Bluebirds Flying Quilt – Free Pattern

Bluebirds flying quilt

Bluebirds flying quilt

The name of the Bluebirds Flying quilt block attracted me, thinking of all the birds migrating to warmer climates at this time of year – it’s also a very pretty block!  I have teamed it with a simple alternate block to make this lovely fresh looking quilt.

The quilt measures 69″ square using nine blocks which are 21″ square finished size.  I used 2.3/4 yards of white fabric, 1 yard each of light blue and dark blue, with 3/4 yard of red fabric.  As usual, these fabrics are available at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Completed bluebirds flying quilt block

Completed bluebirds flying quilt block

Cutting requirements for the bluebirds flying quilt

3,7.8″ squares:  forty dark blue, forty white

3.1/2″ squares:  forty dark blue, five red, sixty white

9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  twenty white

11.3/8″ squares:  eight light blue, eight white

For the border you will need to cut seven 3.1/2″ strips across the width of fabric.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make the half square triangles.  Place a dark blue and a white square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangles which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the blue and clip the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Bluebirds flying quilt block

Bluebirds flying quilt block

Make the bluebirds flying quilt block

The layout for this block is very simple.  Begin with a red square in the middle.  Place a white rectangle on each edge of the central square, forming a cross shape.

Layout for the corners

Layout for the corners

Now add the corner sections.  These are all the same as each other, just rotated in the placement.

Along one diagonal place two dark blue squares and one white square.  Place two white squares in the remaining two corners.  Add a pair of half square triangles on either side of the bottom blue square, placing them so that the blue triangles with the square form a larger blue triangle.  Place another pair of half square triangles on either side of the middle blue squares with the two blue triangles forming a butterfly shape together.

Block partially sewn

Block partially sewn

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row of this nine patch unit and then sew the rows together.  Repeat with the other three corners.  You can now sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.

At this stage the block measures 21.1/2″ square and you need to make five of them.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Make the alternate block

I have made the half square triangles for this block by simply cutting the 11.3/8″ along one diagonal.  Then I could sew a light blue and a white triangle together.  Use four half square triangles for each block, placing them so that they form two larger blue triangles meeting in the middle and two larger white triangles meeting in the middle.

Sew the pieces together in two pairs and then sew the two pairs to each other.  At this stage the block also measures 21.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the bluebirds flying quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three blocks.  Rows one and three are the same as each other.  Lay a bluebird block at each end with an alternate block in the middle.

Row two

Row two

For row two you need to place a bluebird block in the middle with an alternate block in the middle.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

Red for the border

Red for the border

Add the border

I have used 3.1/2″ strips of the same red fabric that I used within the blue bird blocks.  You need two lengths of 63.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 69.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Bluebirds Flying quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

Here’s the video:


National Memorial Arboretum

National Memorial Arboretum

Earlier this year I visited the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas.  With Remembrance Sunday taking place this weekend I thought that it was a good time to share my photos with you.  You can see them by clicking here or on the photo.  I hope that the weather isn’t too bad for all the parades on Sunday.

As the weather forecast isn’t good for tomorrow I thought that I might go and see Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinema.

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  1. J Welbourne says:

    Dear Rose what a very pretty pattern this is and so appropriate at this time of the year. Blue birds over, etc. Thank you for making it available.

    Keep well. all best wishes Janny

    • Thanks, Janny. Glad you like the pattern. I’m so sorry that I haven’t replied to your letter yet – I did appreciate it.

  2. Thanks Rose for the bluebird quilt top.

  3. Hi Rose. Just been reading all the comments you have received from your fellow Quilters & wanted to say what a wonderful lady you are – you have given everyone a lift with your
    positive comments keeping everyone’s chins up ??- not only a great quilter but great listener too ?. Let’s get stitching – there’s so many ufo’s needing finished & Christmas pressies to make ?. Keep up the good work Rose.

    Take care – Dianne ?

    • Hi Dianne. Thanks for your kind comments. Sewing is definitely considered to be therapeutic – such a lovely feeling of satisfaction when you finish something pretty.

  4. Thank you arose, love this design and look forward to receiving my fabrics to make a start. I still love the quilt of yours I made commemorating King Richard 111. I have had many compliments on this, which I embellished with the white York rose.

    • hi Nicola. Thanks for the order – your kit will go in the post to you this morning. I’m glad that the King Richard quilt turned out well for you. I still have plans to go to Leicester Cathedral to see his memorial.

