Helping you create a home by hand.

My Day of the Tree Bird Blog Hop

I came by my love of birds in quite a bit different way than I would say most people do. You see, when I was growing up my Dad raised exotic birds. At various times we had Golden Pheasants, Ring Neck Pheasants, Peacocks, Egyptian Geese and Bobwhite Quail… just to name a few. Here are a couple of photos that I dug out of my photo album from the 70s.

Birds in the yard behind the store

Now I won’t pretend that I always loved birds when I was living at home. I hated the cockatiels and their cages that lined one wall of the living room. They made lots of noise and every time someone walked by the cages, the cockatiels would fly around sending feathers and dust everywhere! Cleaning the bird cages was not a chore I liked one bit either. I vowed then that I would never have birds in cages in my house.

But my Dad loved his birds. And we had lots of outdoor adventures looking for wild ones.  The hawk that he’s holding in the photo below is one example.

Dad with injured hawk

One day we came across two hawks on the ground, locked in battle. Hawks will fight to the death and one of them was very near exhaustion and would have been killed if something wasn’t done.  Dad picked them up, still locked together and put them in the trunk of the car. In the dark trunk on the way home the birds either relaxed enough to let go of each other or perhaps they were more scared of us than they were angry at each other so when Dad opened the trunk, one of them flew out. The other was too tired to fly away, so wearing leather gloves, Dad removed him from the trunk and put him in the chicken coop (the coop was empty at the time.) After a few hours, the hawk recovered and Dad released him back to the wild.

I don’t share that same passion for birds that my father had but since leaving home I’ve always put up bird feeders wherever we lived if it was at all possible.

Long time readers may remember the fabric bird panels that I spent several months embellishing with embroidery, quilting and beads before turning them into these scrapbook/journal covers.

Front of the journal cover made with embellished fabric panels

And of course, last fall I made an entire travel accessory set out of beautiful bird fabric called Postcard Garden by Michelle Palmer for Red Rooster Fabrics.

Please note: this fabric is no longer available for sale anywhere that I’ve been able to find.

My New Matcfhing Set of Travel Bags

So needless to say, when Madame Samm announced the Tree Bird Blog Hop with Lana as cheerleader, I was happy to sign up to create something with a bird theme and now it’s finally time to reveal what I’ve been working on.

I had these two little redwork birds already embroidered. They just needed to be turned into Christmas ornaments.

Bird Christmas OrnamentsThe pattern is one that Gail Pan designed for the Aurifil Holiday Blog Hop 2012.

Those two embroideries were listed in my 2015 Finish Along Q1 Goals, so it was great to check them off that list in the process of getting ready for this blog hop. I won’t say I “killed two birds with one stone” because… well that would just be so wrong!

The ornaments didn’t take long to complete but the next project is the one I’ve been hinting about for weeks now. I couldn’t find the inspiration fabric that so many of the other ladies in the hop have been showcasing but I had a few bird fabrics in my stash to choose from:

Auditioning fabric for the tree bird blog hop

Of those, I chose the gorgeous Laurel Burch Holiday Celebrations for Clothworks panel and matching bird/ornament fabric that is pictured on the left.

And just like the bird adventures we went on with my Dad, the making of this project has been its own adventure. I purchased these fabrics to go with the Laurel Burch fabric:

Fabrics for the Tree Bird Blog Hop project

You might recall that I mentioned that I was only able to find 3 fat quarters of the Timeless Treasures Metallic Dot fabric and hoped that ¾ of a yard would be enough.

I had chosen twelve different designs from the panel to frame in the black dot fabric. I ran out of fabric with the top of the eleventh block and top and bottom of the twelfth block left to frame. All I needed was 9”X12” more!

I spent two days phoning every quilt shop within a reasonable driving distance (and some not so reasonable) to see if they had any… all to no avail. But then there was a glimmer of hope.

One lady I spoke to (~waving to Linda~) was sure she had some scraps of that fabric at home in her stash. She said she would call me after she’d had a chance to check. Sure enough the next morning she phoned and said she’d found a couple of pieces of black with gold dot fabric and I was welcome to have it if it was a match. We arranged to meet and when I saw it, I was so sure that it was the right one.  But unfortunately when I got it home, neither was at match.  The dots on one were too close together, the dots on the other were too far apart.  Even then I might have been able to make them work but the background black didn’t match.

But match or no match, it proved to me once again that quilters/crafters are the nicest people in the world!

Next, I bought and made a sample block using a black with gold “plaid.”  But when I laid the sample block out with the other blocks, it stuck out like a sore thumb.

My original plan had to change.  Out came new graph paper and a new plan was drawn up.

