Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bird on a Crooked Fence

I started this quilt months ago.  I was SO ahead of the game.  Well in advance of our friends' daughter's birthday, I found out that her favorite color was purple and immediately got to work on a quilt.  The design had been bouncing around in my head for ages and I thought it would be perfect for Olivia (friends' daughter). 
Out of the blue, I was thinking about the split rail fence quilt block.  It looks something like this:
Maybe it's just me, but doesn't that look more like a privacy fence? You be the judge...
Clearly, you're all picking privacy.  I'm glad we're on the same page.

So then I sat down to draft my own split rail fence block.  And it quickly turned into a whole quilt!  So here you have it.  My Crooked Fence:
As usual, I pieced the back (remember my creative cutting? Yep, it was for this one!)  I also pieced the label into the back - much easier than trying to do it at the end, but you have to be ready to name your quilt early in the game! 
The piecing and basting went really quickly (even with my setback).  But the quilting took FOREVER!  Because it was a fence, I decided to quilt a wood grain pattern into each rail.  I used the drawing on this blog as a guide at first, then started looking at our cabinets and wood trim when I needed other ideas.
(you can see it best on the back)
some of my favorite "rails"
That's what took forever.  One day I worked on it for about 7 hours and I only got 2-2.5 rows done!  Part of that is because the quilting ends up being relatively dense.  The bigger part of it is that I'm really slow when it comes to this type of quilting.  It's one thing when you can just do some nice random loops or stippling.  But when I have a pattern or lines that I'm sticking to, I take it slow.  (I even used free motion to quilt in the ditch for each rail...the only way for me to learn is to practice, practice, practice!)  Plus, for some of them I marked a rough pattern...and for some of them, I was displeased and ripped my stitches right out! So this is that quilt I've been quilting for weeks.

And then, because I really wanted to name the quilt "Bird on a Crooked Fence," I added a bird!
see it up there? top right? (I know, the yellow doesn't stand out too much in this photo!)
And because my friend Patty taught me how to hand quilt, I had to try it out (plus I thought it would be SO cute for this one!). 
I added a little sun,
I used 1 strand of yellow thread and 1 strand of orange.
some clouds (which are hard to see in the photos since I used light blue thread),

and a little speech bubble for the bird. 

I got so carried away that I did the hand quilting and all of the binding in about 36 hand turned into a claw!  But it was worth it.  It's all packed up a ready to ship out in the morning!

So here are the stats:

SIZE: about 40" x 60"

FABRICS: Tufted Tweets (Laurie Wisbrun), Bird Tree (Saffron Craig), Sandalwood (Amy Butler), Kona solid from Purple People Eater bundle, Go By Bike (Erin McMorris), Bloom (Wodland Delight, Paula Prass)

BATTING: 50% bamboo, 50% organic cotton

BINDING and BACKING: fabrics from JoAnn that I did not note the names of (the darker purple on the back is a Kona...maybe Iris?)

Olivia LOVES to read.  (Hence the bird looking for a bookworm!)  I figure she can use this quilt to lay in the grass and read in the summer, and snuggle up on the couch and read in the winter.  I hope she loves it!!


  1. This quilt is A. Mazing! I love machine and hand quilting details! As someone who also loves to read, I am completely jealous of Olivia and her awesome quilt. :)

  2. This is so beautiful! I've never made a quilt, but I'm hoping to start (very slowly) creating squares toward an eventual crazy quilt this year. I love your design... the bird is fabulous!

  3. I just found this post in your blog and not that the quilt wasn't already special, it's even more now knowing just how much work and thought was put into making it! I'm printing it out for Olivia to keep in her keepsakes box with the note you sent her along with quilt! She loves the quilt and it has become her reading companion.


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