March 28, 2013
Birds in the AirThis design is number 1322 in Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. It is attributed to Ruth Finley who wrote Old Patchwork and the Women Who Made Them that was published in 1929. Ruth didn't design this block but she included it in her book. There are several quilt blocks with the same name, attributed to Finley, with vastly differing designs. You can get a printer friendly version of this post here.
Cutting directions are for 6”
Number to cut
White Small Triangles
2 ” triangle template
White Large Triangle
6 7/8" Cut in half diagonally (I cut a 7 to 7 ¼” square so I could cut the finished square down to the correct size.)
2” triangle template
Here are all the pieces laid out in the correct order.
I started by making the three half square triangles. Press toward the darker fabric.
Next, sew the two half square triangles on the left together.
Then sew the extra triangle to each of the columns of half square triangles.
I pressed each seam toward the top of the column.
Once the columns are ready, sew the two longer ones together matching along the bottom. Add the last triangle, again matching to the bottom. I ironed these to the smaller column.
Here are the pieces ready to finish the block. Because I chose to cut my white triangle bigger here’s a hint to get an accurate block without cutting off the points. When you line these two pieces up, line up the bottom left corner of the pink to the diagonal corner.
In this picture I’m in the process of lining these pieces to that left bottom corner. I had them completely lined up before I sewed the diagonal seam. Sew the quarter inch seam using the pink as a guide as the white is a bit oversized. I pressed to the light triangle.
Square up the block by placing the diagonal line of the ruler on the diagonal line of the block. Trim the light sides first, you might find you don’t need to trim any from the pink side.
Here is a beautiful quilt on DakotaCity Quilter blog made by Lori which prompted me to pick this particular block.
And, if you want to make a larger size look at Mama Love Quilts. Nicole also has several good suggestions on how you can set this particular block.
Check out Sandi’s blog, Piecemeal Quilts, to see a much more modern version of this classic pieced block.
I noticed that Barbara Brackman showed four of these blocks together as a separate listing but with the same name. There are so many ways you can use this block from old fashion to modern.