Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A few cheerful birds …

Here we are closing out November and entering the Advent season. For this post I thought I would share a couple of projects that illustrate the close of fall and beginning of winter. These projects are from a block of the month series by Bonnie Sullivan called Bertie's year. In case you haven't guessed from the top picture, Bertie is the little bird that is featured in each of the monthly quilts. Each of the small quilts (only about 12 x 18 inches) in this series features a wool appliqué center surrounded by a pieced border of half square triangles. As you will be see in the pictures below, each quilt arranges the half square triangles in a different way to create different border patterns. 
2016 has been my year to focus on finishing projects so these two were on my list to complete. I had actually purchased the winter-themed quilt pattern first and had even ironed the fusible web to the wool pieces over a year ago but had just never taken the time to fuse them to the background flannel and start stitching. Although this quilt was designed for January, I think it also works well for December. I added the tassel to the top of the bird's hat and sorted through my button jar for the red buttons. What do you think about the heart-shaped one? Here is an up close picture of this quilt.

Here is the November quilt. I completed the wool appliqué part during our summer vacation road trip. For good or for bad, it took me until just after Thanksgiving to put the top, batting, and back together and then add some hanging tabs to the back. I love the little scarf that Bertie is wearing in this quilt.

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet. Before I sign off, I thought I would share a few of the birds on my big Christmas tree. As I shared in last December's blog, our big tree has a bit of a "birds and berries" theme to it. Here they are along with their stories.
This first little bird in its nest is one that my husband and I bought for our first Christmas tree in 1989. His tail has become a bit bent, but he still has his place on the tree.
Starting in my teenage years, I began collecting Hallmark ornaments. Sometimes my collecting focused around a given animal, such as a seal, or a given series of ornaments. I dot believe this little partridge was part of a series. I think we just saw him and liked him and bought him. 
Cardinals are one of my favorite birds. I love their bright red color and am of the opinion that you can't "not be happy" when you see one. A few years ago, I bought a cardinal ornament for an ornament exchange. I liked it enough that I bought one for myself, too.
As we welcome the Christmas season, I pray that you will be of good cheer. Even though this isn't typically thought of as a Christmas-themed verse, these words of Jesus still reflect the cheer and comfort that only He can bring. Jesus alone is the one whose Advent can truly bring cheer and cast out fear.
Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. Matthew 14:27 (KJV)