This House is For the Birds


Wouldn’t you like to see the next block for the Chuck Nohara Quilt Along (#chucknoharaQAL on Instagram)?  Sure you would, and you might even want to make one yourself if you haven’t already.  I would love to see your version of this if you would like to show it off in our group.  Please come join us!  This one is Block number 969. I am calling it ‘House For the Birds’.


I started, the same way that I start all blocks. By selecting my fabrics. These blocks are excellent for using up little bits of scraps that you might have in you scrap bin, or maybe already in your trash bin (shame on you if they are in file 13…I will take your scraps!)  While making this block I had a fail in one of my fabric choices, so I replaced it with another piece.  It happens to the best of us…and me too.


After making my copy of the square to reflect my size (I am making 5 inch blocks, finished) I traced all of the applique pieces onto freezer paper.  Note that I made marks on the pieces, showing where other pieces match up, and the center lines of the block.  I do this so that I don’t accidentally sew my pieces down to the wrong spot…well, that is the idea anyway.  I manage to muck up things on a regular basis, all with good intentions, of course.


I chose my background fabric and made it an inch bigger than it needed to be in both width and length, so that when the block is done I can trim it down.


I folded the background in half both ways to find the center.  I lightly pressed the crease so that I could center the applique design appropriately. Then I got a cup of coffee, extra strong…with cream and sugar.  Don’t judge.


I cut out the main bird house piece from the freezer paper, and used it as sort of a template to cut out the fabric piece, leaving about 1/4 inch seam allowance all around.  Then, making sure that the fabric was wrong side facing up, I placed the freezer paper piece shiny side up, centered on the fabric piece.  I pressed the side edges of the fabric to the edges of the back of the paper.  If you decide to do this, make sure that you only iron the 1/4 inch parts of the fabric, not the paper.


I appliqued the main bird house piece to the background, being sure to center the design using the crease lines that I made as indicators.  I only appliqued the sides of the house, and basted the bottom.  I pulled the freezer paper out of the top, then basted the top down as well.  I trimmed the seam allowance on the top and bottom to about 1/8th of an inch.


Then I cut out the freezer paper template and pressed it to the front of the fabric that I wanted to use for the pole that the house sits on.  I traced around the template to make my stitch lines for applique.  I cut my fabric piece, making sure to add about 1/8th of an inch seam allowance around the perimeter of the freezer paper template.  I pulled the paper off before centering the pole on the background,in the correct spot. I stitched it down on both sides, again basting only along the top and bottom of the pole piece.


Then I did the same steps regarding the freezer paper, for the green base of the bird house, as I did for the pole. I centered the applique piece to cover the raw edges of both the bottom of the house piece and the top of the pole piece.  I appliqued it on all four sides.  Took another few sips of coffee.


For the next step, I cut the freezer paper template for the roof top piece.  With this piece being narrow to work with, I pressed it to the back of the block, shiny side down, and traced a line around the perimeter.  Using a contrasting colored thread, I baste stitched the roof top fabric to the front of the block, but following the lines on the back. I stitched the rooftop down on the front, covering the raw edge on the top of the block.  Last, I centered the bird house door and appliqued that last, using the same back basting method that I used for the roof top.


This is Gayle’s version, which I find absolutely adorable because of the fussy-cut bird that she used for the door.  That plaid is one of my favorites as well.


Wow! look at Margaret’s block.  The background is fabulous.  I love polka dot fabric, like, crazy. Her color scheme is so pretty.

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This one was made by Kate.  She also used a spectacular background print and again with the fussy cut door!  This is just too cute. I like how her background print has a dark area that makes it appear that her bird house has a chimney. Love it!

Again, come follow us on Instagram. I am ‘Buttoncounter’ there as well.  The hashtag for the quilt along is #chucknoharaQAL. We would love to have you join in the fun.