Quilt Block Sizes for Alternate Grid Layouts

I use standard quilt block sizes for almost all of my quilts – a simple 10-inch square grid.

Parliament of Owls quilt pattern - grid of applique owls in lots of fun colors.

That makes it super easy to mix and match blocks between my patterns.

Want to combine the Playful Puppies with the Cuddly Cats patterns? No problem.

Want to add the Benjamin Badger block to the Woodland Critters pattern? No problem.

When I say 10-inch square – that means that’s the FINISHED quilt block size. After you sew it all together, then the block is ten inches square.

To get those finished 10-inch squares, I like to cut my blocks 11 inches square. That way I have a little wiggle room – and I LIKE wiggle room. I quilt my block, then applique it, and then trim it down to 10 1/2 inches square so that when I sew the blocks together using a quarter inch seam allowance, my finished blocks are ten inches.

Easy peasy. Cut all blocks 11 inches square.

But what about half blocks? And double blocks?

Varying quilt block sizes is a great way to break up that straightforward grid.

Here’s the Noisy Farm quilt pattern with lots of fun half blocks.

Noisy Farm quilt pattern from Shiny Happy World - applique farm animals with varied quilt blocks sizes and animal sounds.

And here’s the Sea Creatures quilt pattern with some fun double blocks.

Sea Creatures quilt pattern from Shiny Happy World. Applique sea creatures on varied quilt block sizes to create a broken grid.

See how that breaks up the grid?

You can do that with any of my quilt patterns! Half blacks are an especially easy way to add words to the layout using this free alphabet applique pattern.

Here’s the basic Bunches of Bears quilt pattern in the standard grid layout the pattern calls for.

Bunches of Bears quilt pattern from Shiny Happy World - grid of applique bear faces.

And here it is with added “noisy” half blocks.

Bunches of Bears - easy applique quilt pattern from Shiny Happy World with sounds added using a free alphabet applique pattern and varied quilt block sizes.

Add lots of woofs, barks, snuffles, and howls to the Playful Puppies!

Add a bunch of zzzzzzs to the Silly Sloths.

Add a name and birth date to a baby quilt.

It’s easy! This post has tips for sewing up those alternate grids, and this one has tips for quilting.

There’s also a tiny little trick to cutting these different quilt block sizes.

If you cut the square blocks 11 inches square, you might think you just cut that in half for a half block – but you have to remember to allow for a seam allowance!

To do that we need to start with the finished block size.

So. . .

Your half block will finish at 10 inches x 5 inches.

Cut your starting block 11 inches x 6 inches.

After you do your applique and quilting, trim to 10 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches.

All set!

Do the same thing for double blocks.

Your finished size will be 10 inches x 20 inches.

Cut your starting block 11 inches x 21 inches.

After you do your applique and quilting, trim to 10 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches.

Done!

Now that you’ve got some different quilt block sizes you can use to play with – try breaking up the grid on any of your standard quilt patterns!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Choosing a Quilt Pattern

Time to talk about choosing a quilt pattern!

This is the second lesson in the Let’s Make a Quilt series teaching my Quilt As You Go and Applique with Fusible Adhesive method. You can work your way through all the lessons using any of my patterns.

That means you’ll need to choose a pattern. πŸ™‚

Here’s a quick rundown of a bunch my patterns, arranged by difficulty.

There are several free patterns for individual blocks in the mix. Those don’t include instructions for making a full quilt, but you’ll get that instruction here in this class.

You do not HAVE to start with one of the easiest patterns!

I’m a big believer in choosing a pattern that really excites you and then just taking it slow enough to learn as you go. But that’s my learning style and you know your own style best. How comfortable are you with fiddly bits? Does making a mistake ruin all the fun for you? Do you like to sew really fast and going slow makes you want to stab things?

Think about what makes sewing fun for you and choose your pattern based on that.

The Very Easiest

These patterns have very few parts, all on the biggish side, and are easy to cut, arrange, and stitch.

Use these links to get your patterns.

Easy

This is where most of my patterns fall. They tend to have a few more pieces than The Very Easiest patterns, which means there’s a bit more arranging and stitching. But they are not in any way HARD. You can absolutely start with any of these.

Here are the links to the patterns.

