Bird Brain and Quilting

Bird Brain, Murrieta Stars – Flannel

OMG had I ever forgotten how to paper piece!  it has been years since I did any and have never done much of it.  I totally screwed up a couple birds and then finally on the last attempt for the day (yes by now I should have googled it) I ended up free style again – just cutting and sewing pieces together and did end up with a bird so that is what counts right?  Now if any of you want to do Bird Brain there are plenty of patterns out there and in yesterdays comment there is a link to a free pattern on McCalls – the pattern is identical to the one I have except they embroider an eye on to it and it is smaller than mine – other wise I would print it out and use it.  Mine is about 7 inches square the one on that site is 5×6 inches.  My Bird Brain from last night and all the mess that went with it.  (Before I forget – any recommendations on a good small iron? I don’t want anything pricey – I was looking on amazon and the reviews are such a mixed lot – some like some others don’t –  I will be looking at Wal-Mart for sure! I don’t mind ordering one if it has good reviews but so far I haven’t seen any that over all most seem to like)


On the wall – I meant to make yesterdays bird as the ones in the left column are and ended up having it face the opposite direction.  I’m not sure how many birds I will be making and what direction they will end up facing – who can tell – and yes I will keep the fat bird on the left top in the mix.  I will probably have an uneven amount of which direction they are facing and maybe have them standing on brown sashing and narrow white sashing in between – but all that will be decided later for sure.  I am linking to Esther’s Quilt Blog this evening and Julie and Linda’s Sew, Stitch, Snap Share.


Some of you mentioned my little block easel – I got the easel from Hobby Lobby some years ago – I think it was in the picture frame/poster area but I’m not positive –


here it is laying down so you can see the size if you want to try to find one.


I use a 12.5 inch sandpaper board that I put a piece of flannel over  I can’t find the sandpaper board like this one that I bought years ago (I have 2 or 3 of them I think) but here is a link to one something like it.


and then sometimes if I want to make sure it all stays in place I use a 12.5 inch ruler over it.


I did get the right hand side of Murrieta Stars quilted on Sunday night and spritzed out the blue lines and then rolled the quilt down on Monday night to get started marking the next area – I start on the left and work my way to the right.

The area done on Sunday night


The whole length before I rolled it down.  Linking to Sew Fresh Quilts today.


The area I will be marking – it might look like I could have rolled it down a little more but then it is too close the rail and can’t really quilt it well when it is tight to the rail so I always reach in a little – last time I quilted more of a depth than I normally do – I think I did about 5-6n inches this time it will be closer to 4-5 inches – I was reaching in a little too far to be comfortable,


The tree service is coming out this morning and working on the 4 trees next to the driveway – if the yard isn’t too wet and it doesn’t start to rain again they will tackle the big tree by the house – they need to drive a vehicle into the yard through the far side of the yard to collect all the tree branches they cut down.  I’m afraid all of our decking and swing area has it kind of blocked in. It can get muddy at times so he will check it out first and see if they can do it or have to wait for it to dry out – we had an inch of rain yesterday morning.






(I am compensated for any purchases made through my links.)

30 comments… add one
  • Carolyn Nov 7, 2017

    Karen, Congrats on your handquilting progress! It is always such a thrill to roll! Such a feeling of accomplishment I think. Do you always mark as you go? I have always marked ahead of putting in frame, with pencil but plan to try the blue marker. Do you always wash after finishing? Or does the spritzing remove the marker enough that you don’t have to wash? Your sewing room is looking great. Thank you for taking time to share with us.

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      In all my years of quilting I have only marked my quilt before I put it on the frame a couple times. You are probably more accurate than I am. I always use the blue wash out pen on light colors and white mechanical pencil on darks. I spritz out as I go so I can take photos without the blue covering up the quilting so much. I always wash my quilts – the blue could just sink into the batting and not be dissolved. “They” (the experts) say it has to be really, really wet to totally disappear – I like the look of a washed and dried quilt kind of crinkly antique looking so I always wash and dry.

  • Marianne Nov 7, 2017

    I got a Clover mini iron for my birthday last summer. It gets really hot, and I love it for its size and weight. I really like your easel – I have an old cutting board that has a crack in it. Think I’ll try to cover it with flannel and see if I can find an easel for it. I do have my design wall up next to the machine, but an easel next to the machine would be a good supplement. Great idea!

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      I was going to order the clover iron as it would be the right size for this space but on Amazon the reviews were really mixed for it so I thought I would wait and see what some say. It is sold on almost all on line quilt shops so I would think it was a good iron for quilters – but then this little iron I have now is sold on some of those same sites and doesn’t glide across fabric at all – I guess we all have different opinions! Yes a little board next to the machine is really nice – you can see how you are doing step by step

  • Judy Zoll Nov 7, 2017

    I also have a clover mini iron and I agree it gets hot and has a nice pointy end to get into those seams. Craftsy has it and when they run one of their great sales would be the time to buy one. Hope you get some sewing in today, I always read your blog first thing in the morning so you can inspire me to get something done as well.