Plan for the Tree Bird Blog Hop quilt

The two half finished blocks were some of the smaller blocks in the panel, so I unpicked them, sewed that black dot fabric together with the few scraps I had left of it and “made” enough fabric to frame two of the bigger blocks.

Then I took those two smaller blocks, cut two more to go with them and framed all four with a solid black from Clothworks that was a match for the black in the dot fabric and the black in the Holiday Celebrations panel and the bird/ornament fabric.

Finally I was ready to put my new plan in action and this is the result:

Holiday Celebrations Snuggle Quilt A closer view:

Closer view of my Holiday Celebrations Snuggle Quilt

My favorite blocks:

My favorite blocks in my Holiday Celebrations Snuggle QuiltNow you would think that would be enough adventure for one quilt.  But if you scroll back to the photo of the fabric that I bought to go with the Laurel Burch, you’ll see on the left a beautiful harlequin fabric.  When it came time to cut it, I discovered that it was not printed straight on the fabric.

Harlequin fabric not printed on fabric straight

The top of the fabric is where the lady at the quilt shop tore it when I bought it, so that is the straight cross-wise grain of the fabric.  The bottom shows where I cut the fabric lining up the ruler on the bottom of the harlequin diamonds.   At $16 per meter, I was not a happy camper!

I had been considering using it to add a second wider border to the quilt top but decided instead to use it on the back where the fact that it’s not perfectly straight wouldn’t be as noticeable.

Back for the Holiday Celebrations Snuggle Quilt

The center section is more of the Holiday Celebrations but in the purple colorway.  I’m hoping that the fact that the harlequin fabric couldn’t be cut on the straight of grain doesn’t create a problem when it comes time to quilt and that it doesn’t show too much after it’s all finished.

And speaking of finishes… why isn’t this?  Well… so much time has gone into it and despite all the little misadventures, I absolutely love the way the quilt top turned out that I want to take my time to finish it.  I have some ideas for how I want to quilt that center section of the top but I’ll need to do some more fmqing practice before I try those ideas on the actual quilt.



I would be so pleased if you chose to share by clicking on one of the buttons below!


  • sally
    April 1, 2015 5:02 am

    Coming over (slightly late!) from ‘Ho, ho, ho’! Lovely bird decorations and your quilt is beautiful, lovely to see a festive quilt that is so different to the more standard type and yet still so festive and captures the joy of Christmas.

  • Leah
    March 22, 2015 8:19 pm

    Love your fabric choices for all your projects. Such great bird projects. Loved the story about your Dad as well. Great post!

  • Nesta
    March 22, 2015 7:48 pm

    Oh, I have some black fabric with gold dots!It looks the same… if you need some more let me know. We’re not in driving distance though but I could send it by post!
    Great quilt and good on you for not giving up!

  • Judy
    March 22, 2015 4:31 pm

    Technology can sometimes really give one a huge headache, but I am very happy that it worked out after some stress moments! Your travel package just Looks awesome, I love your colourful quilt as well but my absolute favourites are your book covers, love every Little tiny Detail you put into them!

  • Susan
    March 21, 2015 8:24 pm

    I love your Laurel Birch bird quilt. It took some doing, but you overcame every obstacle, and isn’t that a metaphor for life? The embroidered ornaments are cute as can be, too. Great bird contributions to the blog hop.

  • Shannon Meyer
    March 21, 2015 3:26 pm

    What a lot of time and work you put in to your beautiful quilt top and back!!

  • LJ
    March 20, 2015 10:19 pm

    Goodness, misadventures for sure. Your quilt turned out so well and was well worth all the challenges.

  • Deonn
    March 20, 2015 7:52 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful collection of projects – I especially love the colorful quilt, and yes, it was worth the extra time to get just the right setting! Wow, that Laurel Burch fabric is fabulous. Well done!

  • Celtic Thistle Stitches
    March 20, 2015 11:41 am

    I think you did a wonderful job with that quilt Susan, despite all the problems you had with the various fabrics!

    Thanks for linking up your Redwork Ornaments to Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew too, I love redwork and your ornaments are so lovely!

  • Janey
    March 20, 2015 10:06 am

    Love your colors and your designs. Love birds and love spring. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mary
    March 20, 2015 8:58 am

    I’m so glad to get a repeat of yesterday. I must say that I loved seeing the pictures of your dad and the birds. Having had cockatiels for many years, I hear you about the cleaning of cages, the dust, seed and feathers everywhere, but they were great fun.

    You are much more determined than I would be. After all of those problems with the fabrics, I would have given up on that beautiful quilt. I’m so glad you stuck to it. You will always chuckle over the problems you had.

    Your embroidered birds are so sweet and those journal covers are wonderful. You did a great job with all of the bird projects!

