My sewing recently has been sporadic, with a couple of projects in the works. This one I began before last Autumn Jubilee, and put aside as I just couldn’t come up with a good idea. The bird panels are not that big, so they will need some kind of alternate block to fill out the project. I have lots of the birdhouse fabric, and thought it went well with the bird images.

I began by cutting the panels apart, and trimming the white space.

I have six panels ready to go. But now what? They are pretty small.

I laid them out on the birdhouse print, thinking I’d just cut alternate blocks from the fabric. This is still pretty small, less than 24 inches square. Not even big enough for a lullaby quilt.

Well, how about a table runner? I could put three facing the edge on both sides.

Meh, neither of these choices seemed that great. Maybe I should make some pieced blocks to go with the birds? So I got out my ruler to measure the size of an alternate block. Why did it not dawn on me until now that the panels are not square? I’ll need to add sidebars if I go that route.

At that point, I just put it aside as one of the very few UFOs I have. I went on to Autumn Jubilee and didn’t look at this again until now. I still am not really inspired to finish this project, but I do not like having UFOs.

In the interim, I have these lovely blue and yellow fabrics, and wanted to use them up in a project for Stashbusters. Alas, they are also a UFO at this point. I got some of the strips sewn, then had to set it aside for Quadrille.

The final reporting for Stashbusters will be on Friday, and the grand prize drawing will be this coming Sunday evening. So get your totals together and be ready to comment with your numbers on Friday.

I made progress on Quadrille over the holiday weekend, and I should be ready to start that mystery quilt-along on the following Friday. Now I have all that math to do! I really do like giving participants choices on what size works best for them. Today will be a rainy day, perfect for binge watching the second season of Firefly Lane on Netflix and getting progress made on multiple projects.

What are you sewing this week?

38 thoughts on “Piddling

  1. Susan

    I am not sewing anything this week as I am still recovering from kidney stone surgery. However, I thought of an idea for your birds. You could turn them into placemats, hot pads or use just a few in a table runner or topper.

  2. Julie

    I think I have a bird panel that’s similar & it’s still waiting for inspiration too, although I do have something in mind somewhere. I’m finishing blocks from a partial layer cake I dug up while sorting fabric. Another comfort quilt is about to be born.

  3. Betsy Pompi

    I’m sewing a UFO today. I have lots of UFO’s unfortunately. It will be a rainy day in Ohio too, and I am looking forward to time in my sewing room.

  4. I like the birds. I would probably make a table topper or mat. I have a hard time making quilts with panels. These are beautiful. I do the same, come to a screeching halt when I just cannot decide.

  5. Why does a quilt block have to be square. With your talent and and your ability with math you can design a rectangular block the same size as the beautiful bird blocks.

  6. Marcia

    I received that panel as a gift several years ago but haven’t done anything with it yet.
    I plan to do attic windows around it since when it is together it appears that all that bird activity is in one tree. I was inspired by one on Pinterest.
    It’s on that bucket list!

  7. Carole, I can commiserate with you re: the bird blocks. I have two such panels of blocks and have been revisiting them every now and then to try to come up with some kind of project. I am leaning toward a smaller wall hanging as a gift to two friends who love birds. Re: UFOs…I have 7 quilting projects and 3 scrapbooking projects. One of my New Year’s resolutions (I have several) is to finish one UFO per month. Time to get started!

  8. Pam H.

    About the bird panels-how about window panes, or even a double window pane in tan/brown like the trees or birdhouses? I’m finishing up a QOV.

  9. Diane D

    Your bird fabrics are so pretty! I have done only 2 quilts using a big panel, but I have made a couple of table runners with gnome squares this fall. As for the Stash Buster challenge this year…well, I didn’t do a good job keeping track this year. Are you going to doing it again this year?

  10. I don’t work with panels much, but your birds appealed to me, probably because we like to watch the birds at our house, too. The fabric you have to go with them is pretty, too. One of your other commenters mentioned placemats – I might go that route if I was working on this one. I guess I’d better think about my December Stashbusters and year-end totals!

  11. I’m finishing up the behind the scenes touches to kick off my own quilt along on Friday. Computer work and planning takes a lot of time and effort doesn’t it? I hope you can puzzle together something that inspires you with the bird panels and birdhouse print. I certainly understand not wanting to have UFOs (I tend to only work on one or a few projects at a time for that very reason).

