Bird quilts fly with free-motion appliqué (+ giveaway!)

Marti< Have you met the little birdy who’s ever-perched on our logo?

Her name is Marti. She’s a creative, confident little bird. We love her spirit and her spunk. (It’s all in how she carries her tail).

Usually, Marti doesn’t say much. But today, she’s singing the praises of her new favorite book. She’s chirping, cheeping, and tweeting the news to all the birdies on the block: If you love to make cute quilts that are as quick to finish as a bird can fly, you’ll adore the new book Sweet Tweets!

Birds Holding a Quilt
“Birds Holding a Quilt” from Sweet Tweets

Take it from Marti: with author Erin Cox’s liberating “free-motion appliqué” technique, you can stitch these heartwarming bird scenes in the time it takes to shake a tail feather.

One of the fine birds in our office, senior account manager Kara, let us film her trying out the technique:

Sweet Tweets Instagram video

Kara says, “The free-motion technique is really easy and fun! Since you’re trying for a somewhat scribbled result, it takes the fear out of trying free motion. Besides, all the designs are adorable. Who wouldn’t want one of these cute little birdies decorating their home?”

Ready to let your creativity—and your sewing machine—fly to new heights? Erin is a guest writer at Stitch This! today to tell you more about Sweet Tweets. Welcome, Erin!


Erin CoxI’m so happy to be posting on Martingale’s Stitch This! blog today, talking about my new book Sweet Tweets: Simple Stitches, Whimsical Birds.

Since I began making little bird quilts I’ve had many requests to make them into patterns. I wrote Sweet Tweets as a way of honoring that request, as well as hopefully sparking a quilting interest in someone who may be put off by a larger, more time-consuming quilt. That’s really my dream, for the whole world to quilt. Can you imagine how lovely that would be?!

Lovebirds quilt
“Lovebirds” quilt

Sweet Tweets is great for letting your hair down and playing with your fabric to create fun and personalized projects. It’s not unusual to finish one of them within a few hours! Free-motion appliqué is used to make the appliqué pieces—birds, in this case—look illustrated, as though they were sketched or drawn. The method is simple and is also very forgiving.

Erin's sketched birds
Erin’s sketched birds

I have such a fun time making these bird quilts. I often make them in between larger, more time-consuming quilts for a bit of instant gratification. And I often give my quilts  personal, meaningful touches. For example, I choose different elements to represent my children, such as the number of birds or eggs used.

Mama Bird and Her Nest quilt
Four children, four eggs! “Mama Bird and Her Nest” from Sweet Tweets

The projects in Sweet Tweets are also great to make as gifts for holidays or special occasions, and they can easily be personalized for the recipient. You are limited only by your imagination. I hope you learn new skills from the book, and then have fun creating things in colors and fabrics you love!

Rainy Day Bird Coaster
“Rainy Day Bird Coaster”

See more whimsical birdies fly in free-motion >

I’m a big Elvis fan, so you know I had to make him into a bird on a quilt! It’s one of my favorites and you can find it on my blog.

I think you’ll love Sweet Tweets. When you make your bird quilt or project, please let me know via my blog, Instagram, or email. Tag your projects with #sweettweets. I love seeing your versions of the bird quilts.

Happy Sewing!


Sweet TweetsWe—Marti included—thank you for telling us more about your adorable new book, Erin!

Free-motion sewing: ever tried it to appliqué or to quilt? Tell us in the comments and you could win a copy of the Sweet Tweets eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

Can’t wait to make your machine fly? Buy Sweet Tweets today at ShopMartingale.com and instantly download the eBook for free.

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Béatrice, who says:

“Yes I have free-motion quilted before, love the designs in this book.”

Béatrice, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!


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