My Purple Martins – Show Your Wings Blog Hop

Twirl on, you and your satin blue.
Be water birds, be air birds.
Be these purple tumblers you are.
(from Purple Martins by Carl Sandberg)

This pattern has been languishing in my pile for ages, however, the background fabric was selected for it. It waited, and it waited, and it waited. When the Show Your Wings Hop was announced, I knew what I would do….a small bird wall hanging from Backyard Birds* by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins of Piece O’ Cake Designs. I also said that I would do it for one of my quarterly goals here

I got out my trusty appliqué tools:
-a sandboard*
sewline pencils* – white and grey are usually all I need
sewline glue* – NEWS FLASH – I basted with this!!!
clover needle threader*
thread heaven*
clover applique needles*
mettler embroidery weight thread*(60wt)
Sandboards come and go with availability, but the popularity of EPP seems to have brought them back in stock. There are a few out there and if you do handwork, I highly recommend them.

This paper was recommended by Becky and Linda so I tried it. I liked that it stabilized the paper. The procedure was to photocopy the pattern pieces, then layer this paper on top. After that, you cut our your pieces. It gives them a nice firmness and they can certainly be reused. They worked perfectly, and I think it would be best for something you planned on making a number of times.

This is the way that I make a guideline for my appliqué. I use vinyl and a sharpie and copy the pattern. I fold my background in half in the center and finger press just a bit. I transfer that cross onto the center of my appliqué vinyl pattern to use as a registration mark.

I loved making this little piece. It came out to be 14” x 14”. I couldn’t resist pulling in the purple in the border, to really draw yours eyes to the color. In person, it helps bring out the depth of the greens, too. All the applique pieces are Island Batiks – and they are gorgeous.

The baby birds in the nest really make me smile. I just love it. Thank you to Carol for hosting another great hop!

Please visit the rest of today’s bloggers for the Show your Wings Hop:

February 19
Patchouli Moon Studio
Vroomans Quilts
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Songbird Designs
Quilts Fabric and Thread Tales
Sew Many Yarns
Kathleen McMusing <—–that’s me
Life in the Scrapatch
DesertSky Quilting
Clever Chameleon Quilting

Yesterday, I was featured in the Dust Off A Quilt Book Blog Hop and it continues through Friday. Here are the other folks blogging today, please visit them too, if you have a chance.

Tuesday Feb 19th
Cindy Stitchin at home
Jennifer at curlicuecreations
Stephanie at stephjacobsondesigns
Kathy at Kathysquilts
Shasta at high road quilter
Theresa at bumbleberrystitches

I am off to QuiltCon early Wednesday. I will have a blog post Wednesday for the hops for the rest of the week. I may post while there, but it may be more on my @kathleenmcmusing on Instagram or Facebook. I am beginning to use these accounts more for my quilting content.

Update 3/4/19
WINNERS!!!THANK YOU to all who commented during my giveaways. My giveaways were sent on Friday, Karen T, Bernie K, and Kathy L won and should be getting there FQs and a few little things soon. I haven’t decided on the next, but it is coming.

The giveaway continues! It will be open until Sunday, 2/24 at 11:59 pm. I don’t know what it will be..maybe swag from Quilt Con, maybe Island Batiks or maybe something else. Let’s see what develops this week. You get one entry for a comment on each of my blog entries this week (not sure how many there will be after Wednesday but there are three planned right now).

Appliqué Products*

Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Backyard Birds
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Backyard Birds
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Backyard Birds

Linking up:
The Crafty Quilter: UFO WIP Challenge
Dizzy Quilts: 1st Quarter 2019 Finish Along

Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.


  1. February 21, 2019 / 8:49 pm

    adorable quilt and love the pusheen button!

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:49 pm

      Thanks, Bea!

  2. Colette
    February 21, 2019 / 11:09 pm

    Great applique love the purple martins. Thanks for sharing your process.

  3. Beth Talmage
    February 22, 2019 / 5:46 am

    I love how your version is so different from the version in the book. Each artist’s vision is her own. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. farmquilter
    February 23, 2019 / 6:34 pm

    I really love your Purple Martins!! Applique is a lot of work but when you get results like this…totally worth it!!

  5. Thunder
    February 23, 2019 / 10:27 pm

    Wonderful little quilt. I love birds in quilt designs, I just bought a few patterns to give some a try. This is a fun hop.

  6. February 24, 2019 / 2:09 pm

    What pretty birds! It looks like you were able to use this project for both the hops at the same time.

  7. February 25, 2019 / 3:16 pm

    Oh I love your mini quilt Kathleen! Thanks for showing how you made it! It is just gorgeous! Is it going in your Maine home? Those IB batiks really are spectacular, aren’t they. 🙂

  8. February 26, 2019 / 10:40 am

    I keep coming back to look at this. Thanks for sharing your technique. I haven’t done much hand work or applique and this is all new to me. Love the background fabric and how your worked it into your design.

  9. somethingrosemade14
    March 31, 2019 / 10:33 am

    Hi there, visiting the Favorite Finsh linky party and saw this post. I never saw it when you originally posted it nor do I remember the book and I used to be a fan of Piece of Cake, still have their original fabric in my stash. I love Purple Martin, I know I would smile everytime I saw it hanging on my wall. Good appliqué tips, I even have the laminated sheets and I do have the cards of Piece of Cake patterns.

    • kathleenquilts
      March 31, 2019 / 6:47 pm

      It happens to all of us! This was more of a pamphlet – only about 16 pages. I feel like it was one of their last but probably not. I really enjoyed it and glue basting is the bomb! So fast.

  10. April 1, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    Beautiful quilt and thank you for sharing your technique!

My Favorite Tools

Pins with Numbers & Arrows
Annies Soft and Stable Foam Stabilizer
By Annie’s Clear Vinyl
Heat N Bond Iron On Vinyl
Omni Thread, Purplelicious
Aurifil 50 weight thread
Hobbs Tuscanny Wool Batting
Freezer Paper Sheets
Binding Sasher
Nexcare Clear Skin Tape
Cluck Cluck Sew Tape
Simple Folded Corners Ruler
Free Motion Quilting Workbook
Shape by Shape Collection 2
Shape by Shape
DayLight Wafer 1 Light Box
Freezer paper
Siteground Web Hosting
Dream Cotton Batting
Sidekick Ruler
Hex N More Ruler
4″ Circular Plastic Needlepoint
Awesome Ocean Pattern
Schmetz NonStick Needle
Sulky Totally Stable
Barn Quilt by Sherry Shish
Applique Pressing Sheet
Mary Ellen’s Best Press Starch
Clover Bias Tape Maker 12mm
Woven Diamonds Pattern
Hobbs Premium 80/20 Batting
Woven Star Pattern
Wefty Needle
Quilt Hanger
Fat Quarter Shop
Westalee Sampler Template Set
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Sewline Grey Pencil
Backyard Birds
Wing Clipper
Quilt Pounce
Hobbs Thermore Batting
Clover Chaco Liner – silver
Turnabout Patchwork by Terese Mairal Barreau
Sewline Glue Pen
Fusible 1″ Hexagon Paper
Fusible Appliqué Paper
Sizzix 3 1/2″ half square triangle
Electric Quilt 8
Sizzix Big Shot
Quilter’s Dream Select Batting
Quilt in A Day Log Cabin
Judy Martin Log Cabin
Emiko Toda Loeb
3M Command Strip Clothespins
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Clover Wonder Clips
Thread magic
Clearly Perfect Angles
Sizzix Big Shot Plus
Slotted Triangle Trimmer
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