A quilted finish: PMQG Medallion Quilt

As a 2014 officer for Portland Modern Quilt Guild I had the opportunity to work and collaborate with a bunch of amazing people. My fellow officers were awesome and I am happy to call them friends. One of the coolest things we did for the guild this year was to design a medallion quilt for an alternative to a block of the month program. It worked really well and we have almost 20 finished quilts hung up at our December party and I know there are more out there to be finished in 2015.

I'm gonna be honest here, if I wasn't an officer I probably wouldn't have taken this project on, but I am so happy that I did! The pace was just perfect with just one new boarder each month and I started it with the intention of it being just for me so I chose fabrics that were my favorite. 

Making this quilt throughout the year taught me so much about my own personal quilting style. I am now 100% sure about the colors that speak to me and patterns I'm drawn to. There are my favorite vintage fabrics in there and lots of DS Quilts; this quilt is so much me and I love it.

To finish I straight-line-quilted it with an all over grid 2" apart on the diagonals. And thanks to precise piecing lines match up! I backed it with a vintage sheet and a line of yellow gingham to bring it up to size. 

This is the first quilt to be able to live on our bed but for bittersweet reasons. Our kitty of 14 years passed away over Christmas. I was unable to put a quilt on the bed because she would claw things. It was in her final days I finished the binding and put the quilt on our bed. I know, sad face. 

My final quilt of 2014 turned out to be my best quilt ever and set me up nicely for 2015. Happy New Year! 


A quilted finish: Early Americana

Hello there, I will say it. It has been a while since I sat to write a blog post about my quilty endeavors. It is too much fun to just sew and there has been much to be sewn! Lots of quilts got finished and I hope to share them all in due time but the first and most rewarding was the quilt I made for my mother-in-law that she commission me to design and make.

It started last year she asked me to make her a queen sized quilt for her beautiful Amish sleigh bed. I happily accepted and we picked out a basic pattern (she was drawn to an Irish chain) and then we went to Fabric Depot and selected a palate of blue, green, red and tan. I choose the white to make the other shades pop.

To design the quilt I use a very basic program called Quilt! 1-2-3, it allows you to form a very traditional layout with blocks, sashing and borders. Once you have a layout you can select blocks to put in the quilt and then it gives you a cutting guide to make the block. Very simple but handy for designing and getting the quilt math right!

I slowly sewed the blocks together until I had a 90"x83" quilt top! The backing for the quilt was picked out on our trip to Fabric Depot but when I went there to buy it they didn't have the 9 yards I needed for a solid backing. Luckily the good folks at Fabric Depot ordered me up a new bolt. But before I could quilt it I had to de-thread the back. Necessary evils. Like flu shots or DMV stuff.

Quilting a gigantic quilt like this was not gonna happen on my trusty Viking 830. Another stroke of luck was that my wonderful friend and guild mate Nancy just happens to own an amazing quilting studio where I was able to rent time on a long arm machine! That was an experience I will not forget! Nancy helped me load it onto the quilt frame and I was ready to go!

When I went in to quilt - I had a plan. I had been researching quilting patterns and found one that fit the shape of the quilt white space and went well with a simple corner to corner filler pattern for the rest of the blocks. I really wanted those white middle blocks to shine in the quilting. I think I got it. My side fillers are really fun to, they remind me of 1950's future star shape.

I quilted it in 5 hours, just before my MIL's plan landed at PDX. I hurriedly made binding for it - in that great red French General by Moda - and spent our vacation with her stitching the binding down here and there. I think she saw how much time goes into a quilt. It is mind boggling what we do sometimes. But each stitching is worth the results.

She took it back home with her on the plane to NY and it now lives in her bedroom on that beautiful bed keeping her and her man nice and warm.

It feels nice to write again;


Blue Bird Sews List of FAL Q: 3

Hello! I haven't done a FAL in quite a while, but with what I have on my plate I need a bit of accountability and encouragement! Last year I made a challenge to myself to not start any new projects but finish up all the WIPs I had laying around. At that point I had 10 or so. Way to many for my brain to handle, so I whittled it down and I am proud to say I have only 1 quilt top from that original list to finish.
It is a big quilt top and I am taking it to a long-arm machine and finishing it myself. That is why it has taken me so long to finish it - I have a hard time allowing myself the time to go and get it done. But not this quarter! This is on the top of the pile now! I even have backing done and a batting for it!

Next up is a vintage top my grandma found and gave to me. It's a hand pieced pinwheel kinda thing and I love it even though it has seen better days. I am hoping a lot of quilting will bring it back to its original glory. I have a backing and batting ready to quilt this at home.

My guild, PMQG has lots of charity quilts going on and I took one home to finish up. The blocks are part of the 2013 BOM we did, and it made an X plus quilt top.  I made a backing for it and cut the batting to the right size. It's not that big, 46" square and I am ready to quilt it on my home machine in a free motion design.

Then there is the matter of these two mini quilts. I really want to get them both quilted up and done before they get lost in time! I just love how they turned out after playing with Patchwork Please paper pieced flower block and some fun colors.

Notice a theme here; lots of quilting! That's why I need some motivation to finish all these, it might get a bit tedious to just quilt for the next 3 months! I do have a few other piecing things to work on but just a few. We will see how it goes! Good luck everyone!

Finish Along 2014



Summertime Photo Bomb!

Hello Blog! It's been a while! Sorry for the gathering dust around here. I have been busy gardening, sewing lots for PMQG and doing lots as the secretary for Portland Modern Quilt Guild this year too! Add in working on a queen sized mother-in-law quilt and taking care of a certain 4 year-old plus a husband who works 10-12 hours a day in the summer time. Once I lay it all out like that I can understand where all my time goes to! And it's all worth it because in between all that this has been happening:

Hexagon quilt made by my great aunties that hangs
at my Grandmothers house. 

