Birds of a Feather

This is one of my favorite little birds. It is a Western Phoebe. I volunteer once a week in a local public garden, and last week one of these sweet little birds followed me around the garden, watching me rake up leaves and watching for the worms I accidentally uncovered. (Sorry, worms!) Phoebes seem to prefer sitting on the tip of things like sprinkler heads, or a fence post. The ruffled feathers on their heads make them look like they just got up and forgot to comb their hair! They have a sweet song and lovely colors. So why am I waxing poetic about birds?

This month’s Quilting Arts magazine introduced their new Reader Challenge called “Birds of a Feather.” They ask for a 9″ x 9″  quilt based on a bird theme. It may be made of any materials, must be quilted, consist of three layers and be bound or closed along the edges. They request two low resolution images be emailed to them by April 3rd to Finalists will be posted on their blog at on April 8th.

So, if you have a favorite bird, why not take the challenge and make one of these tiny quilts?

Until next time,


Get Inspired with Geometric Coloring Pages

Quilters look for inspiration in many places, and playing with geometric coloring pages can be an unexpected source of ideas. Coloring the designs on coloring pages can also be a way to relax, relieve stress, and feed our creativity. Quilt blocks are a collection of geometric shapes. Sitting with colored pencils and playing with color placement can frequently produce a unique design idea, or a clever new quilting design. Feed your “inner kid” by visiting the sources listed below to find interesting coloring pages that can be translated to quilt design. An Adobe Reader is required to print most of these PDF art pages. offers an extensive collection of coloring pages based on specific quilt blocks. When printed, the coloring page contains one individual block, and a quilt made of several rows of that block. Coloring one of these pages demonstrates how important color placement can be, particularly with the more complex quilt blocks. Sharpen your colored pencils and prepare to have some fun.

Illustrator Carlton Hibbert shares a collection of artistic patterns that you can download, print, and color. A number of artists and illustrators have contributed to the collection, and all patterns are licensed under Creative Commons, which means you can use them freely for non-commercial projects. There is a link on the blog page to a Flickr group for those who wish to share their favorite work from this site.

If you love mandalas, Geometry Coloring Pages is for you. You are invited to meditate, contemplate and create. Some of the designs would be beautiful continuous-line quilting designs. A design could be projected onto a wall and traced onto paper for a beautiful appliqued quilt.

Confirming that coloring is not just for kids, Color Pages for Mom offers a wide variety of coloring pages designed for moms. For homeschoolers, the site also offers educational printables for children. There are 11 pages of interesting geometric designs for coloring, and the Asian, Flowers and Vases/Pottery pages also offer designs that could be translated into applique or embroidery designs.

Coloring pages are arranged by theme on Daily Coloring Pages. The stained glass flower drawings would translate beautifully to an appliqued quilt design. Many of the holiday-themed pages could be easily translated into embroidery designs.

These sites are just a few of the scores of websites offering free printable coloring pages that can be used for inspiration for a new quilting project, or to use to simply relax and express your creativity in a different way. These coloring pages can also be colored on your computer, using Gimp, Photoshop, or the photo-editing site Pixlr. Use a fill, gradient or paintbrush tool for coloring.

Until next time,