  5. Teresa Purvis says:

    Hi Rose, I really like this pattern and I also like the fabric you chose for it. Thank you for sharing all your patterns and instructions, you are a great lady!

  6. Thanks Rose, a beautiful design. Pity the weather is set to be foul as I seem to remember reading that the sun should shine through the gap at the Arboretum on the 11th hour of the 11th day.

    • Hi Patsy. You’re absolutely right. The slits in the walls are designed so that the sunlight shafts meet in the middle on the wreath on the central square at the 11th hour on the 11th day. It must be amazing to see that.

  7. This looks a lovely quilt Rose.
    I’m sorry for all of you having ills and gloomy weather. Here is my home in Australia, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the flowers are smiling (and the weeds are laughing) and the birds are singing. A glorious late spring morning!!

  8. Rose,
    Thank you for a lovely pattern.
    The photos are very interesting. Like Sandra Barnett I don’t feel very
    motivated at present. Which is not like me.
    Claire, I sincerely hope you will make a full recovery.
    Rose, how do you stay positive and focused?
    Bottle it and we will buy it.

    • Hi Mary. I always feel that sunshine helps – having been brought up in Africa I’m a great believer in sun and light. But I do get down at times, just as many others do. Then I often go for a walk and the beauty of the scenery restores my good cheer. My best wishes go to all of you not feeling great at the moment.

  9. Terri Olivier says:

    Thank you for the refreshing pattern . I must try it does look easy enough. I just finished your pattern on the log cabin it went easy. But I am also having problems with my back and shoulders it is difficult lifting large quilts. I am not going to give up just yet. We are having our first snowfall here in British Columbia Canada. Not too crazy for that idea. Good time to stay indoors and finish some of my machine embroidery stuff for Christmas. Have a good day Rose!

    • Thanks, Terri. It’s always difficult coping with the weight of large quilts. I’ve been making smaller items like hot pads and bags for my craft stalls and it’s quite satisfying to finish projects so quickly. Glad the log cabin quilt came together well for you. Good luck with the snow – at least we don’t have that to worry about.

  10. Hi Rose,
    After making over 100 quilts I keep wondering what you will be coming up with next. You came up with another winner.
    I’m afraid my sewing days are over. My hands are getting worse and I was told that I may need another hand operation for carpal tunnel. Two years ago the surgery was for two trigger fingers. I also fell 3 weeks ago and fractured my hip so it hasn’t been a fun time for me. I’m better now. It’s no fun getting old…I hate it; but you make the best of it and hang in as long as you can.
    P.S. Sorry to sound so glum.
    Enjoy your day and the weekend.

    • Oh Claire I’m so sorry. I’ve missed your comments. So sorry to hear about your hands and your hip – what a time you are having of it. I can remember you having the previous surgery. I hope that it’s successful if they do operate again. My thoughts are with you.

    • Oh no, I’m sorry to read of your I’ll health Claire. Take care x

    • Poor you Claire, must’ve been painful! I know the feeling about getting older, I think I am just about to give up too! My enthusiasm is at an all time low for buying quilting stuff ,I keep thinking got enough junk, hahaha! Keep your spirits up, each time I think poor me I think about people like you that have to go through operations and I perk up as I am a tough old bird now! love to you!!

  11. Thanks, Rose, I love this pattern!

  12. Janis Moorman says:

    That’ a very pretty pattern, Rose. We in the United States will be celebrating Veteran’s Day. It’s a time to thank all the military men and women for their service. I hope I can make this quilt some day. Thanks for sharing the photo.

    Your friend,

    Janis Moorman
    Tyler, TX

    • Hi Janis. Glad you like the quilt. This weekend will certainly be a major event, won’t it – 100 years on. I just wish our weather forecast was better for all the parades that will be taking place on Sunday.

  13. patricia winne says:

    Thank you for this delightful pattern. Stay warm and snuggly.

  14. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    This is a vey pretty and easy quilt. It does look like the birds are heading south. Our weather today and for the weekend is suppose to be ugly also, Rain rain and more rain. And of course cloudy.
    Haven’t really been feeling like sewing or any thing for that matter. I think the weather is affecting me. Going to be a long winter.
    Stay in relax and stay warm this weekend. Happy Quilting

    • Hi Sandra. Sorry to hear that you’re not feeling well. I think these grey, wet days do tend to sap the energy, don’t they. I definitely have more energy when the sun shines. Hope you get some sunshine soon.