  12. Patricia Evans

    I have two of those bird panels (thought mine has 12 sections). As Marcia said, they were meant to be sewn together to form birds sitting in a tree. The blocks are laid out so that when the seams are sewn, the branches match up. There was a line of coordinating fabrics and the following year a panel with one with bird houses was released. I bought the panel thinking to make na gift for a friend who named her guest the bird room, but never got around to making it.

  13. Love the bird blocks, but understand your dilemma! Once I read Marcia’s comment about making an attic windows quilt using those blocks, it occured to me that adding a few ‘views’ of what is outside would be great. How about using the fabric on the bolt for the back (and/or some for the borders)? You could use bird houses, tree branch fabrics that have leaves similar to those with the birds, a couple of ‘views’ further away which could be other properties, wooded or water scenes, etc. The trick would be making sure what you put in those windows is in proportion to those birds (homes in the distance would be much smaller, woods in the distance would be somewhere in between, etc.). Good luck!

  14. Ah yes, piddling it is. I sew about 4 seams a day…hope the rainy day inspires a bit more for me today. Anxious to see your Quadrille plan. I think my list is already long enough, but you never know when inspiration will say just do it!

  15. Joan Sheppard

    I’m going to be giggling all day – “piddling”. I started a quilt that takes 1/2 sq. triangles. But the left brain did not kick in and I made double the number needed. It’s not going to be a baby quilt anymore! But love the birds and the background, keep us posted. Thanks

  16. Rita Harley

    I usually don’t like bird prints …but the fabric you chose to go with the panel is really pretty !
    I recently bought some fabric with tiny little “birdie” foot prints …..came in various background solids …
    Maybe strips of something like that …connecting all your “squares” to make a larger lap quilt ???

  17. Those little bird blocks could become postcards or maybe make them into eyeglass cases for Safelight bags. Another idea is a center block for a placemat with several borders around them. I would be hard pressed to pull those into a bigger quilt. I’m’ not great at working with panels and prints like that. I tend to look for little projects to use something like that.

  18. Helen Glover

    Happy New year Carole! I too have that bird panel because I have just about every bird panel ever made! Love me some birds!! Do let us know what you decide to do with it. I am leaning heavily toward the attic window pattern. I do love looking at my birds and this would use them in a way I think I could enjoy on my wall somewhere. So glad you shared this one. Rainy and stormy here today. But not a sewing day. It’s a catch-up day for me. Soooooo far behind with the house. Have a good one!

    1. NikiB

      I bought some fabric for my guest bedroom. I had a pattern in mind, now I will wait for the quadrille. I hope it will work! Kind of blew up my stash busters report for this week!

  19. Sue Hoover

    I hope to be working on the outer border of Sting-X and finishing the December block for the BOM at my local quilt shop. I’m looking forward to starting Quadrille!

  20. lee

    The bird prints lovely! Will love to see what you create with them. I am working on finishing some embroidery and adding two quilt blocks to make a bell pull for my sisters birthday, which is in Feb but with working my time is limited.

  21. Tina W in Oregon

    I like the idea of window panes so you see all the birds at once in the same tree. Or how about log cabin-like blocks with courthouse square connecting blocks? Will be fun to play with.

  22. jrp53

    You could cut the birds and use them as broderie purse applique on a bigger block? I love the background fabric too!

  23. Susan Salo

    Like everyone else I have that panel too! Great ideas here. I ‘d originally planned a wallhanging but maybe placemats will be the way to go for me. We use them all the time so I’m making quite a few nowadays.

  24. Loris Mills

    Happy New Year, Carole 🙂
    I have that bird panel. I just sewed thin brown print sashing and border so it looks a bit like looking out a a tree with a dozen little families in it. I have it on my design wall which is now just for the cats enjoyment 😉

  25. Shirley

    Well, this may not be the page but giving my stash buster numbers here.
    Dec. in 6 yards
    Dec. out a queen size 2-1/2″ scrappy Irish chain top -approx. 3-4 yards, 5 yards for table runners, 9 yards for back of D.I.C works out to about 18 yda out.
    YTD IN : 160
    YTD OUT: 157
    woo-hoo almost a even trade. 🙂

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