Nellie"s Needles

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tessa's Birds

My 10-year old granddaughter, Tessa, has a new cousin who had a number of surgeries at the beginning of her life.
There was a bird mobile that had captured her attention during her hospital stays. So Tessa and I made her a quilt this summer featuring birds.
To begin, Tessa drew a bird. The first one was more realistic. Her second drawing of a happy and perky one is the style we chose for Ellie's quilt.
We did a bit of sketching to determine how many birds should be on the quilt ...

 ... and should they be sitting on a wire? or on a hill?

After making that design decision, Tessa helped to figure out the math for the dimension of the quilt. Part of that process was deciding how big each of the 3 birds should be. She drew out the size for each one. Her drawings became the patterns.

Tessa selected fabric for each of the parts ... birds, ground, and sky ... from this drawer full.
Tessa is sewing the birds bodies ...
Her pattern was traced onto a lining fabric which was placed right sides together with the bird fabric. The lining fabric was slashed open to turn the sewn bird's body right side out to make a nice finished edge to applique to the quilt.

Tessa is positioning the birds on the quilt.  Earlier she had drawn the placement of their legs with chalk for me to couch chenille yarn. I had constructed and quilted the background while she had a little beach time. 
She and I are very pleased with the bird's eyes. They're beetles that were fussy cut from fabric with lots of them all over it.

Tessa is most pleased with this delightful, happy little quilt.
We both enjoyed working together to make it for Ellie.  I like to think these happy little birds will cheer and comfort her for many years to come.

Here's a photo of the other side with our label. Tessa had chosen all these fabrics, too.

 note: My method for writing with machine sewing is described here.

Here's a recent photo of Ellie. This happy little girl has got a thing for birds!

An even more recent picture of these two girl cousins sharing a "belly laugh" ... I love this picture.


Heather said...

What a delightful post Nellie. Tessa is obviously following in your footsteps and her quilt is a joy. Best wishes to Ellie - she will love both sides of her special quilt.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

This project has wonderful written all over it. There's is a whole new generation of art quilters starting with Tessa!

darcey said...

Bless them both! Nellie, you have shown Tessa how to love. Both you and Tessa blessed not only her little cousin, but also those who love them both. Your post has brought me to tears over my morning cup of coffee....good tears...God bless you all.

Julie said...

You and Tessa did a great job! Tessa has a very good eye for choosing exciting and colourful fabrics. I love the cheeky birds, they look very happy :-)

MulticoloredPieces said...

Love what you're teaching the children in your family. I'm trying to do the same for my grandkids.
best, nadia

Karen said...

There is something so magical about childrens drawings, and Tessas' birds are such happy ones. Sure to bring happiness for her new cousin!

вебпромо said...

I like this post! Thanks for it

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

Such a happy post. I enjoyed this a lot.
I have a niece who is waiting to come back and sew with me. We made fish in the water the last time.

Third Girl From the Right said...

Gorgeous children! Gorgeous Quilt! Having had two g-tubed babies I love seeing pictures of happy smiling babies with g-tubes. Life goes on and babies thrive thanks to the tremendous modern advances in medicine and the love of their extended family!

about writers said...

What a post neillie, you post a great stuff i like it so much, you all are looking so cute, Both you and Tessa blessed not only her little cousin, but also their parents or other family members who love them both. Your post has brought tears in my eyes.