At this stage I must stress that these fabric requirements are based almost exclusively on the advice given by my computer software. In general I have found this software over estimates the background fabric, but my pattern testers are busy working away for me at the moment and I am hoping that once I have heard from them I will be able to provide more accurate information. Also, everyone has varying degrees of fabric wastage with paper piecing, so what is achievable for one person may not be for another.
As a general rule of thumb, the 12 inch blocks use about a Fat Quarter of background fabric. The 24 inch blocks require between 1/2 yard and 3/4 yard of background fabric.
The birds themselves need a lot less fabric. Depending on your stash you could probably work almost exclusively with scraps. All of the birds require under a fat quarter of fabric, many of the 12 inch birds are closer to a fat eight of fabric (with the exception of the 24" eagle which needs at least a full FQ if not more).
I have prepared three pdfs with fabric requirements for finished quilts. Please do not feel that you have to stick to these layouts. Part of the fun of these birds is that they don't really belong in an ordered layout.
You may want to add even more depth to your quilt by altering the sizes of the birds, a few of the blocks would be suitable for reduction in size. All of them would work as bigger blocks. I intend to release two blocks as 24 inch patterns, 4 blocks as both 12 and 24 inch patterns and the remaining patterns as 12 inch blocks. Its up to you exactly how you put them together, but here are a couple of suggestions to help you on your way.
For each of these quilt layouts, I have provided a pdf with fabric requirements.
Fabric requirements for each quilt has been provided as two versions. One multi coloured one for those wanting to make each bird in different fabrics, another in two tones or minimal fabrics. I hope that this provides you with enough information.
The layout shown above will provide a quilt measuring 76 x 76 inch. I love the haphazard appearance of this quilt even though it adheres to a very simple block layout.
94 x 94 inch. I can't wait to see it lying on our bed!
I must admit that at the moment this is looking a bit too ordered for my tastes and I may play around with it further, but in the meantime it will serve to give a good indication as to fabric requirements.
This final quilt uses a traditional sashed grid layout and measures 45 x 56 inch. If you like this layout, I do not recommend reducing the Osprey in size (the bird which has its talons out ready to catch a fish). I am pretty certain that those talons would not reduce nicely. Don't worry though, as you can see in the diagram above, there are still 12 blocks for you to use in your grid as I have actually designed 13 blocks.
There are two versions of the seagull because I wasn't initially happy with the design and I almost immediately designed another one but once I had redrawn the block a thousand times I made peace with both versions and decided to provide you with both blocks.
I guess the moral of the story is that there are lots of possibilities to make this quilt your own. If in doubt, buy more background fabric than you think you might need or choose a fabric that you know you can easily source if you need to buy more.
It goes without saying that you do not HAVE to make all the blocks, you may choose only to do one or two- that is completely up to you, although the main prize will be saved for those making bigger projects.
Does that help?
Phew this is a lot of work, but I can't wait to get started!
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I will do my best to answer.
Feel free to spread the word- the more the merrier!