I am delighted to see my Tilda Birds quilt looks equally at home on the heirloom couch as it does on our lounge- it’s a keeper! The zigzag edges on the long sides were tedious to figure out and attach but I am so pleased I persevered, it’s now my favourite feature of the quilt.
Tilda Birds was started last year, primarily as a portable English Paper Piecing (EPP) project to stitch while away from home with our children’s sport. The inspiration came from some beautiful Tilda fabric I saw on the Instagram feed of @samanthamackie31 , which worked perfectly with the Tilda birds prints I had purchased a few years ago. I chose the hexagon size to best work with these prints. The design is based around hexie flowers with a Tilda bird as the centre of each. There are two ‘joiner/spacer’ hexies in a neutral crosshatch design added to each flower.
I bought my hexagons from Jodi's shop, Tales of Cloth, here in Australia, they are 1 3/4" as measured along each side. I love Jodi's recycled paper pieces, finding them a great weight to work with.
I chose a Decor pastry storage container to house my project as it was the perfect size and acts as a lap table when stitching away from home. An empty slimline chocolate box works perfect for portable basting as it fits in the pastry storer but can also easily slide into my handbag, just in case I have a little stitching time. Each hexagon was thread basted with a little backstitch through the fabric only at each corner on the back. This way the basting thread can remain in place after popping/pulling out the papers, keeping the back very tidy.
I made my own clear template from stiff clear plastic to assist in centring the birds, allowing me to draw an outline ready for cutting.
The blocks slowly added up to become a nice stack. They were safely stored away in a cupcake container for many months while I turned my attention at completing the long promised Dancing Waters quilt for my good friend Sue, followed by a long term EPP - Ice Cream Soda quilt. Soon I found a rhythm of working with both my newer Cornflower/Joyfully quilt and this Tilda Birds quilt. With more time at home due to COVID, I made the most of the extra stitching time, especially for the less appealing cumbersome stage of sewing the blocks together into a quilt top.
It is my preference to complete any hand quilting during the cooler months, usually of an evening when our dining table is free. Finally all the diagonal quilting lines were completed in one direction and then the other, resulting in a pleasant textured diamond pattern.
The zigzag binding was perhaps the most challenging step as it was very much slower and more tedious than regular straight binding, and I had to figure out how to actually do it. I was very much tempted to cut all those points off at one stage, however it was well worth the extra attention in the end.
Here are the three EPP, hand quilted finishes for this year, along with a glimpse of an outfit I made to wear to our eldest daughter's wedding in June. It really has been a rather rewarding year of finishes, each quilt is rather different in design and colour palette too. I wonder what next year will hold.....definitely some Sunshiny Day with Jodi 😊
Tilda Birds Quilt
Finished quilt measures 55" x 74"
140 cm x 188 cm
Started: May 2019
Finished: October 2020
1 3/4" (1.75") hexagon paper pieces from Tales of Cloth
Cotton fabrics - many by Tilda
Batting: Legacy Bamboo Blend
(50% Viscose Bamboo, 50% Cotton)
Quilting thread: Sulky 12 wt #1071