The Fish quilt also falls in this category.

Easy – But with a More Challenging Layout

These blocks are just as easy to applique as all the Easy blocks – it’s the assembly into quilts that makes them a smidge more difficult. These quilts break out of the basic square grid by including half blocks or double blocks, or adding sashing. Again – these aren’t hard – you just can’t assemble them on autopilot. πŸ™‚ You can make any of these quilts into a basic Easy quilt by leaving out the rectangle blocks or sashing and assembling them on a basic grid.

Here are the links to the patterns. . .

A Little Harder

These quilts have a few more pieces for many of the blocks, and usually a few smaller pieces than the Easy quilts. It also includes a couple of Mix & Match patterns which will push/encourage your creativity a bit more than a regular pattern. Paper Dolls is the most challenging pattern in my collection, with lots of small, fussy pieces and mix & match possibilities – but holy cow is it fun! If you’re up for the challenge, you can even start with that one. πŸ™‚

Here are the links to the patterns. . .

This isn’t anywhere near all of my quilt patterns – but it gives you an idea of what kinds of things make one pattern more or less difficult than another. Your first assignment is to choose your quilt pattern and download it!

Click here to move on to the next lesson – How to Work with Digital Patterns.

Click here to go back to the table of contents of all the quilting tutorials.

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How to Add a Baby to Any Block – video tutorial

Mama and baby cats appliqued on a grey fabric background. Text reads: How to Add a Baby to Any Block

Want to add a baby to any block in my quilt patterns?

It’s easy!

You just need to print the baby at a reduced size!

There’s a post here with more info. (scroll down to the section called “Print at 100% Size – No Scaling”)

In a nutshell – tell your printer you DON’T want to print at 100%.

Here’s an example of my print screen. The exact layout and terminology will be different for every printer and operating system, but they all have the same basic info.

Print digital patterns at 100% for the correct size.

In order to print patterns at the “correct” size you make sure the scale is set at 100% – but really you can set it at anything you like!

How do you know what size to use? Well, that takes a little trial and error and I recommend doing some test printouts on inexpensive paper before you print on your fusible adhesive. Here are some samples I tried for my cats. In all the samples below, the mama is printed at 100% size – I just changed the size of the baby.

Mama cat printed at 100% size, baby cat at 90%.

Here’s a mama at 100% and a baby at 90%. Too close. It looks more like a mama and papa – which would also be fun!

mama cat printed at 100% size, baby at 80%

Here’s the mama at 100% with the baby at 80%. Maybe the baby is a teenager?

mama cat printed at 100%, baby at 70%

Here the mama cat is 100% and the baby is at 70%. This is getting closer to what I was imagining.

mama cat printed at 100%, baby at 60%

Here the baby is printed at 60% size. This might be perfect! But I’m going to go down one more step just to see. The eyes might be too small to work with if I go smaller.

mama cat printed at 100%, baby at 50%

This is it! The baby is printed at 50% to make a tiny little kitten. The eyes are JUST big enough that I can still applique them, and I love the look.

So – here’s the video showing how I did it!

https://youtu.be/9L07qtuFbCQ

See? Easy peasy – and so sweet!

Here’s the link I promised to the post about all the different alternatives to applique eyes.

And here’s the link to the Cuddly Cats quilt pattern where this cutie is just one of the fourteen cats included. But you can do this with any blocks from any of my applique patterns. Just play around with the sizes until you’re happy with the look you get!

Happy stitching!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Free Wallpaper for Desktop, Phones and Tablets

Happy November! Time for new free wallpaper for your desktop, phone and other devices!

Mornings are getting chilly around here, so I thought I’d feature one of my arctic animals this month. It’s Mo the Muskox! You can get his pattern here, and the whole Arctic Chill pattern here.

I’ve also uploaded my muskox art to Society6 and Spoonflower so you can get him printed on all kinds of different products – like coffee mugs, fanny packs, notebooks, and lots more. It’s so much fun seeing my designs on so many things!

Download new wallpaper for your computers, phones, or tablets below. You can get it both with and without the November 2021 calendar, in case you want to keep that critter on your screens during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

Is this month’s free wallpaper not exactly what you’re looking for? No problem! Here are all the previous wallpapers without their calendars – both tall for phones and wide for computer screens.

