Birds in the Air
This classic Quilt Block has many names,
but one of the most commonly used is Birds in the Air.
While this is a relatively easy block to
construct, there are a few new things to learn with this block.
again I've drawn the grids for you. You can see the
Half Square Triangles.
You can also see the that the Block is
split in half diagonally. There are a couple ways to make this block.
We will be using
Rectangles and Squares.
Let's start with the bottom row. We
want to make as long a piece as possible without any seams. We are going
to make each grid finish at 2-inches.
There are 3 grids on the bottom piece, so
you will cut the bottom rectangle 3x2 plus 1/2 inch for the seam
allowances at the sides; or 6 1/2 inches.
Now cut a 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 square piece of
light fabric . You will draw a diagonal line on this piece, and pin it to
the left end of the rectangle. Attach it in the same manner as the
The two units on the right of the middle
row are made the same way. However, this time the rectangle is cut at 4
Half Square Triangles
to finish off the block. Cut them using 2 7/8 inch squares of the dark and
Attach one of these to the left the just
completed rectangle to complete that row. (Be sure the light side is on
The top row is just three Half Square
Triangles joined together, with the light side on the top.
In my piece, I used a different fabric for
the bottom half of the block, so my Half Square Triangle on the top right is
different. It is more common to see this block made with just one
Here is how the piece looks with the bottom rectangle,
middle rectangle, and just one half square triangle on the top.
If you want to put it together this way , I
don't want you to get confused. It may seem odd that the diagonal line is
not straight. You need to remember that there is a seam allowance on the
middle and top rows. Take that away, and it will be straight.
When pressing, make sure the joined
half square triangles on the top are pressed one way, and the middle vertical
seam the other way. On the top row, I pressed the seams toward the dark
You can press the horizontal seams down, or
you can press them open to reduce bulk.
There is one last challenge with this
block, and that is matching the seams when you put the rows together. It
is harder with this block to make sure they are placed correctly.
There are two things you can do to help
line them up properly.
The first is to take a pin, and stick it
through the top at the match point, and the stick it through the bottom at the
match point. Pull the pin tight, so that the two pieces come together,
and then pin.
The second thing you can do when unsure of
how your pieces will come together is to baste the pieces together at the
matching points before you sew them. If you don't get it right, it
is a lot easier to remove basting than regular sewing stitches.
I suggest doing both on this unit.
To finish, square up your block, making
sure to leave 1/4 inch from the points to the edge of the fabric.
Finished size of