Friday, July 1, 2011

Bird Textile Pinwheel Delight baby quilt

So, I *get* that my friend Naomi LOVES Bird Textile! As do I. They are a fab Byron Bay-based company who make sustainably printed fabrics and gorgeous things. Read about their ethos here. Until recently they had a retail store close to where Naomi lives in Sydney, but everything is now just available on their website.

Naomi has made three beautiful quilts out of their remnant packs including this one and this one. She had given me a remnant pack of their green fabrics, so when she was pregnant with her second baby and I was thinking about what I would use for a quilt, it was pretty simple - lady, you can have your Bird Textile remnant pack back in your very own quilt!

It also happened that Naomi's own lovely mumma turned 60 this year, and Naomi was madly trying to beat her due date to finish a quilt for her Mum out of, you guessed it, Bird Textile remnant packs. (It's finished now, you can see it here. And she recently won a Bird Textile cushion cover from the company themselves for her beautiful creation!)

Casual phone calls re. the design of her Mum's quilt were made. She had been thinking of pin wheels, but then changed the design. She talked of wanting to make a baby quilt before her baby was due, but it didn't look like she would get one done. Should I tell her I was making one? Nah, a surprise would be much more exciting for her! And it was, she got it in the post yesterday and I'm so pleased to share it now here.

So, drumroll please...

This is it!

I just had to use a beautiful linen-y piece as the central medallion. I ironed it to stabiliser so it wouldn't shift too much.

I based the rest of the quilt on a pattern called Pinwheel Delight by Christine Cohrs, in Down Under Quilts, Issue 141, 2010..

I made the pin wheels out of these gorgeous Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley fabrics, gifted to me by my dear friend Sarah over at Kit Bik Quilts.

I hand embroidered a half dozen of the Bird Textile blocks before I put the top together, doing lots of french knots, stem stitch and back stitch.

I didn't have enough of Bird fabrics to finish the top, so included some blocks of my favourite Liberty print. I think the blue really lifts it. It's great when shortage of a fabric leads to a quilt looking better!

I hand basted and hand quilted it over three weeks using some DMC perle cottons size 12 from Peppermint Stitches. I stitched a quarter inch inside the blue triangles and the Bird rectangles, and wavily through the embroidered blocks.

I bought pre-made bias binding directly from Bird Textiles.

I used a backing from Sewco in a range called City Girl by Kitty Yoshida for Benartex. I'd hoped the finished quilt would be smaller than the width of the fabric (44") and it was, just. I loathe piecing backs, so I fudged it to make it fit and you can see the selvedge on the back!

Ok baby, you can come earthside now! You have your quilt! (I'll bring a label with your name on it when I come down and meet you).

A couple of my much loved pieces of clothing by Bird Textile happened to be drying on the line while I took the photos of the quilt. They do such beautiful clothes, that I have been lucky enough a couple of times to find on sale at the Wiss Emporium at Kalbar.


  1. And a couple of much loved little girls dancing in the rain?
    Beautiful work as always Melissa - Naomi is so lucky to have you in her circle of friends. x sending happy and safe birthing vibes her way.

  2. I can't wait to send you a picture of the baby having a feed and a cuddle under its new quilt. Hear that baby? I CAN'T WAIT :) xx

  3. Ha ha ha. Says in calm midwife voice: "Oh, but you ARE waiting". Get it, as in: "I can't do it!", "You ARE doing it". A little birthy humour.

  4. Gorgeous Lis! The hand quilting is so lovely. Sigh! I agree, the Liberty really lifts it.

  5. Love what you have done, it is a beautiful quilt and am sure it will be treasured.
    Thanks for putting the link in your post