Sunday, 7 April 2013

Four little birds

Rabbit by Elizabeth Wall

At the March meeting of my quilt group we had a guest speaker, Elizabeth Wall, a textile artist who specialises in applique and embroidery. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said her work is exquisite. We were open-mouthed in awe at everything she showed but particularly the chasubles she's made for St Giles' church in Aintree, Liverpool (chasubles are the cloaks worn by vicars).

She's also been booked to run a workshop in May but I already had theatre tickets for the same day. When I saw the project they would be working on, I was absolutely gutted: I wanted to do it sooo sooo much!

Owl by Elizabeth Wall

It's this owl, based on quilts she made to decorate the window of a bookshop to promote the final Harry Potter. Isn't it amazing? In her words, she uses all the ugly fabrics most people run away screaming from and cuts them up to make these collage pictures.

After seeing her work, we talked about inviting her to do another workshop with us. Well, I just couldn't wait! I was so inspired that I started work on a small quilt right away. I particularly liked one of the smaller, simple quilts she uses for workshops and was able to draft a pattern and make templates using the photos I'd taken.

It's a simple layering technique using bondaweb. The thing I like most is the instant gratification! All the pieces are stuck down before any stitching takes place so you can see immediately what your final quilt will look like.

All the fabrics are from my stash and it took a few attempts before I was happy with the fabric for the birds. There's a whole flock left over for another project! Once all the pieces are stuck down, you put the quilt sandwich together and then use simple stitching to secure the pieces and hold it all together.

I finally finished it this week, sewing on the binding and the eyes of the birds. Want to see it?

Ta-dah! I don't think I've ever made anything so quickly - I was so carried away with enthusiasm and excitement! I've already got a tree picture on the go and then need to design something for the extra birds. I've done applique before using bondaweb (see my Strawberry Thief quilt) but it didn't give results so quickly, so I can see me using this technique again and again. In between longer projects it's nice to have something that's quick to finish. My group meet this week and are going to be absolutely amazed when I show up with a completed project!

(Edited to add : I've had some really lovely comments about my little bird quilt but I get the impression you think it was my design. Just to be clear, the design is entirely the work of Elizabeth Wall. Only the choice of fabrics was my own. x)


This photo of the cherry blossom was taken yesterday when we had glorious blue skies and real warmth to the sun. I sat outside in a sheltered spot reading WITHOUT A COAT!!!

It's been a quiet weekend of mostly laundry and housework but I did finish off a little crochet project which I'll share with you next time. Thank you for all the lovely comments lately - they really do make my day.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. x


  1. Your little birdie quilt is just beautiful! I love it! You are a very talented quilter, and I do look forward to your quilty posts. So excited for the new series of Once Upon a Time tonight! I just finished watching the last episode of season 1 last night, just in time!
    Marianne xxx

  2. Oh my goodness, the work that you showed by Elizabeth Wall is amazingly beautiful but my dear the 4 birds quilt that you made is out of this world, especially since I know that you made it and it is YOURS to keep!
    I was about to do a post about our cherry trees in bloom and now you have one with a blue sky behind it.
    Would you mind if I link to this post when I do my post? Would love to let people see your quilt with birds! (I love birds, by the way!)

    1. Hi Kay, Thank you for the lovely comments although I do need to be clear that I copied Elizabeth's design for the bird quilt. And I'm happy for you to link to my post for the cherry blossom - blue skies in England, no-one will believe it! x

  3. Although I'm very crafty, I find quilting quite challenging. I tried it once and it was so nerve wrecking for me, that I don't think I'll try it again in the near future! This is why I admire your attempt! It's beautiful!I like how you combined the colours as well as the overall design.

  4. oh wow - words fail me. that bird quilt is just stunning - it is absolutely amazing. you are so very talented.

    and then that rabbit - just breathtaking. I'm going to follow your link to find out more about Elizabeth Wall.

    Nikki x

  5. Your bird quilt is gorgeous. I can't believe that was a quick project. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

  6. Love your birds - gorgeous!

  7. What beautiful fiber work … and the cherry blossoms … ahhhh. :)

  8. Elizabeth Wall's work is stunning, she is very talented, and so are you. Your bird quilt is really beautiful. I love bondaweb and use it in lots of little projects. Like you say, it gives instant results! x

  9. What beautiful much to look at and take in.

    Nina x