(Bird)winging it

Have you seen the Round Robin Winter Wonderland QAL over at Patchwork Posse? And have you spotted the wonderful paper piecing block of a cardinal sitting on a branch by Kristy of Quietplay?
Kristy asked me to be a pattern tester a while back. I immediately thought of turning these blocks into something for my aunt who loves these birds. I was going to visit her and her husband very soon and I wanted these blocks to become a present.  I could not show you the photos of this project before, as they are two of my followers, and of course I did not want to give the surprise away!
Last week I finally had the time to make some more of the tree branch blocks.
As spring has finally kicked in over here, I wanted to add some leaves to the branches… but I did not have any supplies for applique. So, I winged it a bit… I pinned some leaf-shaped pieces of fabric to the paper piecing blocks. As the blocks still had all the paper on the back, I assumed  that the paper would stabilize it all so I could sew the leaves on. And it worked! I used a monofilament to attach the leaves to the blocks because I had no idea at that moment what would be the next step. Yeee-ha for improvisation! 😉
I first decided to do some hand quilting over the edges of the leaves, but I changed my mind. On other blogs I had seen these applique pieces with sketchy sewing on top and I was smitten  with the “linear quality” that it added ( 😉 sorry, art teacher-mode kicked in)
I choose a minty green thread to outline the leave and add some pattern in the branches. And one thing lead to another…. From paper piecing to thread painting! LOL!!!
Of course the little bird needed some more thread too!
I stippled the sky and used pebbling for the “wall” around the window pane. I found it very interesting to play around with a highly figurative blocks instead of more geometric shapes like stars or my set of bow patterns.
I think I will try this thread painting technique again in the future, but I will start with all applique instead of sewing on paper pieced blocks. It is a bit of a waste of time to work on those when thread painting over them later, but it sure was fun to try it out!
When the whole thing was quilted I concluded that the beak of the bird needed some black thread and an eye was also missing!
I thought you might get a kick of seeing the back too!
Looking back through all of my pictures I kind of like the clean lines of the paper pieced blocks without any quilting, but I also am enamored by the thread “drawing”.  I may try playing with the contrast of these techniques next to each other.
I turned this panel into a pillow, 20 x 20 inches.
So… ta ta ta DA!
Here is it!
I can proudly say that my aunt and uncle were happy to receive this pillow.  It now ” lives” in a comfy chair near the window that looks out at the bird feeder were every morning the cardinals fight the squirrels for the food.
I am linking up with Crazymomquilts for “Finish it Up Friday”, “TGIFF” and Confessions of a fabric addict for “Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?” when their blogposts are up!
Have a fabulous weekend!

44 thoughts on “(Bird)winging it

  1. I so love thread ‘painting/drawing’ and you accomplished it beautifully! I do like the results of paper piecing as opposed to applique. The design is more totally ‘fused’ in to the whole piece. I, also, don’t think anything is lost by adding the thread detailing on top of the paper piecing. Such a lovely finish and a wonderful gift! Hugs, Doreen

    • Hi Doreen, Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the applique versus paper piecing issue. This was my first try at applique so I really do not have a real reference point. I will sure try all of the techniques again in the future and maybe than I will have a better understanding of what looks best. Thanks !

  2. Esther, I think I like this one even better than all the others. The thread painting is phenomenal! Congratulations on another beautiful project. Ann

  3. this should get a double whoop whoop! all that detail is amazing. many hours spent hang stitching i’m sure but it leaves you with a beautiful finish!

    • Hi Julie! I like taking many “in between pictures”. It helps me remember how I have done certain things and I also enjoy seeing the project progress! Thank you visiting my blog!

    • Hello Elspeth! It is nice to meet you! Thank you for your nice comment! I hope you have a great weekend! We are off to the beach now for some much needed “sun-therapy” 😉

  4. What a wonderful piece! I love all your thread painting. How did you do that? Did you just drop the dogs and then free-motion sew?

  5. What a transition – from paper pieced to art quilted to pillow. I love the detail you added with the quilting. The cardinal really comes alive with the art quilting detail you added. Inspiring use of quilting!

    Also – I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Liebster Award – these little awards can be silly – but the main goal is to pass on the word about great blogs that are smaller and that we love. Here is the link for my post: http://goosiesmom.blogspot.com/2013/05/goosies-momaccepts.html

    Have fun!

    • Hi Britt! Thank you both for the kind words and the nomination. I was awarded the Liebster Award not that long ago! It is so much fun to receive a second nomination so soon! I will answer your questions in one of the next posts! I do not know if I can can come up with a few more blogs to recommend, but I will sure try!
      Bye bye!

  6. You do such beautiful work Esther!! Your cardinal is definitely a mini piece of art and went to live in such a perfect place!

    • Hi Gina! I have the cutest photo’s of cardinals ( and a few squirrels LOL ) in the birdfeeder over here… Will show them soon!
      Thanks for dropping by!

  7. Pingback: What to make of it? | ipatch

  8. Pingback: Catching up | ipatchandquilt

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