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      I haven’t had a newsletter from Craftsy for some time on when their sales would be – they must be having a change of staff again that notifies their affiliates like me!! But yes I will go in through my links LOL and check and see what the price is. Thank you so much for being a blog reader and leaving me comments like this – always nice to hear that people stop by to visit.

  • Jayne Nov 7, 2017

    I love seeing your projects and progress! The birds I am just loving…plain and simply! Your quilt is beautiful. I love the background color and your quilting is stunning!

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      thanks Jayne – the birds will have a variety of white and cream colors

  • Puppilalla Nov 7, 2017

    Wow such a lot of work goes into this. The result will be stunning. =)

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      thanks! – I’m not familiar with your blog and will check it out

  • Martha Bilski Nov 7, 2017

    Love the birds!
    I think a cook book holder night work as an easel as well.
    Martha Bilski recently posted…Hypervigilance 1/2000My Profile

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      yes I think if you have a cook book holder it would work too – I never got one although my daughter has a nice one that I am tempted to steel at times LOL – I have one that holds my Ipad in the kitchen – I tend to use a lot of recipes that I find on line more than my cookbooks now.

  • Helen Nov 7, 2017

    This is the little iron that I use:

    I got one for a friend as well and she loves it, the steam lasts for ever!

    I love the look of your quilting.

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      thanks for the link Helen – I will give it a look.

  • Dottie bishaw Nov 7, 2017

    Sorry to hear about your paper piecing adventures, I’ve never had a desire to try it yet. The new little bird is so cute, hope you continue making them. I’ve had too many appointments this week, dental, doctor and hair taking up too much time this week. I’m glad you had some rain, we’re supposed to get some tomorrow, only 59 today and 49 tomorrow. Your quilting is beautiful, and a roll down is such progress!

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      just goes to show that when you have done one method of piecing for awhile and had done very little of it you should refresh your memory first! LOL – I refreshed my memory with a video and made another block this morning. Cloudy days here – but the rain is gone and the tree cutters have been busy all morning – I need to make a hair cut appointment but I was waiting for the tree situation to be done so I would know when I needed to be home.

  • Thimbleanna Nov 7, 2017

    Those little birds are adorable! And your quilting is coming right along — I love the way you’re quilting the lines. I’ll bet that will be one wonderfully cozy quilt when you’re done with it!

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      I hope this flannel quilt will not be too warm here in Arkansas! We really only have about 3 months when it will be cold enough to use it other than putting it in the camper when we travel but I don’t know how much of that we will be doing – hubby has had a few health problems that we have been dealing with – not in shape for hiking for sure right now – hope next year will be ok

  • Julie Nov 7, 2017

    Those birds are just gorgeous, I don’t think it matters that they are not all facing the same way, it adds some interest to them.

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      I had intended to have it divided up in total for which way they are facing but now I think it doesn’t matter. Just like I had one fat bird due to the fact that I forgot to put a white piece on when end like I was supposed to so I decided to make more like that to have more variety (it is actually easier to do too 🙂 )

  • Belarmina Nov 7, 2017

    Karen gracias tengo un pequeño caballete , regalo de una amiga hace años
    veré las medidas

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      the little easel does come in handy for making all kinds of blocks – sometimes you can spot the mistakes also when you sit back and look at it as you go

  • Glenda Australia Nov 7, 2017

    Oh Karen such an interesting a fun blog, love love your birds they caught my eye on Esther’s blog they looked so bright and cherry. Your quilt looks beautiful on the frame another stunning quilt on the go, love the saffron colour. Cheers Glenda
    Glenda Australia recently posted…WOW or WIP’s with Esther 8th Oct 2018My Profile

    • Karen Nov 7, 2017

      thanks Glenda – the bird quilt will be for my daughter, she saw the bird on pinterest and drew my attention to it – throw size – I’m trying to stay away from large quilts right now until I get caught on my “to be quilted box of tops”

  • audrey Nov 8, 2017

    Love seeing the progress on your quilt in the frame! Here a little, there a little and somehow it all comes together so wonderfully! Lovely to see your bird blocks. Foundation piecing really is a mind bender!

    • Karen Nov 8, 2017

      yes I know paper piecing takes some get used to for sure.

  • elaine Nov 8, 2017

    Love your bird brain! Could you print the pattern you found and then enlarge it on a copier to the size you need? I do this all the time, might save you some stress 🙂
    elaine recently posted…17 in 2017 October ProgressMy Profile

    • Karen Nov 8, 2017

      I made the pattern by putting one of the blocks on the scanner – it is working out just fine – my blocks are a little different size than the pattern I bought – it is working out fine now

  • Linda Dutch Nov 8, 2017

    I love your bird blocks! Having different sizes and facing different ways makes them interesting. Looks like you are making great progress with your quilting too, lovely! Thanks for sharing with ‘sew stitch snap SHARE’
    Linda Dutch recently posted…sew stitch snap SHARE #16My Profile

    • Karen Nov 8, 2017

      thanks Linda – yes different shapes makes them interesting

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