Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumn Block a Day" Flying Birds

Even though it's still hot in Texas, today is the official "First Day of Autumn." And that means a new "A Quilt Block a Day!"

[Sorry, Ann Roberts tells me the link doesn't work! To join the "A Quilt Block a Day" community, go to your Facebook homepage and search for "A Quilt Block a Day." Be sure to type all five words, there are other "Block a Day" groups.]

I chose the "Flying Birds" block, since the migration of the Canada geese always heralds the arrival of fall for me. We made lots of half square triangles for the summer BaD, and this block also requires HSTs.

Here is the finished block:

I'm using scraps of Civil War Reproduction fabrics, left over from the Farmer's Wife Quilt I made last year for my brother's 60th wedding anniversary.


There are several methods to make this block. I will start with the easiest method, and as the season progresses, will add different techniques.

The block requires three HSTs of dark and light, three light triangles, and one large dark triangle.

For a block finishing at 6", make three HSTs that are 2.5" raw-edge-to-raw-edge. Even though the two-color block only requires three HSTs, I am using the 8-HST method.

1) Cut one square of light fabric and one square of dark, each 6.5"

2) Place the fabrics right sides together and press lightly (this will help keep them from shifting as you mark and sew). Draw a line diagonally from corner to corner in both directions:

3) Stitch 1/4" away from each line. Cut diagonally between the stitching lines, then again at the horizontal and vertical center of the block:

4) Press the seam toward the dark of each HST and square up to 2.5"

5) To make the small light triangles, cut two squares at 2.78" and cut each on the diagonal. Cut a dark square at 6.78" and cut diagonally. Arrange the pieces as shown and stitch all the pieces together. Be sure your seams are scant 1/4" then sliver-trim to square up to 6.5":

If you have access to Eleanor Burn's book "Birds in the Air," her method makes two identical blocks without cutting the small triangles. That is the technique I plan to use!

I hope to see some of your Flying Birds blocks on the "A Quilt Block a Day" Facebook page!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature


  1. Great Tut... thanks sew much for sharing this project with us.

    1. Jacqueline, thanks for your kind comment -- I realize I need more detail in the tutorial, so I'll be updating it this week!

  2. That is a great way to make that block up quickly

  3. Thanks Marti, I am going to try that this afternoon! (already I am wondering where I can use the other 5 hst!).
    We are well into autumn here in England, so as I love autumn colours this will make a lovely project for me, as if I need any more on the go ha ha.

  4. Your tutorials are always clear and precise.

  5. Hmmm, have to think about which fabrics I'll use.

  6. The block is stunning in the fabrics you chose 😊

    1. Thanks, Mary J -- and thank you, D'Awn Lowe for sending me some more background prints!


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