Cardinal and Red Berries Quilt


The top before quilting

A few weeks ago, Karen from Karen’s Quilts, Crows and Cardinals presented a quilt she created and made with fabric from Moda Bake Shop. It is a beautiful quilt in red, white, beige, gray and black. Quite sophisticated. She did a giveaway for a starting kit and, oh surprise!, I won.

So, last week I was able to start working on my own Redbird and Berries Mini Quilt. You may think I am making a mistake when naming the quilt in the title of this post, but no. I am giving mine a name different from Karen’s because, well, I decided to work with only what I received in the mail. Which makes mine a little smaller (even more mini) and without the white background. Different quilt, different name.

The first thing I did was admiring the gorgeous fabric. I had received squares in beige and gray (for the border), grey stems already cut and larger pieces of deep red, orange-red, light beige and black. Deep colors, sophisticated prints.


A zoom on some of the gorgeous prints


The red fabric has some grey and black in it

I love cardinals and I love red. Which is why the first thing I did was cut the pattern for the cardinal and prepare it with fusible fabric, to be stitched by hand. After, I separated the squares: the light beige squares on one side, the grey and the dark beige squares on the other side. I had decided to make the background with the light beige squares and I started to move them around until there was an harmonious assembly of those. I must say that I added seven squares from a beige cotton I already had. It was that or making do with a smaller background and leaving some of the beautiful fabric aside. Which I could not. Then, I placed the darker pieces of fabric all around to create a border, as in the original quilt.

I assembled everything with my sewing machine. The squares are 2” wide after sewing and the top is now made of 7 by 8 squares. After that, it was a matter of stitching all the appliqués by hand: the branches, the cardinal and 33 berries. The position of the branches and the berries differs from Karen’s quilt because mine is smaller and there was no way I could put them at the exact same place.

The next steps are the quilting and the binding. I am eager to do them and have this quilt ready to be displayed! France

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The top without the border

16 thoughts on “Cardinal and Red Berries Quilt

  1. I really like how you made Karen’s idea your own. They are both beautiful. And really without a magnifiying glass those berries look very real. Congrats on your win and your creation from it.

    • Thank you! There was so many entries for the giveaway that I never expected to win (but wished). Seems that was my lucky day. Waiting for fabric in the mail is such a joy!

  2. Very, very pretty indeed. My mother is the mast of appliqueing berries. She loves doing it while the rest of the women in her group whine a great deal and try to bribe her to finish their berries. 🙂 Life is difficult for her right now and she is not blogging much but you might enjoy her work:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a sweet comment. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

    • Thank you! I understand about the whining for the berries… they are not the most pleasurable things to stitch. They’re round and usually tiny. Personally, I have to accept that they don’t end perfectly round or unrip and stitch again countless times. What a dilemma.
      I’m going right now to your mother’s blog to have a look…

  3. France your “very mini” quilt came out just beautifully…oh my you are so creative using only the scraps that you won to create this beautiful little piece. Your cardinal is fantastic…and lovin the berries and stems too! You mentioned preparing the bird with fusible fabric… Can you share with us how you did that? I really LOVE how this came out and am honored that we shared our ideas…such fun! Hugs from the states… Karen

    • I’m glad you like it. I always prepare my appliqués with fusible fabric, unless the fabric it thick enough to keep a nice shape or if I’m feeling too lazy to bother with it. (That’s what happened with the berries in this quilt. I didn’t use fusible fabric for them and we can see a difference. The bird is more “even”.)
      I will prepare a tutorial to show how I make my appliqués. I should put it online next week or the following. Sharing with one another is one of the best thing about blogging!

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