Another block…another nest!

Time to start another block of Civil War Bride.  I almost(!) have enough blocks to sew another row together!!  And you know how excited I get when I can stitch another row together.  So here we go…

First I prepped the branches and stitched them in place.  I used a brown fabric with shocking pink little flowers on it just to give the block a bit of oomph!  (Definition of oomph…An extra push. An ingredient or a factor that will make something better or perfect.)


Next, came the leaves and the nest.  Do you recognize the nest?  You may have seen it here.


So, keep this tip in mind if you are making this quilt.  You can make a couple of nests, audition them both, and use both!  Waste not, want not and all that jazz!

Then, I placed a bird in the branches.


I really like to use Ultra-Suede for the feet and the beaks.  First, I cut 2 triangles for the beaks.  You don’t have to include a seam allowance, except for the part that goes under the body.


I glued  half of the beak in place then trimmed a tiny bit of the corner off.


Then I glued the other half of the beak in place.  I trimmed  a bit of the corner off, also, so that the triangles  would not overlap.  Ultra-Suede is rather thick!  Finally, I put the bird fabric back in place and stitched it in place,  stitching right through Ultra-Suede, and into the background.


On to the feet!  I ironed the freezer paper templates onto the Ultra-Suede.  I am not really sure if there is a wrong side or a right side. They both look good to me!


So I cut the feet out and  placed them under the body.  At this point, the entire body has not been stitched in place yet. When I stitch the Ultra-Suede in place I try to match the color of the thread as closely as I can.  I take just a tiny “bite” of the Ultra Suede and (very important) I don’t pull the thread too tight.  If I do, then the Ultra-Suede looks dimpled along the sewn edge.


Since I wanted this to be a male bird, I added a golden brown wing and tail.  Very manly!


I wanted the second bird to be female, so I chose a pretty fabric for her body and a nice red feather and tail.  I added the eggs to the nest and…Voila!


Til next time…



28 thoughts on “Another block…another nest!

    • I use freezer paper to make my templates. For this technique, the freezer paper templates have to be reversed, so I just flip my pattern over and trace from the wrong side. Next, I iron my templates to the wrong side of the fabrics and cut them out, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Then I apply starch to the seam allowance with a paint brush. Using a stiletto and mini-iron, I press the seam allowance over. Once they have cooled, I remove the freezer paper and stitch to the background. It takes a bit of practice, but I love the results!

  1. I just found your blog and am so happy too your beautiful applique. Also thought thie show and tell of your steps is very helpful. I am also hooked on applique.

  2. I see the sewing machine bobbin with thread; what do you use for thread? Do you keep them all on bobbins? I started with a small zippered sewing case with several dozen colors of cotton threads (mostly Mettler) in pockets. Now, besides those, I have two Bobbin Savers with MasterPiece thread colors on bobbins. I love the MasterPiece bobbins!

    • Oh! You have a good eye! I only use Mettler 60 weight (the one with the green label). I find if my threads are wound onto bobbins, it is so much more portable than carrying around a bunch of spools. I do actually have a few spools of Masterpiece thread. I will give them a try!

  3. I love your step by step pictures and narrative about picking colors for the male and female bird. I too am hooked on needle turn applique. When I get into my quilting projects I’m always afraid I’m going to forget all my applique skills. Love your work.

  4. Hello,

    I just discovered your blog, via the blog, and I feel a bit like a kid in a candy shop. Your work is absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to have the time to read back through all of your old posts, look at the pictures of your work, and benefit from the tips that you share.

    I am writing to ask about the picture that you have in your blog header. Is that appliqué piece an original work? If so, do you have a pattern available? Or is that from a commercially available pattern? I absolutely love those flowers, especially the daffodils. I would love to make a piece like that for myself.

    Thank you for your time and attention to my questions. I look forward to hearing from you soon, and to reading more of your posts.

    Best Regards and Happy Stitching!

  5. Thanks, Jay. Your email made my day!! The quilt block in the header is part of a quilt that is being designed and stitched as we speak!. The quilt will have 16 blocks in total ….4 winter blocks. 4 spring blocks,4 fall and 4 summer. It also has an appliqued outer border. The blocks are about 20″ square, so it will be a big quilt!! Soon you will start to see these blocks in progress on my blog. The patterns will be available for sale in the very near future.

    • Kerry, Hi again! That is wonderful news! I can’t hardly wait to see the other blocks / patterns. In spite of the fact that I will be 47 this summer, when it comes to things such as this (fun new applique patterns, etc.), I am like a five year old little boy waiting for Santa and Christmas. (grin) I shall be anxiously waiting for the patterns to be available for sale. Those gone on my “Must Buy” list. Best Regards and Happy Stiching! Jay (flamingo guy quilter)

  6. I’ve never marked my background fabric. Do you wash the squares before you sew them together? We all have our own process. It’s interesting to read everybodies methods.

  7. Hi Kerry, Thanks for such a great blog that is so helpful both with techniques and inspiration! I have just finished Block 1 of my CWB quilt – such an exciting project and following your advice it is having a little bath in the sink as I type. Once it was soaked I could see from the backside every little white dot of Roxanne Glue-Baste-It. It’s been soaking for several minutes and I still see the spots of glue. Do I soak it until the glue is totally dissolved and no long visible? Good news – no fabrics bled!

    Thank you for all your help!

    • You are welcome! I usually let my blocks soak for about an hour. One time I went out and forgot about my block soaking in the sink. I came home and realized it had been soaking for 3 hours! I know what you mean about the dots of glue. Sometimes I swish the block around with my hand just to help remove the glue.
      I try to remove all of the glue before I take the block out of the water. Hope this helps!

      • I was nervous soaking my block, but after an hour or two of soaking, swishing, rinsing, ALL the glue was gone! I just needed to give it some time. I blocked it and am very happy with it. Now on to the next block. Love your applique and your blog. Now I need to start searching for Ultra Suede so I’ll be ready for those beaks and feet.
        Have a lovely day. Becky

      • Hi Becky: So glad everything worked out! I was a nervous wreck the first time I washed my block. Someone mentioned that they bought packages of Ultra-Suede on ebay. I bought an assorted package when I was at the Applique Academy last year. I don’t think it should be that hard to find. Keep Stitching!!

  8. About Ultra-Suede: I, too, thought I could just buy some at JoAnn’s. Then I remembered in my junk sewing notion drawer that I have some black and brown elbow patches made of ultra suede – used to extend the life of a man’s sport coat. I don’t know if they still sell them, but that could be a good source for bird feet!

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