering on it as I tried to get to sleep I decided I needed a different approach…
Having taken a photo as back up of my memory, I took down all the birds and the blocks, sorted them into shapes and colours and then started to work along row by row, placing the blocks in 12″ groups. I aimed that each 12″ square would have a plain 6″ block, a pinwheel, a diamond and a set of four squares. There’s also five big 12″ stars scattered around the quilt. I varied the position of the blocks but it just gave a flow to the quilt, the hint of a pattern gave it the continuity I needed.
Once I had a few rows arranged I started to position the birds back on the quilt again. I used the same positioning as before, just removed the backgound blocks and slotted in the birds. I had to do a bit of swopping around and filling in to around the birds but it worked pretty well.
I just need to cut a few more 3″ squares then I can arrange the last few rows at the bottom of the quilt before I start stitching all the blocks together.
I haven’t quite worked out the order of stitching the blocks together yet as most are stitched in twos, some are already stitched in fours and of course the bird blocks are varying sizes. Most areas work out pretty well into bigger blocks, it’s just round the humming birds it is going to need a bit of forward planning.
I feel I’m finally getting somewhere with this quilt, it still needs some tweaking, especially in the top right corner but it’s going in the right direction! Hopefully I’ll get it pieced over the weekend, then it just needs sandwiching and quilting.