  • Click on the image you want to bring it up in its own window.
  • Right click again on the image to save it to your computer or device.
  • Follow the instructions for your device to make it your new wallpaper.

That’s it! If only changing wallpaper in real life was this easy. 😁

Free Phone Wallpaper

Free Desktop Wallpaper

Have fun redecorating!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Fusible Applique the Easy Way

blue gingham applique chameleon on a blue background - text says Fusible Applique the Easy Way

Fusible applique is my favorite applique method. It’s fast and easy and it really lets me play with my designs.

I’ve been using this method for some time now, and I’ve refined the method I use. The most recent big change was adding SVG files to my patterns for use with electric cutting machines like Cricut and Silhouette – and that meant a change in how I design some of my template pieces.

Time for a new tutorial! This video shows all the steps for how I do fusible applique. It’s on the long side, and I mention several other tutorials, so scroll past the video for a list of topics at each timestamp, and all the links I mention in the video.

Introduction – Fusible Applique Made Easy

Quilt As You Go (2:29)

I give a quick nutshell view of my method. Visit this post for much more detailed info – Quilt As You Go: Everything You Need to Know. I also mentioned the following tutorials.

Printing or Tracing the Pattern onto Fusible Adhesive (5:33)

I use Heat & Bond Lite for all my quilts. I sell the printable sheets and the larger sheets in my shop, and you can get it by the yard at most big box fabric stores.

Rough Cutting and Clean Cutting the Applique Pieces (7:15)

I show what I mean by rough cut and clean cut in my patterns, and explain why rough cutting, then fusing, then clean cutting gives you the best results.

Transferring the Placement Markings (9:28)

I show all my favorite tools for marking placement lines when I applique

Layering and Positioning the Fusible Applique Pieces (14:43)

I show how I layer all the pieces together – with extra info about how to mark your fusible adhesive to help you get a directional pattern to run in different directions to help create contrast between overlapping pieces. (Look at the legs on the chameleon block at the top of this post to see what I’m talking about here.)

Outlining the Pieces (20:47)

You have to outline the pieces after fusing to get a permanent hold. I use a simple straight stitch. A lot of people ask if that’s durable enough with withstand washing and drying. It is! I show a quilt here after many trips through the washer and dryer.

Whew! That is a LOT of info!

I do love fusible applique – and I hope this helps you love it too. πŸ™‚

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Free Goldfinch Wallpaper for Computers, Tablets and Phones

collage goldfinch on a blue patterned background with June 2021 calendar - free wallpaper for computers, tablets and phones

Happy June! Here’s your new monthly wallpaper for computers and phones and other devices!

I’m still really excited about the new Backyard Birds quilt pattern, so I thought I’d share the drawing that started it all.

In 2020 I finished the 100 Day Project for the first time. I broke the project up into ten mini-projects – each with its own theme. One of the last themes I did was Birds, and as I was drawing my second bird (this goldfinch) I started to wonder about the possibility of creating a set of templates that could be used to create almost any songbird. I played with the idea for ten days and decided it WAS possible! This year I finally made that happen, testing out a new pattern by creating over 100 different birds from one set of mix & match templates. That was my 100 Day Project for 2021!

Download your wallpaper for computers, phones, or tablets below. You can get it both with and without the June calendar, in case you want to keep that pretty goldfinch on your screens during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

Want to scroll through previous wallpaper options? You can find them all here.

Happy June!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

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Quilt Sizes and Supplies Needed

Quilt sizes and supplies needed - I did all the math - photo showing a calculator and math notes on an aqua cutting mat

All of my quilt patterns include supply lists and details cutting instructions for three quilt sizes – crib, nap and twin.

You can always make a quilt larger or smaller by adding or removing blocks. I make the math super easy for that by having all my quilt blocks finish at 10 inches square.

But there’s no reason for every individual to have to calculate all the math for all the different quilt sizes. I can do that once and then share it for everyone!

I do have a couple of caveats, though. . .

This math (and cutting information) only works if you’re making quilts with all square blocks and no sashing or borders. If your pattern includes half blocks or double blocks, the results will be a tiny bit different. The amount of fabric needed will probably be the same, but the cutting instructions will change a bit. If you’re adding sashing to your quilt, you want this post instead – How to Add Sashing to a QAYG Quilt.

