Sunday, January 1, 2017

It's All About the Cardinals and KofB #12

Happy New Year! Wishing everyone good health, good friends, and safety in 2017.

QS informed me this quilt needs cardinals - the favorite birds of our sister and grandmother. I'm not sure how they will fit in but know I need them on hand before sewing the vine. Since my drawing skills are lacking {or at least my confidence in those skills is lacking} I combed the web for easy bird outlines. The final two choices were:
  1. Beth Donaldson posted a number of free quilt blocks from old newspapers, including the Cedar Waxwing and Hermit Thrush.
  2. There are too many "bird on a wire" silhouettes to list. Best thing? Very few have legs... and they look good. That should make it easier.
  3. EDIT: How could I forget Barb's bird when it's part of her blog header? Love the way she added part of the wing in silhouette.
It took the whole evening to draft simple cardinals. I planned to cut the crest off some for other birds or perhaps draft hummingbirds.

Cardinal Silhouette templates ready to use

My t-shirt quilt friend sent the beautiful flowers for Christmas. The bouquet contains lilies, carnations, and roses with special additions of pine and bright red berries. The berries are "the berries." Perfect. What a kind gesture.

Looking at the quilt top again, my cardinals are too fat. Those toile birds are sleek and streamlined. Back to the drawing board.

In case I change my mind, I placed a pdf of the cardinal template  on the Tutorial page downloading. Let me know if there are problems. This is my first attempt at pdfs in Blogger.

Streamlined toile bird silhouettes

At 6.75" this border is more narrow than I hoped. I'm not sure how to curve the vine and also avoid tiny leaves on the outer curve. {Like most beginners} my eye is caught by the most elaborate applique. Quite beyond my expertise.

Possible vine ideas were distilled to simpler, diffuse ones that might better fit the style of my quilt.
  1. The border on Stamp of Approval by Tonya Alexander. Easy curved vine, nice big leaves, yoyo berries. Now I wonder if the leaves are too fat. They match my chubby cardinals but everything may need to go on a diet.
  2.  Is there a way I can incorporate Susan McCord's string pieced leaves? Their longer, skinnier style matches trim birds.
  3. Quilted with Grace posted her first hand applique. I love the multicolored leaves and the groups of berries on this vine.
  4. Of course, Aunt Millie's Garden by Piece o'Cake has two beautiful vine borders. The first is too wide for my border but the narrower is a charming way to make leaf-like flowers.
  5. Jan Hutchison made a quilt from Applique Affair by Edyta Sitar. Jan's second photo shows a section with only a few leaves, a bud, some berries and a bird. Hmm. All the elements I want.
After rereading parts of Collaborative Quilting by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston, I cut my vine fabric 1.5" before folding. The final width ranges from one-half to five-eighths inches.

I pinned it in a very curvy fashion. Too curvy for the relatively narrow border so it will be changed next week. I think diffuse leaves all the same size will be a good first vine.

This vine is too curvy for the border width.

How do spiderwebs fit with butterflies? I designed the triangles of the webs with my kaleidoscope ruler. Weak, but there it is.

Want something a bit more butterfly-y? Janie at Crazy Victoriana pointed me to Missouri Star Quilt Company's latest YouTube video, Easy Strip Butterflies. It looks like a great way to use some remnants. I see a baby quilt in the near future.

Enjoy the day, Ann


11 comments:

  1. did my fat little cardinals influence you lol?? I love cardinal red, that brilliant glowing shade of red, pointy litty heads... Good design takes the time it needs to refine a look. Take your time, refine, redraw, til you are satisfied. Sometimes the smallest angle of line can change the whole gesture or feeling a line drawing has. It is not a fast process but it's satisfying. Then there is the style you are going for, stylized? Realistic? Abstraction?
    LeeAnna

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    1. They did although my sister's nagging was the catalyst. ;-)
      I like the chubby ones but think they should look a bit different on this quilt. You are a role model for working through sketches. I'm trying to consider a bit rather than barreling through each step. We'll see how long that lasts.

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  2. What's wrong with fat cardinals? Just kidding. Here in New Hampshire I've seen some well fed cardinals, I think they need the extra calories to endure the cold!
    I do enjoy reading your thought process, whether you choose skinny or fat.

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    1. I liked the fatties but they are a different style than the birds on the toile. A bit more Disney cartoon. Snow White is around the corner. They'd be good on another quilt.
      Do they cardinals stay with you all winter?

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    2. They're here and seem to be enjoying themselves.

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  3. I don't think you need leaves on both sides of the vine all the way along. As long as you fill the space, pretty much. The chubby cardinals are cute, maybe they will find a different home!

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    1. True, Monica. I don't want the vine to look like it was buzzcut, though! Perhaps those cardinals will find a home sometime. It's worth saving the templates anyway.

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  4. I think the important thing is that it looks right to you! And don't try to fill up every part of the vine with leaves etc. Just do enough this first time to get the feel you want. You can go more elaborate the 'next' time! lol

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. I'm not sure what will look right to me but it's interesting to work on one aspect at a time. The cardinals need to be ready before setting the leaves. Otherwise there may not be large enough gaps. (I'm pleased I thought of this ahead of time.)
      Simpler will be better for now. As you say, I can work my way to elaboration.

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  5. I love the string pieced leaves...and they'd look good with your spiders' webs. If you go for that sort of option, you'll probably find it easier to press the seams open. Another idea that might inspire you is to appliqué fewer leaves, but quilt some in the spaces instead. I did that on a cushion I made a while back and it was pretty effective (although the cushion's a bit ott for my liking, but it was a gift!) http://www.dawnchorusstudio.com/a-little-bird-told-me/ x

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  6. Oops, too late. I will hopefully have a new post next month for my butterfly quilt!

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