The birds in square quilt block is a delightful block where you can actually see a bird in each corner of the block. It’s a huge block and I have played around with the colours a little to give more interest to the quilt. I’ve aimed to have the gold diamonds running across the quilt while the white diamonds run down the quilt, with a green/cream central area contrasting with the blue/white in the outer area.
I’ve used four blocks, each measuring 27″ square finished size and the whole quilt is 58″ square. I’ve used more fabrics than I usually do: 1/4 yard of cream, 1/2 yard each of purple and green, 3/4 yard of blue, 1 yard of gold and 1.1/4 yards of white. As usual you can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.
Cutting requirements for the birds in square quilt
White: twelve 6.1/2″ squares, sixteen 3.1/2″ by 12.1/2″ rectangles, sixteen 3.7/8″ by 6.7/8″ rectangles
Blue: twelve 3.7/8″ squares, twenty four 3.7/8″ by 6.7/8″ rectangles
Purple: thirty two 3.1/2″ squares, twelve 3.7/8″ squares
Green: four 3.7/8″ squares, eight 3.7/8″ by 6.7/8″ rectangles
Cream: four 6.1/2″ squares
Gold: sixteen 3.7/8″ by 6.7/8″ squares, four 3.1/2″ squares. For the border you will need 2.1/2″ lengths: two 54.1/2″ long and two 58.1/2″ long
Make half square triangle units
Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units. Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a seam 1/4″ either side of the marked line and cut along the line. This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares. You’ll need these in blue/purple and in green/purple.
Make half rectangle triangle units
Make half rectangle triangles with the 3.7/8″ by 6.7/8″ rectangles. Place two rectangles wrong sides together (as the fabric is folded when it comes from the shop) and cut along one diagonal to create two triangles. Sew two triangles together to make a rectangle again. Note that when you sew these two triangles together you need to offset them slightly against each other so that the smallest tip of the white triangle sticks out at one end of the seam and the smallest tip of the blue triangle sticks out at the other end. I think that you can just see this in the pair that I have sewn together – top right of the photo. You need to make these in blue/white, blue/gold, green/white and green/gold. Press the seam allowance towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.
Assembling the birds in square quilt block
It’s easiest to make the quarters of this block first and then sew them together using the white rectangles. This is the layout for the top left quarter of the birds in square quilt block. You could think of it as a four patch unit: one white square diagonally opposite the small four patch unit made with two purple squares and two purple/blue half square triangle units, and two pairs of half rectangle triangle units diagonally opposite each other. For this quarter the half rectangle triangle units are blue/white and blue/gold.
Sew the patchwork together across each row and then sew the three rows to each other.
The next two quarters are the same as each other – these will be the top right and bottom left quarters. They are a mirror image of the first quarter – all the same patchwork pieces but placed the opposite way round. As before, sew the patchwork together across each row and then sew the rows to each other. Make two of these for each block (eight in total).
For the fourth quarter I have changed the colours to highlight that central area of the quilt design, using a cream 6.1/2″ square and green instead of blue for the half rectangle triangles. This will be the bottom right quarter of the birds in square quilt block and you will need to make one for each block – four in total for the quilt.
Lay the four quarters out in two rows of two with a white rectangle between each pair of quarters and a gold 3.1/2″ square in the middle. Note that the quarters are placed so that the purple square is always nearest the middle and the large white or cream squares form the corners of the block.
Sew the patchwork together across each row and then sew the rows to each other. Make four of the birds in square quilt block.
Assembling the birds in square quilt
Lay the blocks out in two rows of two. Rotate the blocks so that the green quarter is always nearest the middle. Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the two rows together. I haven’t used sashing between the blocks because I felt that this would break up the design too much – I wanted the green/cream section in the middle to be unbroken.
For the binding I have used 2.1/2″ strips of gold fabric. Sew the 54.1/2″ lengths to the top and bottom and the 58.1/2″ lengths to the sides.
That completes the birds in square quilt top. It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.
Here’s the video:
This week began with a manic search for a new house in Birmingham. I have now had an offer accepted on a house that I love, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the legal side goes through okay. I’m beginning to sort through my things and box up those things that I won’t need for a couple of months. I seem to have rather large quantities of fabric and books! Many quilters have asked what this means for the business – and the answer is no change. I shall still call the business Ludlow Quilt and Sew and I shall still write patterns every week: I couldn’t give up doing something that I love so much.