All the fabric calculations assume you’re using fabric that’s 40 inches wide. If you’re using a different width (cuddle fleece, minky, special wide fabric for quilt backs) that will change the amount needed.

So let’s jump in to the most popular quilt sizes I get requests for.

Itty Bitty Baby Size

My patterns include instructions for crib size, but it’s a pretty generous crib size and sometimes people want one that’s a lot smaller – better for tucking around an infant in a car seat. For that the Itty Bitty Baby size works well.

Dimensions 30 inches x 30 inches (3 blocks x 3 blocks)

Total blocks needed 9

Background blocks 1 yard total

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 3 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 9 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 3/8 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut four strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 1 yard, no cutting needed

Appliques 1/2 yard, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 1 pack of 10 printable sheets (or one 17 x 45 inch sheet) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

Crib Size Quilts

This size is included in all my patterns – but I’m including it here as well for those who want to assemble their own design using individual block patterns.

Dimensions 50 inches x 50 inches (5 blocks x 5 blocks)

Total blocks needed 25

Background blocks 3 yards total (buy in 1/3 yard increments for minimal waste)

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 9 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 25 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 1/2 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut 6 strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 2 1/2 yards

Backing cutting instructions Cut one piece 56 inches long. Cut the remaining piece in half the long way so you have two rectangles, each roughly 20 inches wide x 34 inches long. (The exact width will depend on the actual width of your fabric.)

Backing assembly diagram (not to scale) – join the two smaller pieces along the short edge, then join that piece to the longer piece. The pieced section will be longer than it needs to be – this sketch is just a guide.

Appliques 1 1/2 yards, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 3 packs of 10 printable sheets (or three 17 x 45 inch sheets) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

Nap Size Quilts

This is the size I use on the couch. It’s included in all my patterns – but I’m including it here as well for those who want to assemble their own design using individual block patterns.

Dimensions 50 inches wide x 60 inches tall (5 blocks x 6 blocks)

Total blocks needed 30

Background blocks 3 1/3 yards total (buy in 1/3 yard increments for minimal waste)

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 10 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 30 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 1/2 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut 6 strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 4 yards

Backing cutting instructions Cut two pieces, each two yards long.

Backing assembly diagram (not to scale) – Join the two pieces together along the long edge. (Cut off the selvedge first.)

quilt back layout - nap or twin size

Appliques 2 yards, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 3 packs of 10 printable sheets (or three 17 x 45 inch sheets) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

Twin Size Quilts

This size is included in all my patterns – but I’m including it here as well for those who want to assemble their own design using individual block patterns.

Dimensions 70 inches wide x 90 inches tall (7 blocks x 9 blocks)

Total blocks needed 63

Background blocks 7 yards total (buy in 1/3 yard increments for minimal waste)

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 21 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 63 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 5/8 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut 8 strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 5 1/4 yards

Backing cutting instructions Cut two pieces, each 94 1/2 inches long.

Backing assembly diagram (not to scale) – Join the two pieces together along the long edge. (Cut off the selvedge first.)

quilt back layout - nap or twin size

Appliques 4 yards, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 7 packs of 10 printable sheets (or seven 17 x 45 inch sheets) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

Queen Size Quilts

Dimensions 80 inches wide x 100 inches tall (8 blocks x 10 blocks)

Total blocks needed 80

Background blocks 9 yards total (buy in 1/3 yard increments for minimal waste)

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 27 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 80 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 5/8 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut 9 strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 7 1/2 yards

Backing cutting instructions Cut three pieces, each 2 1/2 yards long.

Backing assembly diagram (not to scale) – Join the three pieces together along the long edges. (Cut off the selvedge first.)

Appliques 5 yards, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 8 packs of 10 printable sheets (or eight 17 x 45 inch sheets) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

King Size Quilts

Dimensions 100 inches wide x 100 inches tall (10 blocks x 10 blocks)

Total blocks needed 100

Background blocks 11 1/3 yards total (buy in 1/3 yard increments for minimal waste)

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 34 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 100 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 3/4 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut 11 strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 9 yards

Backing cutting instructions Cut three pieces, each 3 yards long.

