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Quilt-Along Mini Project: Tiny Wreath + Birds = A Quilted Picture!

Quilt-J:  Quilt-Along Mini Project

There’s nothing like a deadline to stimulate my brain cells. Last week I had to devise a birthday gift for a dear friend and, lucky for me, I had both time at my disposal (a couple hours for a few consecutive mornings while a contractor worked at my home) and I had a handy box of scraps from our Blackbirds & Blossoms Oh-La-La Quilt-Along.

Since my birthday buddy quite liked the wreath I made for the center block of the Quilt-Along, I decided to design a scaled-down version and work out some of the construction ideas that I rushed through the first time around. Now I’m not going to supply detailed instructions here, I riffed on the process and I think you’ll be able to as well. (Click here for  the instructions for the original wreath block.) I started with a square of linen about 12 x 12 inches. The wreath base is 8 inches in diameter and about 2 inches wide.

First, I auditioned my floral scraps and trimmed some circles to more appropriate sizes for the reduced scale of the wreath.

Then I removed the blossoms and worked on the layout of the greenery. (I didn’t change the leaf sizes or the stem widths from the original instructions.) Once I decided on the layout, I fused the greenery and added stitched details with variegated green thread.

Back to blossom placement:  Turns out I had some empty spaces once I replaced the flowers and so I had to find a design solution.

No worries there, turns out the perfect answer was sitting in my stash: an Echino bird print from designer Etsuko Furuya. I added decorative stitches once all the remaining pieces were fused into place.

Quilt-J:  Quilt-Along Mini Project

Now I wanted this little quilt to look like a piece of wall art–a drawing surrounded by a white matte– so I had to build the quilt sandwich very carefully to retain the flatness of each layer. I adapted some of Darra’s techniques from her clever postcard quilts.

I sewed 3-inch white linen border strips to the wreath block (side to side, then top and bottom); stay stitched raw edges; trimmed and rolled up all stray threads; and then fused the bordered block to a relatively stiff interfacing.Then I fused the backing fabric to wool batting and fused that layer to the interfaced layer. I finished the quilt with the faced binding and anchoring corners you see above.

That’s a detailed view of the finished front–my goal was a pared down, clean-lined look.

Here’s the birthday label:  if I’d actually thought ahead, I would’ve stitched the label to the backing before I fused all the layers together for a more polished finish. Oh well!

Here ya go:  a slighted crooked image of the finished mini wreath quilt. It’s about 20 x 20 inches.

Giveaway Winners Here!

Wow! Yoko Saito adoration is spreading . . . I love the enthusiastic reception for her pattern line and I’m certain World Book Media is happy as well to hear such positive reactions from fans. The winners are Judy C., Jane from MA, Julie Boster, Jacqueline, and Kay. Congratulations all! Do share photos of your handiwork!

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