Vintage Bird Blocks Flying Home

For the last 20 years I have been in the possession of 50 vintage blocks. I don’t know too much about their origin. The images on these linen blocks are the state birds of the USA. The name of each bird is on the block and the name of the state it represents is written in script within a scroll. The blocks were painted by my husband’s grandmother with ‘liquid embroidery’; also known as ‘ball point paint’.

These blocks were handed to me in a cloth bag as my dear mother-in-law just didn’t know what to do with them. With a future visit planned I decided to sew them together into a quilt that can be enjoyed by several generations instead of languishing in my cupboard.

State Birds of America

I know the blocks were done sometime in the 1960’s in the state of Kansas on a small farm in the limited spare time she had as a farmer’s wife.

I set the 50 blocks into columns of 10 birds separated by a brown, paisley fabric,

and have used a Sunflower print for the binding as sunflowers are the state flower of Kansas.

Detail of the State Birds

I used an ‘all over’ quilting design (I think it looks like clouds) as I didn’t want the quilting design to detract from the birds. The Aurifil thread is always a pleasure to use and the colour works well on the bird blocks and the ‘tree’ brown sashing.

Kansas Sunflower Binding and Aurifil Thread

I’ll be giving this finished quilt back to my mother-in-law.  Then she can treasure the result of many hours of pleasure her mother must have experienced delicately painting the fine lines of each bird.

2 Responses

  1. What a great quilt you have made of these birds, Judy. The sunflowers are unmistakably Kansas – I bet you make your Mother-in-Law happy with this!

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