Alicia from Two Kids and a Blog is a self-taught sewist with a busy, crafty life. Learn all about Alicia in her introduction, and let a little spring happiness inside your home with Alicia’s easy crib-sized quilt design!
I’m Alicia and I am usually over at Two Kids and a Blog talking about sewing, crafts and parenting. I’m happy to be here sharing a really fun crib-sized quilt top for spring I call Birds of a Feather. This is an appliqued quilt top that is fairly quick and easy to put together.
For this project you will need eight fat quarters. I chose three different teal and coral fat quarters, plus two coordinating white fat quarters.
You will also need coordinating thread and iron-on adhesive. I recommend the adhesive that you can still sew over because you don’t want to clog the inner workings of your machine with goop from adhesive!. As you can see I am also using a golden accent thread for the final detailing.
To start you will simply make two cuts to each fat quarter. The first cut will be along the bottom; you will want to end up with one 14.5″ square and two “scrap” pieces. So measure 14.5″ down and then cut the remainder off the bottom. Then create a 14.5″ square by turning the piece and again cutting 14.5″ down. You should be left with three pieces, as pictured below.
Cut all of your fat quarters into these three pieces. The large pieces will be the foundation pieces for the block. Set those aside until you are ready to add the birds or feathers.
The quilt top has six bird squares and two feather squares. For the quilt pictured I am using two teal birds, two coral birds and two white birds. I have also done one teal feather and one coral feather. The second largest piece of the fat quarter is big enough to cut two birds and four small feathers. And the smallest piece is the right size to cut a large feather. Once you have decided which colored pieces you are going to use to make the birds and feathers, you will go ahead and iron the iron on adhesive to the wrong side of the fabric pieces. I find it is easiest to do this before you have cut out the template, otherwise I always seem to end up with a sticky mess; I deal with the small amount of waste that results from doing this step first. And then print and cut out the PDF Template Pieces.
Trace all of the pieces onto the paper side of the adhesive. Remember that the finished bird will be going the opposite way of what you trace. I flipped the bird over halfway through so that I have some birds facing one way and some the other. Remember you need six birds, six small feathers, and two large feathers.
Next you will go ahead and cut everything out using a sharp pair of scissors. I like to lay everything out so I can see what the finished product will be like and make sure I like the color placement. This way you can switch everything around. (Once it is ironed in place there is no going back!)
Once you like the placement go ahead and iron everything into place. You could use heavy duty iron-on adhesive and be done but I have a thing about needing to sew it in place to make sure that it is secure, and also I like to add fun details with the stitching, so on we march!
Sew the bird into place by going around the edge of the bird with a matching thread. I used a zig zag stitch for this one.
Then go around the smaller feather with a straight stitch in gold thread. Next sew up the middle of the feather to create the shaft. And for the last fun detail on the feather I did lots of little lines along one side to really give it a feather-like feel.
To finish off the bird I used a fabric paint stick to draw on a gold beak and then I sewed a big white button on for an eye. (You might want to leave the button off until after you have assembled your entire quilt because it would be hard to machine quilt over a button, but this tutorial is only for the top and I wanted to show you the finished product. Also be aware that buttons should not be used for a quilt for a child aged three or under due to chocking hazards.)
For the large feather square I replicated the small feather details. I went around the feather in a straight stitch using the gold thread and then created the feather shaft and wisps by going back and forth again in a straight stitch.
This quilt top has two columns of four squares each. For the best looking assembly we will work in quarters. Sew these squares together: the top left two, the top right two, the bottom left two, and the bottom right two.
Now you have four rectangles, just like the one pictured above. Attach the top two rectangles together the bottom two together. You want to take special care to line up the seams here; you can always square up the top or bottom edge but you cannot fix the point where everything meets without ripping all the seams and starting again. Be sure to pin the spot pictured very securely.
You can see how nicely the corners meet when you take extra care to line the pieces up.
Now you have two squares. Sew them together. Be sure to press and square your pieces after each round of sewing to leave you with a polished and sharp-looking finished piece. Now your quilt top is complete! This is the perfect size for a crib or toddler bed, and after you add a back and bind it it will be the perfect addition to any toddler’s room!