Back when I did the Splendid Christmas line I created a wall quilt called Cardinal's Christmas Wreath. It was the first bird quilt I did and started my love of making bird blocks! I've now sized the bird to various different sizes and still have fun making my flying friends. I also started thinking about this bird being for different seasons and not just Christmas.
The first ideas for Fall started like this, with the idea of a Fall wreath:
And then I thought about dropping out the bow and also experimented with a black background with a green bird. What if I filled in the wreath so it was more like a pumpkin?
I took this idea (the one on cream) on retreat with me to play with along with some scraps of Thatched fabrics I had. The pattern "Cardinal's Christmas Wreath" has two sizes, a 54 x 60" large and 45 x 47" medium size wall. I have made the larger one for Christmas and decided to do the smaller size for this autumn one.
This really was a fun, smaller sized project to do AND I used all scraps. I did make some other changes as I experimented and made rows. First off, I dropped the borders on the sides. My finished quilt is 30" across and I thought that was a good size for a wall space. I also liked how the pumpkin looked more squat and horizontal so I kept the size height of the rows but just used less of them. And my corners for the pumpkin use one half square triangle at the ends, vs on two rows for a more angled corner.
What does this look like as a diagram for better understanding? This is the structure and it follows the bird pieces and construction as written in the pattern.
Again, I'm using the smaller size in the pattern (numbers in red in the pattern).
The pumpkin would be filled in all the way across with no opening for a wreath.
There are 2 LESS rows of blocks for the pumpkin body.
only the top and bottom rows have a half square triangle at the very ends for rounding off the shape (vs two rows).
I have still constructed my bird with the 21.5" piece on top as is called for in the pattern. But I'm using an extra one on the bottom and using 30" x 3.5" strips on the sides.
This means there are a number of background pieces you would NOT need to cut (if you are not doing this as a fall wreath). This would need 3/4 of a yard of background fabric (vs a full yard). Instead of the list on page 3 for Background, you would cut this list:
Of the (3) 4 x 4" pieces, (2) of them are for corners and one is for the bird's chest. I have taken out the pieces for the bow and wreath insides, wreath bigger corners and adjusted for the new size of surround with the background.
On page 1 the green fabrics shown are for the wreath. If you are making a filled in pumpkin that is more squat but made from all squares, cut:
(2) 4" x 4" for corner HST
(31) 3.5" x 3.5" squares in a mixture of oranges/fall fabrics.
Page 2 shows pieces in red fabric and charcoal fabric for cutting the birds. Flip the colors so you are cutting the BIRD BODY from black and the (1) 4 x 4 from bird's mask color (mine is Smoked Paprika). Do not cut the bow pieces unless you are making as a Fall wreath version.
It is up to you if you use the borders. If you do not want the border, skip cutting those from bottom half of page 2.
I did not use all squares on my pumpkin. I made my quilt with a more improv approach using my scraps. I cut them all around 1", 1.5", 2", 2.5" and 3.5" in width while keeping them all 3.5" high. I made strips and trimmed to the 21.5" length. The Thatched colors I used were Tangerine, Clementine, Apricot, Citrus, Masala Spice, Rose, Pink Grapefruit, and Smoked Paprika.
These notes have not been to an editor and I'm trying to have them be as accurate as possible. I did notice the pattern does not say on page 7 that the background piece between the bird's legs is the 2.5" x 1.25" piece (and that is 2.5" as written in the list and not the 2.75" shown on the diagram).
I've got Cardinal's Christmas Wreath on sale currently for half price. I hope you like this Fall version! I think it could be cute to add a green wool leaf to the top of the pumpkin!
The pantograph I used for longarming is RICH GIRL (extended width) by Longarm League. I used it in the default size I believe.
Check out the pattern at RobinPickensInc.com!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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