  • Marlene
    March 20, 2015 8:34 am

    I’m one of those who didn’t get to comment yesterday so I’m excited that you got it all fixed. I enjoyed seeing your project so much but especially loved the story about your dad. blessings, marlene

  • Catherine
    March 20, 2015 2:59 am

    Oh, forgot to say, Happy Anniversary to your blog- 7 whole years!

  • Catherine
    March 20, 2015 2:57 am

    Hi Sue, A great post as always and I loved how you themed it for the birdie blog hop. Your Dad must have either been brave or mad to get hold of the two hawks, what a great thing to do.
    The travel bag set is beautiful. I don’t think I have seen that fabric before and it is really pretty. I share your frustration too with the fabric printed badly. Last year I bought a panel for a cot quilt featuring pink, grey and green dinosaurs. I was so frustrated trying to square it up prior to quilting. In the end one border was narrower than the other. The person who received it did not spot it but it niggled me every time I saw it.
    Anyway, your quilt turned out so well.

  • Anita
    March 20, 2015 2:33 am

    Great quilt! Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy
    March 20, 2015 1:55 am

    All of your projects are just lovely. Love the journal covers. Sew bright and cheery!

  • Lana
    March 20, 2015 12:33 am

    Yay!!! You are back up today!!! I know everyone will be so glad to be able to leave you comments! YOU DID A FANTASTIC JOB!!!

  • Pat
    March 19, 2015 11:35 pm

    You have some interesting bird stories to tell, especially the one about the fighting hawks in the trunk. You also have some beautiful fabric birds. I really like the wall hanging that you designed for the hop. Thanks for sharing … 🙂 Pat

  • Jane
    March 19, 2015 11:27 pm

    I’m glad you got the comment posting kinks worked out. When computers work they’re heaven but when they don’t GGGRrrrrrr!!!!
    Lovely quilt top and enjoyed those older photos. Nice to meet you again.

  • Frances
    March 20, 2015 12:02 am

    Love your bird stories from growing up. What a cheerful quilt you will have. Very nice.

  • Kathy
    March 19, 2015 11:51 pm

    Those little bags are FANTASTIC. Great job ☺

  • Thearica Burroughs
    March 19, 2015 10:54 pm

    Your quilt rocks! and that full set of travel accessories.. has to be my favorite. I need to google that fabric.

  • Jan N.
    March 19, 2015 10:51 pm

    I love your quilt! It certainly is a happy quilt with all of the bright colors.

  • Linda Winters
    March 19, 2015 10:15 pm

    Your projects are wonderful! You have certainly been busy!!
    I love the story about your dad and his interest in birds!

  • selina
    March 19, 2015 10:07 pm

    Loved the family history about life with the birds. Also loved your past projects as well as your beautiful quilt.

  • Renee
    March 19, 2015 8:49 pm

    Your quilt top sounds like it was quite the adventure! I just love the bird fabric you used. And I am so glad you shared some of your previous projects using bird fabrics. They are just gorgeous!

    We had one cockatiel while I was in high school, and the dust he created was more than enough. I cannot imagine several of them! I do miss him sometimes, though. I love the bird adventures you shared from your childhood. Such memories!

  • Jane
    March 19, 2015 8:28 pm

    Your travel projects are a great idea, from short to long trips. I like your quilt, it is so pretty. I think it is a good thing you changed your mind. You father sounds like he was a very wise man.

  • Patty
    March 19, 2015 8:19 pm

    thanks for sharing your projects!

  • Elli
    March 19, 2015 6:59 pm

    I love your travel accessories. Your projects were so fun!

  • sherry
    March 19, 2015 7:55 pm

    I am impressed with your Dad’s love of birds. My Grandma raised Finches, Parakeets and Mynah birds. I did not like the Mynah birds as they always bit me and I hated to clean cages or feed and water them. Fabulous Tree Bird projects you have created. Thank you sew very much for Tree Bird Hopping and participating. Creative Bird Bliss…

  • Krystal
    March 19, 2015 6:45 pm

    Hey Mom,

    The quilt looks awesome. I really need to get started on my next quilt, lol.

    Love you.

  • MA
    March 19, 2015 5:16 pm

    Oh hooray! It’s beautiful and so worth the wait wondering what you were planning with the harlequin fabric. Enjoyed reading about your adventures as you created it too.

  • Annmarie
    March 19, 2015 5:04 pm

    That is one gorgeous quilt – even the back!!! Loved your hawk story too – bless your Dad!

  • Miri
    March 19, 2015 4:28 pm

    Hello again,

    Forgot to say how young Grandpa looks! He doesn’t read this, does he?


