Birdie in My Cabin

Remember this scene from Little Miss Sunshine?

Olive: Grandpa, am I pretty?

Grandpa: You are the most beautiful girl in the world.

Olive: You’re just saying that.

Grandpa: No! I am madly in love with you and it’s not because of your brains or your personality.

That scene captures perfectly my feelings for this quilt. You see, I often make ugly quilts. I love those too. They have great personality and hold deep meaning for me, but they do not fit the commonly held definition for beauty. Birdie in My Cabin does in my humble opinion.

Imagine a parent who has a bunch of ugly children and then, out of the blue, gives birth to a future Miss America. That’s me right now! I love my other kids, but this one is super-special. (I know we’re supposed to espouse the beauty of all children, but that’s not reality if we are being totally honest with each other, and I think we should be, don’t you?)

Let me give you the facts… This quilt measures 65 x 70 inches. It is a log cabin design, very traditional, but the following elements plant it firmly in the modern genre:

  • Low-volume fabrics with fresh accents in soft aqua/turquoise with an occasional punch of orange
  • Star sashing – I love this element and will use it again!
  • Faced binding, hand finished with big-stitch quilting

My friend Barb Rubio of Camokai Studio here on Oahu did the long-arm quilting for me, and it too is pretty and sweet. We decided on a light grey thread that accents nicely without overpowering this quiet composition.

Every quilt has a genesis. Mine is usually a fabric but sometimes it’s a pattern. In this case it’s this adorable birdie print. I used it as the center of each block and also for the majority of the back.

The other fabrics are a mix of vintage and contemporary prints. They are all from my stash or scrap bin. This soft floral print is at least 20 years old. I made a sweet, smocked dress for my oldest daughter from it decades ago. I had a tiny piece of Tula Pink’s Saltwater Octo Garden that made it into the mix, and I don’t remember where or when I bought this orange/turquoise piece but it works perfectly for a little punch of color. The stars in the sashing are a Kona cotton I had on my shelf. 

Designing a new quilt is my absolute favorite part of the process and I love to challenge myself by using only what I have on hand. I feel like when you can sneak a few vintage pieces into a quilt, you create something truly unique.

If I had to describe Birdie in My Cabin with one word, it would be “tweet.” I mean, “sweet.” It’s soft and pretty and quiet. I think it would make a great baby quilt, but too bad because I am keeping it for myself. Maybe I will give it to my grandchild one day…if she is not ugly. Haha. Just kidding. (As if my gorgeous girls would have anything other than beautiful children!)

Back of Birdie in My Cabin

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