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I am starting a series of blocks for 2023 that will end up being a sampler quilt at the end of the year! All the blocks are going to a version of a bird named quilt block, and the color will be themed from a different bird each month. My inspiration comes from the Fat Quarter Shop Solid of the Month Club. They are theming their club after the Birds of America for 2023 and this inspired me to find quilt blocks that have bird names!
January is our first month and the bird is Blue Jay! Of course, you don’t need to use the solid of the month club for your blocks, you can use scraps or go and find your favorite blue colors to build this block. The block is the darting birds block that is quilt popular and I put four of them in a 12.5″ unfinished block to created a pinwheel.
I have sashing around all the blocks with a triangle that points towards the block. The sashing in my quilt is a beige essex linen, and the triangles are going to be from that month’s fat quarters. So each block will have different color triangles in the sashing.
Before we get started, I have a pattern with all the cutting and construction instructions in my Free Pattern Resource Library. The pattern will get guide you through the cuts and how to put the pieces together to make this beautiful block. Click the link below to get the password if you haven’t already!
Step 1 – Cut the pieces
Cut your pieces according the pattern, you will end up with 10 different colors to utilize in this quilt. There will also be 4 of the large triangle in one color and 4 of each of the small triangles in the other 9 colors.
Note that the pattern shows that the sashing pieces will need to be cut on a 45 degree angle, and all the pieces will start as squares and be cut on the diagonal to get the triangles.
Step 2 – Assemble the Darting Birds
We have four darting birds in this block, so we will make four 6.5″ square blocks and put them together to make the final block.
First we need to put together some half square triangle blocks, my blocks are assembled as follows. The numbers are indicated in the pattern as to which color they correspond to.
Once you have all HST’s made, then we need to put together the HST half of the darting birds block. This is how they all get assembled.
Now that we have the four triangle corners, we need to ad the large triangle piece to the other side of these.
We now have 4 identical blocks to start making our large block. Arrange the darting birds quilt blocks to form a pinwheel and put them together as indicated below.
Step 4 – Make the Sashing
Cut the sashing pieces as indicated in the pattern. There will be two long sashing and two short sashing units. The center triangle can be the same color throughout the quilt, or as I am going to do, use the colors in the current month to surround my block.
Add the triangle to one of the long sashing units, leave a quarter inch tail on both ends and iron towards the background fabric. Repeat to add the background fabric to the other side of the triangle, making sure that the triangles and background are all lined up on the top and bottom of the sashing pieces.
Repeat for the short sashing units.
Step 5 – Add Sashing to the Block
Lastly we can add the sashing to surround our January block. Add the short sashing units to opposite ends of the block, make sure that the points of the sashing triangles are pointing towards the block. Iron towards the sashing.
Next add the long sashing units to the other side of the block to complete it.
Congratulations! Your January Blue Jay Block is Complete!
Here is my completed block, share your completed block on Instagram with the #bluejayblocksamplercc. I would love to see what your block looks like and the fabrics you choose!
Check out my detailed video also to see how I cut the fabric and assemble the block.
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