He got a bike for his birthday and has
been loving the rides!

I got to cut into this Lotta Jansdotter fabric Mormor for a special project.

A big part of summer in my garden is the raspberries,
so many raspberries! Steve made me a trellis this year.

I discovered sewing outside while my little one plays in the pool.
A perfect summer day in my book. 

PMQG is got a fabric challenge with Monaluna Organic Fabrics!
We are making Ohio Star blocks, yum!

I got inspired by some flowers and made
this fabric bundle which I am playing
with for a special little mini-quilt!

I love my garden!

Another PMQG goodie! We are making a medallion quilt and I am
loving the bright quilt this is becoming. Each month the officers have
designed a border to add. 

Could he get any cuter? Love this kid!

Here's me and the hubby enjoying some family fun!

Quilt burrito! 
I hope you are enjoying your summer to the fullest! I have got some good ideas now for future blog posts from these photos. We need a bit more in-depth about these projects now don't we!

What has your summer been like? Any plans for fun?



Mini Quilt Finishes for PMQG

Hello there! I admit it, I have been on Instagram sharing away the sewing, gardening and even my adorable little guy and hardly even checking in over here. I succumbed to the IG bandwagon, and it's really fun! So no apologies, just come on over and find me there, it's bluebirdsews

So I've got a couple of mini quilt finishes for you today. Both were made for challenges run through my awesome guild, Portland Modern Quilt Guild

The first was sponsored by Michael Miller, they provided us with a new line: Glitz. I wasn't in love with the fabrics to start with but that's what a challenge is all about; using something that is a bit out of your comfort zone.

I knew I wanted to make a paper pieced block for my mini and so I hopped on over to quilterscache and chose Wild Zinnias. It has an art deco feel to it with the gold metallic and the sharp edges. I finished it with simple straight line quilting echoing the design. It measures 13" square. 

The second challenge is sponsored by Robert Kaufman they sent PNW guilds another metallic fabric but this has a much more natural look to it. I had a plan for it but was diverted when I got an idea in my head for a circle block using a wedge template. The moon idea popped into my head one night just before bed and when the deadline was extended a few days I jumped in a whipped this up in a just a couple days. It measures 25" round.

The best part about this quilt is the binding. I made it match the design of the quilt having black at the edge too. I really like that little bit. Quilting is simple straight line in the ditch between each wedge. 

I enjoyed the challenge of the two quite different fabrics. Our guild has a couple more challenges coming up and am looking forward to tackling those too. I think I've got a plan for the MQG fabrics, now just waiting for a chance to stitch them up between everything else going on. 
What are you working on?


Bloggers Quilt Festival: Rainbow Scrappy Log Cabin

Hello there! My name is Kelly and I like to quilt, sew pretty much everything, garden and share with you here at my blog and more recently lots of pictures on Intagram. The Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side is such a cool way to see other quilts and meet other quilters. So thanks for stopping by and let me tell you about my quilt!

I'm entering my ROYGBIV: Rainbow Scrappy Log Cabin Quilt. 
Measurements: 76" x 82"
Quilting: Free Motion on my Husqvarna 830 sapphire 
Thread: Aurifil cotton white 
Fabric: Lots of scraps spanning lots of years
Design: My own log cabin improv

So a couple years ago I went through a big rainbow thing. Everything I was making had to be rainbow colors and that's how this quilt started. One block that was rather large and I fell in love with. I pondered making a pillow with it, so I made another block for the back. And then I couldn't stop making rainbow log cabin blocks from my scraps.

I had made six and sewn them together with white sashing in between to separate the blocks. I showed it to my husband and he commented it needed to be bigger. And I had to agree with him. There's nothing worse than toes sticking out of a quilt - am I right?!

So I stitched up a few more blocks and eyeballed the whole thing together. This is what is so magical to me about this quilt is that I did no measuring at all. I just cut and sewed, cut more, sewed more. It was so low pressure with such beautiful results.

Once it was all patch-worked together I free motion quilted it on my home machine using aurifil thread and a lot of patience. You can work a quilt this big at home, it just takes some tenacity. I used this quilt to test out quilting designs so it's a big 'ol sampler of stitches in every way possible.

The last parts of the quilt are backing and binding and both are vintage. The rainbow vintage sheet I found at a thrift store was perfectly meant to be and then the black polka dot binding was from my grandma's vintage stash - and polka dot binding is my personal favorite.

Some quilts you make for others, for work, for charity but this quilt was made just for me. It is one of my most favorite things I have ever made and I hope you liked it too! Thanks again for stopping in to Blue Bird Sews. Let me know what you thought of the quilt and tell me about your favorite thing you've ever made.



Sewing Clothes: Lakeside PJ's

I returned to some selfish sewing over the past weekend and completed a set of Lakeside PJ's. These pj's are a perfect fit right off the pattern from Grainline Studio and I love them!
The construction uses lots of bias binding, but that means no hemming! Kind cool.

Here is a view of the back. I really like how it opens up back here, allows for lots of movement when sleeping. This is my first pair of sleeping shorts and I am leaving pants forever. No bunching up in the covers. Genius!

 I didn't take a photo but trust me when I say the inside seams are gorgeously finished with my serger; so quick and lovely.
I'm already dreaming up the next pair in a super soft vintage cotton with pretty little yellow flowers. So perfect. Maybe I'll get back to selfish sewing this weekend.


linking to crazy mom quilts finish it up friday. 
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