    • Super Mom No Cape
      March 19, 2015 11:44 pm

      Well Miri, Grandpa would have been 36 or 37 in those photos so he was young. And I don’t think he usually reads my blog but since I’d posted a photo of him and the hawks, I did e-mail Grandma and Grandpa a link to this post. 🙂

  • Miri
    March 19, 2015 4:27 pm

    Hi Mom – I remember some of those photos!!

    The quilt looks so fantastic.

    Love you,


  • Marian
    March 19, 2015 1:52 pm

    Love your wallhanging. The colors are really great and I love how you worked out the problem of not enough fabric. I don’t know if I’d be so creative trying to find a solution. Amazing!!

  • Mary Ann
    March 19, 2015 2:41 pm

    What a beautiful quilt and kudos to you for not giving up on that adventure. It was certainly worth the effort. Thank you for sharing. P.S The whole “two birds with one stone”, I get it, it’s wrong but oh so funny. LOL

  • Judy B
    March 19, 2015 12:27 pm

    Beautiful quilt! Love your earlier projects too. Thank you for sharing.

  • Dave
    March 19, 2015 11:52 am

    Love the journal covers….they did take a lot of work.

  • Mary W
    March 19, 2015 10:35 am

    You did a great job on your projects. Absolutely love all your travel accessories. Your quiilt is so very pretty. Love the bright fabrics you used.

  • Lana
    March 19, 2015 10:32 am

    From: Needled Mom
    There were so many good projects today. Is anyone else having a problem leaving a comment on Super Mom’s post? I’ve tried twice and it keeps giving me an error message.

    • Super Mom No Cape
      March 19, 2015 12:00 pm

      Hello Lana and Needled Mom,

      My sincerest apologies. I am working on trying to figure out what is wrong.

      Sue (aka supermomnocape)

  • Lana
    March 19, 2015 10:31 am

    From Linda @ Buzzing and Bumbling:
    What great projects today!
    Please tell $super Mom – No Cape that I really liked her p r objects, but her site would not allow me to leave a omment! I tried 8 times and the first 6 times copied and pasted the password, which was not recognized as correct. I tried again twice later and then got an error message. She would have more comments if readers were allowed to leave a,comment. I just thought she should know why she has fewer comments than the others today. Obviously some commenters are getting through.

    • Super Mom No Cape
      March 19, 2015 11:52 am

      Hello Lana and Linda,

      I do apologize that Linda wasn’t able to leave a comment after trying so many times. I will investigate and see if I can figure out what is causing the problem. If I can’t figure it out, I’ll ask my son who is a web developer if he can help after he gets home from work.

      Again, me sincerest apologies,
      Sue (aka supermomnocape)

      • Marian
        March 19, 2015 1:51 pm

        If this is a wordpress site that could be part of the problem. Sometimes at other wordpress sites I have to login to a address. I find it annoying as all get out, but I’ve found no way around it as yet.

  • Carol
    March 19, 2015 9:20 am

    What a sweet read about your dad and his birds! Such a beautiful quilt…I love Laurel Burch fabric! All your birdie creations were just lovely and a treat to see this morning. :O)

  • Cori
    March 19, 2015 10:08 am

    Wow what colorful quilts. I do love your journal covers and pouches… what a beautiful collection of projects.

  • Lana
    March 19, 2015 9:00 am

    All of your projects are so LOVELY!!!! GREAT JOB!!! The colors are so vibrant and eye catching!!! SO REFRESHING!!!!

  • Connie
    March 19, 2015 8:46 am

    How neat to see the photos of the birds your dad had and all of your wonderful bird projects! Thanks for sharing!

  • joan
    March 19, 2015 9:28 am

    Isn’t it funny how childhood experiences mold us forever! My hubby feels the same way about farming as you do about birds to care for. LOL! You’ve made some amazing projects with all your different bird fabrics. I love em… That Laurel Burch fabric is just stunning!

  • Jeanie
    March 19, 2015 8:07 am

    Whether that was plan A or B…. it’s going to be fabulous! Love all of your other projects too and I enjoyed learning about your “birdie background”!

  • Vickie Mazurek
    March 19, 2015 7:34 am

    Your journal covers are stunning and the travel accessories are beautiful along with your beautiful quilt! I used to raise birds too, you’re right, cleaning the cages is a BIG chore, but what a great opportunity for you when you were little to learn about birds ! I enjoyed the read !

  • Judy Rogers
    March 19, 2015 7:54 am


  • Marlene
    March 19, 2015 7:49 am

    Your travel accessories really caught my eye this morning and your bird ornaments are right up my alley since I love redwork, but your quilt….really, really wonderful! blessings, marlene

  • Dorian
    March 19, 2015 7:24 am

    What a bright, colorful quilt. Great job.

Comments are closed.