House Proud

Materials

  • Green and peach scraps, at least 1in wide (a bit wider if you are new to foundation piecing) and a total length of approx 45in each for the birdhouses
  • Green and peach scraps, at least 2 1⁄4in wide and a total length of approx 20in each for the backgrounds of the blocks
  • Three green scraps 1 x 3 1⁄2in for the sashing strips
  • 1in strip across the width of a piece of peach fabric for the inner border
  • 10cm of green fabric for the outer border (if you have a piece of fabric 44in wide then you’ll only need one 1 1⁄2in strip across the width of the fabric)
  • 19 x 46cm (7 1⁄2 x 18in) of wadding
  • 21 x 48cm (8 1⁄4 x 18 3⁄4in) of backing fabric
  • 6 x 1 1⁄2in piece of fabric for hanging sleeve
  • Foundation paper or lightweight sew-in Vilene
  • Temporary fabric adhesive (optional)
  • 5in hanger

Finished Size

6 1⁄2 x 17in (16.5 x 43cm)

Skill Level

Beginner

The blocks of this hanging are great for using up strips left over from previous projects. Keep them in a bag and you can quickly piece a block.

Birdhouse Blocks

  1. Using the pattern provided, trace four copies of the block onto foundation paper or lightweight sew-in Vilene; transfer all seam lines and numbers, including the outer seam allowance.
  2. Note: If you use Vilene as your foundation material this can be left in the quilt permanently; paper foundations are temporary and need to be removed from the finished blocks as instructed below.

  3. Note that two blocks have a peach birdhouse with a green background and two blocks have a green birdhouse with a peach background. Place piece 1 RS up onto the unmarked side of the foundation – hold it up to the light to make sure that the whole area numbered 1 is covered and that it extends beyond the seam lines. Pin in place.
  4. Place piece 2 on top of piece 1, RS together, and pin in place; ensure that when folded back piece 2 covers the whole area numbered and extends beyond the seam lines. With the marked side of the foundation uppermost, sew exactly on the seam line between pieces 1 and 2. Use a smaller stitch than usual, and stitch two or three stitches before the line begins and after it ends. Trim the seam allowance to 1⁄4in. Fold open piece 2 and press.
  5. Continue to add the remaining pieces in the same way as above until the block is complete. A 1⁄4in seam allowance is given on the pattern, so trim the excess fabric/foundation to the outside lines. Make three more blocks.
Figure 1: Folding a mitred corner using the backing fabric as ‘binding’
Figure 1: Folding a mitred corner using the backing fabric as ‘binding’

Sashing and Borders

  1. Arrange the blocks and sashing strips as shown in the photo. Join using a 1⁄4in seam and press towards the sashing strips. If you have used paper remove this from the seam allowances only before pressing.
  2. The quilt should measure 3 1⁄2 x 14in. Cut two strips 1 x 14in and two strips 1 x 4 1⁄2in for the inner border. Sew the longer strips to the sides of the quilt and then the shorter ones to the top and bottom, each time pressing the seams outwards. Remove the foundation paper as above before pressing the seams.
  3. Cut two strips 1 1⁄2 x 15in and two strips 1 1⁄2 x 6 1⁄2in for the border; attach as in step 2 above.

Quilting and Finishing

  1. Remove the foundation paper if necessary; give the top a good press. Layer the quilt by placing the backing fabric WS up followed by the wadding and then the quilt top RS up. The backing is slightly larger than the wadding, which is slightly larger than the quilt top. Using quilters’ curved safety pins, pin the layers together.
  2. Anne machine quilted in the ditch around the birdhouses, between the sashing strips and the blocks, and around the inner and outer borders.
  3. The edges of this quilt have been finished using the backing. Trim only the wadding level with the quilt top. The backing fabric needs to extend 5⁄8in beyond the quilt top all round.
  4. Fold the corner of the backing fabric squarely over the quilt top, with the fold 1⁄8in outside the point of the corner. Then fold the backing fabric WS together, turning over 1⁄4in, and fold over again onto the quilt top to create the ‘binding’. A mitre is formed at the corner. Trim away the square of fabric formed at the corners, pin the binding securely and slipstitch in place. See Figure 1.
  5. Attach a hanging sleeve to fit your hanger, and finally don’t forget to add a label to the back of your quilt.

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 14 Number 5 - May 2006