Sunday, January 14, 2024

Project Quilting 15.1 - Bird House Challenge 1

Hi and welcome! I did it! I've finished the first challenge of Project Quilting (PQ) season 15. I "discovered" PQ at the end of their 10th season, in March, 2019. Each year I've done as many of the challenges as I could. In fact, my first challenge was done within 16 hours! 😊

I've had a whole week to prepare for this one. A lot of time was spent thinking and procrastinating. My last blog post was the beginning of the project. This one is my final product.

Home to feed

Here is the finished piece 😊

Home to feed

The story continues from my last post (see Related links below.)

Thread and Solvy circle drying

While the circle was drying, I traced the close up of an image that I had taken of birds at the feeder. Here is what I got.

Tracing the bird

I then cut the fabric to the shapes of the tracing and used fusible web to put the bird together. 

Putting the bird together

The next day, when the circle of thread and Solvy water soluble stabilizer was dry, I cut it in half to make the nest. I found a great hazy background, brown strips of hand-dyed fabric for the branches and tried out the nest. I cut the middle of the circle so that it would have jagged edges and then hand-based it to the fabric, making sure that it opened

Once the bird was done, I did some free motion quilting (FMQ) on it. 

Bird and nest attached

My next step was to figure out where to place the leaves. I looked at several pictures of trees that I have taken and figured out a placement.

Ready to add leaves onto the quilt sandwich

I backed 4 different green hand-dyed fabric with fusible web and then cut and attached the leaves. Next it was time to FMQ.

Adding the leaves and FMQ them

Next comes the squaring up of the piece.

Piece ready to bind and then add a bit more FMQ

We went to visit family and I finished the binding as we talked. This is the picture that I took once it was done.

Binding on but not quite finished

Once I got home, it was time to figure out how to finish it. I knew that I needed FMQ in the background but I didn't know what to do with the nest. After trying a couple of different things, I ended up making two chicks with their beaks open, waiting for food. 

I used the same technique as the bird to make them. I did get creative by using markers to make the beaks and darken some of the FMQ that I had done on the chicks. 

Home to feed - made for the PQ 15.1  Bird House Challenge

On my visit, I saw this great poster. I thought that you might like it!

What I learned
  • I may have made my first challenge within 16 hours of the deadline, but this time I made it within 10 hours of the deadline! Sometimes life just gets busy. Oh well, it's done 😊
  • I really enjoyed this whole process, from the Solvy to the FMQ and last minute chicks.
  • If I'm rambling it's because it's very late and I need to sleep!😴
  • You may wonder why I bound the piece before it was actually finished. I have to admit that I do this quite often. Especially on a small piece, a little bit of extra FMQ is not going to affect the piece enough to make a difference. I like to see what it looks like and then add what needs to finish it.
  • I did make a few mistakes this evening but it all turned out well. If it wasn't for the deadline and company coming for brunch, I would have finished FMQ the piece later, after a good night sleep. Since that wasn't going to happen, I just kept going.
  • I'm so happy with my first finish of the year. I do want to make more bird themed art quilts, so I'm off to a good start. 
  • I'm so happy that I was able to find and use my photos of birds and trees. You never know when they will come in handy.
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun parties. Thanks so much Trish and Kim for bringing us this amazing challenge! I'm linking up to Project Quilting 15.1 - Bird House Challenge 1 as well as many other super linking parties. Off The Wall Friday, Free Motion Mavericks, Put your foot down, Finished (or Not) Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Patchwork & Quilts, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2024, Oh Scrap!, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2024, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Makers, Sew & Tell, Needle & Thread Thursday

Guess what! I was featured on Put your foot down and Needle & Thread Thursday. Yeah! Thanks 😊
Update February 1, 2024: I have linked up to my Favourite Finish with Quilting JetGirl. 
Home to feed can be seen (and purchased) at Chez Lucien in the Ottawa market for the month of February.

Project details

Home to feed art quilt
Made for the Project Quilting 15.1 - Bird House Challenge 1
Size: 11½" x 9"
Materials: Solvy water soluble stabilizer, thread, commercial and hand-dyed fabric, markers, fusible web
Technique: free motion quilting, hand basting, 


  1. Bravo ! Un mini quilt adorable, et dans les temps ! J'aime beaucoup le nid, avec les oisillons bec ouvert. C'est un super thème, et j'ai hâte de voir les prochains que tu feras !

    1. Merci beaucoup Frédérique. J'ai bien aimé créer ce projet. On peut en faire beaucoup en une semaine lorsqu'on a pas de t-shirt quilt à faire lol

  2. Beautiful finish! Very creative approach to the challenge.

    1. Thanks Kate. More ambitious than I usually am for the PQ challenge. I love working small!

  3. Thanks so much Pat. I had a great time making this. It's more ambitious than most of my other PQ challenges.

  4. this is lovely! So glad you joined in PQ again!

    1. Thanks so much for hosting it! I look forward to the other challenges and really hope to participate.

  5. Brilliant way to create your next, Andree!! Congrats on completing it in time to BEAT the deadline, procrastination or not. If I bind a mini quilt ahead of its finish, it's usually because I can call it DONE at any point in the quilting process!! :P

    1. Thanks Joyful :-) It was a great little project and a lovely way to play with the thread and Solvy for my next projects. I have trouble stopping to FMQ - more is great in my opinion!

  6. What a challenge - I am so impressed with how fast you have to move on these. and yours is a great one! that bird nest is amazing

    1. Thanks so much Alycia. Since these are usually smaller quilts, one week is often more than enough time to make. And if it isn't then it's probably too complicated and should be simplified :-)

  7. That is a great finish, Andree! I enjoyed following along as you shared your steps in making it. The nest is really fun, and love the baby birds just waiting to be fed!

    1. Thanks Diann, I wasn't sure how to finish the piece and knew that I needed something in the nest. I was pretty tired when I made those birds and I'm so glad that they worked out!

  8. I thought I had seen most of the Challenge quilts, but I must have missed yours. This is lovely! I like how you have posted your process and your findings at the end, too. I'm a bird lover and this is just too cute!

    1. Thanks Danette, I'm really hoping to make more bird quilts this year - I spent a lot of time in my garden watching and taking photos of the birds. They are so cute! I'm looking forward to their coming back this spring!

  9. The addition of the two birds in the nest was just what it needed. Thank you for sharing so much of your process; I love knowing how a quilt evolves and changes. And thanks for linking up with Favorite Finish!

    1. Thanks so much for hosting the Favorite Finish. I enjoy linking up...when I remember. Those two birds really did belong there but I was so tired that I'm amazed that they came out ok. Sometimes not overthinking is a good thing!


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