Backing assembly diagram (not to scale) – Join the three pieces together along the long edges. (Cut off the selvedge first.)

Appliques 6 1/4 yards, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 10 packs of 10 printable sheets (or ten 17 x 45 inch sheets) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

So there you go! All the information you need for six different quilt sizes – how much fabric and how to cut it up.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Papa and Baby – Emperor Penguin Applique Pattern

In time for Father’s Day next month – a Papa and Baby Emperor Penguin applique pattern!

Yep, the 15th of the month means it’s pattern release day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

We have a vote last month in the club to see what the next block of the month pattern will be – and this month the penguin pair were the winners – just barely edging out the dragonfly.

If you’re in the club already, head over to the clubhouse to download the pattern. This link will take you straight to the penguin page.

If you’re not in the club yet – here’s the link to join.

Members get an exclusive new pattern every month!

Here’s a quick peek at my penguin pair coming together.

I made the penguins with the Warm Neutral Batiks fabric bundle – plus a scrap of white-on-white print I had. The background block is from the Rainbow Sherbet fabric bundle.

I can’t wait to see all the penguins you make! (Penguins are antarctic, rather than arctic – but they’d be a fun addition to all the cold-loving critters in the Arctic Chill quilt pattern.)

Happy stitching!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Choosing Fabric for Your Backyard Birds Quilt

I’ve got a post here with general information about choosing fabric for any of my quilts, but choosing fabric for the new Backyard Birds quilt pattern is a whole different beast – worthy of its own post.

I’ve been making sample blocks for this quilt pattern for months now. This one was a doozy!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people who are starting to shop for fabric for their Backyard Birds quilts – wanting to know if there’s a list they can shop with.

Yes! Sort of. πŸ™‚

Fabric Shopping List for the Backyard Birds Quilt Pattern

Click here to download the fabric shopping list for the Backyard Birds quilt.

Please understand that this is by no means a definitive list! It really depends on what birds YOU want to make. I’m making sample blocks (and including instructions for) 100 birds, but there are THOUSANDS of bird species out there – and when you consider the fact that male and females of the same species often look very different. . . well, that’s a lot of variation.

I’ve designed the templates to be mix and matchable – so you can use them to go way beyond the 100 samples I made. That means you’ll probably also go way beyond the fabrics I used. BUT! I can give you some guidelines to create a really useful stash to start with. Just be aware that you may need to go searching for just the right fabric for some of the birds in your quilt.

Before I go into specific colors and patterns, I want to include just a couple of the “rules” I used for my sample blocks. I often decide on rules for a quilt before I choose fabrics. It helps me keep a cohesive look to a jumble of different blocks. For my bird samples, the only solid I used was solid black for the eyes. ALL the other fabrics are prints or batiks. I did this because even the smoothest-looking birds have some variation/texture in their feathers. So I used batiks for the very smooth, uniform-looking birds (less common) and other prints for the rest (more common).

I recommend choosing one color palette for your background blocks, but I’ll have more info about that (and lots of sample photos) at the end of this post.

Solid-ish Neutrals

Not surprisingly, you’re going to need a lot of neutral fabrics. A LOT of backyard birds are colored to blend in with their backgrounds. I used the Warm Neutrals bundle as a starting point, but I definitely needed to go beyond that. That bundle gives you five shades of grey (ranging from almost white to black), five shades of brown (again ranging from very light to very dark), a rusty brown and a golden color. You’ll definitely want more variety in the browns and greys – I often liked to use different prints of the same shade to get some contrast between different parts, like you see in this yellowthroat.

The wings, tail, and back of the bird are the same brown – but I used different prints to help create definition.

Applique of a yellowthroat - demonstrating how to choose fabric for a realistic bird

When you shop for browns, make sure you’re also getting some reddish browns (cinnamon) and some greyish browns (taupe).

You’ll also want at least one white-on-white print, and one very dark grey-on-black.

All of these that I’m talking about here are the tone-on-tone prints that read as solids.

Printed Neutrals

Now we’re talking stripes and spots. You actually don’t need many of these fabrics – but what you need is pretty specific. Here’s a list of the most common prints I used.

