Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A "Shabby" Chic! + Tutorial

"A Shabby Chic" (or is it Chick?)  Mini Quilt, 28" x 28"
featuring Shabby Basics by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs

I had a lot of fun playing with some new fabrics to make this sweet Purdy Bird.  "Shabby" was first introduced in September of 2018 and is a wonderful textured blender and great basic to have on hand.

New colors are being added to the collection again this month - I think I need them all!  

I used Jade, Cottage, Azure, Riley Aqua, Nightime and Gray for my little wall hanging, using my shower curtain as inspiration for the selection of colors.  

Purdy Bird caught my eye when I spied a "Quilt-Along" on Instagram.  The pattern is by Allison Richter @campbell_soup_diary.  It features a combination of techniques that caused me to take it slow and strive for precision; Curved piecing, paper-piecing, turned-edge applique', even reverse applique'.  

Curved Piecing:
I don't mind curved piecing, especially on the large drunkard's path blocks.  I put my "L" piece on the top and had pretty good luck getting the edges to match and the curves smooth.  

My teeny little 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" oblong drunkard's path blocks might have gone better if I hadn't reduced the pattern by 50%.  A little tricky on the tops of those curves - Allison recommends sewing those with the curved piece on the top.

I love to paper-piece, and those little units were fun for me with my "FooTSTePs" technique.  Here's a brief tutorial of this easy "stitch-by-number" technique.


Favorite tool:  Add-A-Quarter ruler for trimming perfect 1/4" seams.

Then take a moment to E.A.P.!  This is not in the little acronym, but I do it every time.
1) Envision the next spot to cover,  
2) Audition a piece to cover the section,  
3) Position fabrics with right sides together!)  

(Chain-Piece whenever possible.)


SMILE!  You did it!   
FooTSTePS= Fold-Trim-Stitch-Press-Smile. 😊

Trim each unit leaving 1/4" seam allowance around the edges, then it's time for the Paper-Piecing Paper Perforation Party! 

Also, the 1" Half-Square Triangles were a snap with one batch of Instablocks:

* CUT 2 squares * DRAW an X on background * LAYER right sides together
* STITCH on both sides of each line * CUT in a + and x * TRIM with ruler 
* PRESS open and trim dog ears * YIELD: 8 Half-Square Triangles (HSTs)

And for the New York Beauty section of the bird's wing, curved piecing + paper-piecing = curved paper-piecing!  More fun! 

I used the starch/template technique for my turned-edge and reverse applique', and an easy raw-edge blanket-stitch applique' for the dots.

Yep, I think we're going to like this Shabby Chic(k)/Purdy Bird.  I think I like it even more because it was such a good challenge for me.  A great skill builder.  I'm not sure if I'll quilt it or frame it.  Maybe I'll quilt it and frame it.  Stay tuned!    

Shabby Basics are available now in 55 different colors!  Ask for Shabby at your local quilt shop, or find it at an online quilt shop.  

The Purdy Bird pattern can be found at campbellsoupdiary.com.

Happy Quilting!


  1. You did a beautiful job on your bird! I love the colors you picked also. I love that shabby fabric too: it's such a good fabric for adding texture. :-) Hugs, H

  2. Wow! That is gorgeous and so detailed.

  3. Such a beautiful piece. I love how it combines different blocks and techniques to make a very cute and striking design.

  4. This is a wonderful bird! Thanks for sharing it.


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