Birds In Square Quilt Pattern

Birds in square quilt

Birds in square quilt

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.

Birds in square quilt block

Birds in square quilt block

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

Make half square triangle units

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 triangle units

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.

First quarter layout for the birds in square quilt block

First quarter layout for the birds in square quilt block layout

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.

Layout for next 2 quarters

Layout for next 2 quarters

Completed quarter

Completed quarter

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).

Fourth quarter of the birds in square quilt block

Fourth quarter of the birds in square quilt block

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.

Birds in square quilt block layout

Birds in square quilt block layout

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.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

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.

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  1. Pat McCoy says:

    This is a neat pattern

    • Thanks, Pat. Glad you like it.

      • Hi Rose great to hear that you are moving on in your life- exciting Eh?. All the best wishes for the future in your new home . I moved a year ago and had to find a new home for lots of fabric etc as I had no room to keep them so I sold it to my sewing group ladies and the money went to my favourite charity. We quilters are all guilty of hanging on to too much fabric! Ha! . Glad you are able to keep up with the quilting patterns.

        • Hi Dianne. That’s a great idea. It must have been satisfying to know that you were helping a charity with your fabric.

  2. flora thompson says:

    Hello Rose,
    So pleased your house hunting was a success. And also glad you will remain in your business. I really appreciate your patterns and simple directions on making them. Keep up the good work. Regards Flora

  3. are you really leaving Ludlow ? mo
    and love all your designs

    • Hi Mo. Ludlow has been a wonderful home to me for nearly 40 years, but now I’m looking for something different in my life.

  4. I really like this new quilt. I just had major cervical neck surgery, so it will be a while until I can sew again. It will be something to look forward to.

    Congratulations on selling your house and getting another one so quickly. I hope your move goes smoothly. Also best wishes to your son and daughter as they get married.

  5. This pattern is beautiful! Can’t wait to try it!

    Pray your move goes smoothly and that you get settled into your new home without too much stress.

    I have always found it easier to number each box with the room it came from (or is going to) . I kept a notebook that had the inventory of boxes. In the notebook I would give a brief list of what was in the box. When you are unpacking at your new home it makes it easier to locate items you might need before all the boxes are unpacked. We have moved about 22 times in 45 years, 17 of those in the first 20 years. Lord willing, I won’t be moving again. 🙂

    • Hi Linda. Thanks for the tips – you are obviously a master mover! I’ll definitely need plenty of lists – my memory is not what it was.

  6. I love the Birds In Square pattern. I am moving in 1 week so will have quilting on hold for a while. It has been very stressful but I am looking foreward to being near my grandchildren and spending more time quilring with my Granddaughter.Good luck on your purchase and move.

    • Thanks, Eliza. Good luck with your move – what a lovely prospect to be able to spend more time with your grandchildren. I hope all goes well for you.

  7. Hi Rose,
    Your quilt is another beautiful example of what you can create with simple geometric shapes.
    Happy that you found a house that you really love and in so short a time. Hope all goes smoothly and that you are in your dream house ASAP.
    I spray basted my Rail Fence quilt but it came out very wrinkled. I may have used too much spray. I will iron it to see if I can get the wrinkles out but if they don’t then what do I do?

    • Hi Claire. If your back is very wrinkled, don’t iron it as this may set the wrinkles. I would suggest that you pull the backing gently from the batting, spray again and then smooth the backing down on to the batting. When you use spray, it helps to flip the quilt over if you can and smooth the back as well before the adhesive sets – sometimes the batting stretches a little while you’re smoothing the top down and then the backing doesn’t lie smooth.
      Anyone else got any other suggestions?

  8. gwen mullings says:

    I don’ know how you do it Rose, a lovely quilt for us every week and free! Gwen

  9. I absolutely love this quilt, the shapes and the colours. Congrats too on the new home.

  10. Jayne a Wilson says:

    Lovely quilt pattern Rose. Will definitely have a go at this. Hope the move is smooth and not too stressful.

    • Thanks, Jayne. I’m trying to get ready for the move slowly and hope that will make it easier on the day.

  11. Marilyn Larkin says:

    What a triumphant week, selling one house, making an offer on another just where you want to be. Congratulations, then to top it all you have given to us a magnificent pattern. I love the pattern, I love the colours. I hope all your dreams come true with the house, you have had a difficult 12 months, now is the time to enjoy.

    • Thanks, Marilyn. I’m really looking forward to starting my new life in Birmingham.

      • Hannah Veale. says:

        Hi Rose, Congratulations, your right moving house is a very big event in ones life, but its also an exciting time, everything always falls into place, lots to look forward to,
        With very Best Wishes & Bright Blessings , Hannah.

      • Hi Rose, a while ago you posted a stained glass quilt pattern. I made a quilt for each of my daughters in batiks with the pattern and they turned out lovely. With the left over pieces and a bit more added I made a handbag which I carry nearly exclusively. I have had so many compliments about my bag and I always tell them I got the pattern from you, and give them the website. one lady in a fabric store liked it so much she ended up buying batiks that day which she had not intended to buy, so again thank you for all you do, and I wish I was closer to help with your move to return the favour but I live in Canada. Good luck and a big hug.

        • Hi Marci. How kind of you to advertise for me! What a good idea to make a bag from the batiks. I’m not moving till the end of July, so I’m working myself up to it gradually.

      • Hello Rose. I love this design, although I feel daunted by those half rectangle triangles! Good luck with the move – which part of Birmingham have you decided to move to (if that’s not too personal a question)?

        • Thanks, Jane. I know that half rectangle triangles look more difficult, but they open up so many more design possibilities – do give them a try. My new house is in Quinton – easy access to the city centre but also easy access to the motorway.

      • Jo Williams says:

        I hope all goes well on your new house. I also am pleased to hear that you will still send weekly quilt patterns. Good luck on your move.

  12. Debra Friendly (Canada) says:

    Rose – Congratulations on your home purchase and best wishes for an easy move and many wonderful years there. When you do move, I’m sure all of your fans will understand if you miss a week of posting! I’m sure most of us can remember the “fun” of moving.

    • Thanks, Debra. Moving house is supposed to be one of the major traumatic events in life, so I’m definitely hoping my move won’t be too stressed.

  13. Marilyn Braude says:

    Hi Rose – we have moved into our new apt and I am having so much difficulty downloading material This quilt is beautiful but I believe difficult – I would love something with just 3 to 4 shades of fabric – any suggestions? Xxx Marilyn

  • Dear Rose – another attractive and inventive pattern. Very appropriate for me as I seem to have been adopted by a guinea fowl who waits for me to feed him/her each morning and then settles down by the door to say hello every time I go outside.

    I can see that you are going to be ultra busy for the next few weeks/months. Would give you a hand if I lived nearer. Do hope all goes well and smoothly and no big problems come your way.
    wishing you all the best. Janny

    • Hi Janny. What fun to have a pet guinea fowl – sounds very welcoming. Thanks for the offer – I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything will go smoothly.

  • Another lovely quilt Rose. Hope the move goes to plan.

    • Thanks, Lesley. We’re planning on the end of July for the move, so I’ve got plenty of time to pack up beforehand.

  • Rose,
    Congratulations on your new home. Love your new quilt. I have put sewing on the back burner as my daughter is getting married in July and my son is getting married in August. September is my vacation then it’s time to get ready for the fall time.
    Take care and good luck!

  • Pauline Simpson says:

    I am so pleased you are carrying on with Ludlow quilts, I look forward to your new projects and your instructions are clear and easy to follow. Keep up the good work.l