  • streaky brown – cream or tan with darker brown streaks or stripes
  • cream or tan with darker brown spots
  • brown with cream speckles
  • a darker brown and a lighter brown dappled print (all-over florals can work here)
  • brown stripes – medium brown with darker brown or black stripes
  • grey with black stripes

Of course, this is not comprehensive – but it’s a good start.

Black and White

You’re going to want some black and white prints.

  • wide black and white stripe – very useful for birds with black and white heads
  • white with black spots
  • white with black speckles
  • narrower black and white stripes (mainly for woodpeckers)
  • black and white check (also mainly for woodpeckers)

Colors

You’ll definitely want some yellows. I was surprised by how many birds have yellow! Get a couple of bright egg-yolk yellow, and also some more dull mustardy shades.

Blue. Lots of birds have some very bright blue. Get a couple of prints in the same rich shade for the definition I talked about in the neutrals section.

Red. Most red birds tend to be orangey red rather than blue-ish reds, so keep that in mind as you shop.

Pink. We have a lot of pink and pinkish-purple birds here on the east coast. You’ll find a pink with grey undertones (or even grey streaks) pretty useful, and also a bright mulberry shade for several finches.

Greens. Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of green birds here in the US. You’d think that would be good camouflage. You might want to decide on your birds before you shop for greens, because you could need anything from emerald to olive.

Orange and dark purple. Again – these don’t come up as often, so maybe shop as needed.

Background Blocks

The fabrics you choose for your background blocks can affect the whole mood of your quilt.

For my quilt I chose realistic colors for all the birds, and I played around with several different background palettes using my fabric bundles. I recommend choosing either solids or batiks for your background blocks – but don’t mix them. Besides thinking about the overall look you like, think about the quilting here. Quilting will really show on solids, and will be almost invisible on batiks.

Here are the background palettes I’ve already experimented with.

Backyard Birds made with the Batik Rainbow fabric bundle

The Batik Rainbow bundle will give you very vivid background blocks with nearly invisible quilting. The background fabrics are as vivid as some of the most colorful backyard birds!

Backyard Birds made with the Warm Neutral Batiks fabric bundle

The Warm Neutral Batiks bundle will give you a more subtle, forest-floor background. The colorful backyard birds really pop against these neutral fabrics, but when you’re putting a brown bird on a brown block (or a grey bird on a grey block) you’ll need to be sure to get good light/dark contrast.

Backyard Birds made with the Solid Rainbow fabric bundle

The Solid Rainbow bundle is my most basic rainbow. Bright and cheerful.

Backyard Birds made with the Box of Crayons fabric bundle

I call the Box of Crayons bundle my grown-up rainbow. The colors are still intense, but a little more muted. The yellow is mustard rather than sunshine. This bundle also includes a brown and a grey.

applique birds made with the Rainbow Sherbet bundle of Kona cotton solids

The Rainbow Sherbet bundle is a favorite for baby quilts, but I also love it for the birds. They really pop against those pale pastels.

appliqued birds made with the Muted Rainbow fabric bundle

I think my favorite is the Muted Rainbow bundle. The colors are still bright, but they have a chalkier look. This bundle also includes a brown and a grey.

applique birds on soft grey backgrounds

I also love this batch using the Soft Greys fabric bundle.

Green Batiks can give you a very realistic background foliage kind of look.

Blue Batiks will work also really well – but I haven’t had a chance to make a full set of twelve yet.

Whew! That’s a lot of information! I hope it helps you shop for fabrics for your Backyard Birds quilt. Get the pattern here!

Happy stitching!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Mama and Baby Kangaroo Applique Pattern

In time for Mother’s Day next month – a Mama and Baby Kangaroo applique pattern!

Yep, the 15th of the month means it’s pattern release day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

Folks have been asking for this kangaroo block ever since I drew it last year as part of my 100 Day Project!

If you’re in the club already, head over to the clubhouse to download the pattern. This link will take you straight to the kangaroo page.

If you’re not in the club yet – here’s the link to join.

Members get an exclusive new pattern every month!

Here’s a quick peek at my kangaroo pair coming together.

I made the kangaroos with the Warm Neutral Batiks fabric bundle. The background block is from the Soft Greys fabric bundle.

I can’t wait to see all the kangaroos you make!

Happy stitching!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

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