Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bluebirds, Nothing but Bluebirds

Bluebirds, Nothing but Bluebirds

Patricia L. Cummings

A favorite quilt pattern is one that features appliquéd Bluebirds. I have spotted it in three of my quilt books, two of them offering photos and one of them providing a pattern to make a miniature quilt. Mini Quilts from Traditional Designs by Adele Corcoran and Caroline Wilkinson (Sterling Publishing Co., 1995) offers a pattern. The quilt was again published in The American Quilt Story: The How~To and Heritage of a Craft Tradition by Susan Jenkins and Linda Seward (Rodale Press, 1991). One of the "just pretty pictures" book, America's Beautiful Quilts by Zaro Weil lists a date of 1952 and states the quilt shown was made in Tennessee and is in a private collection. I recall reading (somewhere) that this is a 19th century  (1800s) quilt design.

Miniature Bluebird Quilt made by Patricia Cummings. Photo styling by Patricia Cummings and photo by James Cummings

Here is a miniature quilt that I made. The repeated blocks are about 4 1/2"  square. I made this one exactly according to the book's directions and enjoyed the process.

Like rainbows and butterflies, bluebirds can be a symbol of hope as well as a sign on an impending summer. Though out of season at the moment, the mere thought of bluebirds makes me feel happy at a time when sadness crept into my life with the demise of The Quilter magazine, my main outlet for published feature articles.

Signs are present that autumn is coming soon. Moose are ambling about more freely during this, the "rut" season when they seek a mate. We saw a moose this week on a trip to the Colebrook and Pittsburg NH area. Underfoot, whenever passing under Maple trees, tiny colored leaves are strewn on our path. The nights cool off to the point of pulling up a second bed covering, and the garden is producing more vegetables and berries to the point that it is difficult to keep up with processing the harvest by canning and freezing.

Every season has its own advantages. In New Hampshire, the only hope of seeing a bluebird is in late spring or during the summer. They prefer to nest in boxes near farms. By making a Bluebird quilt, I can enjoy the birds year 'round. Just looking at the quilt I made a number of years ago makes me feel happy. Wishing you rainbows, butterflies, and bluebirds in your life and anything else that makes you happy!

Our minds are keen! We can visualize that which is not present and remember song lyrics such as "Bluebirds, nothing but bluebirds from now on."

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