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The Birds in the Air Quilting Block

the birds 
in the air quilting block

This quilt block has been around and has many names. One of them is Birds in the Air.

birds in the air quilt block with grid linesThis block is a 9 patch. You can see the grid at the left.  There are several ways to make this block.  You could make the individual grids and then sew them together.

The block will look better with fewer seams. The way we are going to make this block is to make the rows, and then sew them together. It is one of the most frugal ways to piece the block.

Using simple measurements, plan for each grid or section to finish at 2 inches. Your top row has 3 half square triangles. You will cut the squares 2 7/8 inches that make half square triangles that finish at 2 inches.  Row one is easy. Just piece together 3 units.

The second row will be made using one half square triangle, and then a rectangle You will attach a small square to one end of the rectangle, sew across it diagonally, and turn it back. It is the same as doing one side of a flying geese patch.

The rectangle takes up 2 grids. Two grids is 4 inches finished. There is no seam in the middle of the rectangle, but you do need to add the seam allowance at the sides. So cut the rectangle 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches. (This gives you the 1/4 inch seam allowance at each end). Cut your small square 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.

the sections of the birds in the air quilting blockThe bottom row will be made the same way as the middle row. The only difference is that the rectangle runs the full width of the block. It is made the same as the middle, with one small square again attached at the end. Cut the rectangle 6 1/2 inches raw, and the small square 21/2 x 2 1/2 inches raw.

Here are your pieces. The half square triangles on the top row have been sewn together. The middle row has the small square attached to the rectangle, as does the bottom row.

This block is now ready to have the rows sewn together.

fabric used in the birds in the air blockThis block is usually made with a little more contrast in the half square triangles I used a black and white print with some movement instead of a white fabric. When you have a block with a lot of points in the same direction, the block has a lot of movement. I wanted to see the effect of adding even more movement with the black print.

The picture to the left is a better picture of the fabric used in the block.  It gives you a better idea how the two fabrics work together. Don't be afraid to try new things. This block looks dynamic in person.

The simple measurements with the 2 inch grid, make this another 6 inch raw block.

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