You Ask, I Answer

Buffy called me on Sunday to ask how I was. I was so pleased to hear from her. You have all been so understanding as I move through this tough year. Thank you for all your love and support.

Anyway, I told Buffy about my pink bird making plan. After I hung up, I made a pink bird and sent her a picture. “Gee, that didn’t take long…” she texted back. “How long does it take you to make a bird?”

“Well, um,” I replied, “once I pick the fabrics they only take me about 20 minutes or so…”

You know me. Once that was out in the open, I had to wonder, JUST HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE? Since I love nothing more than a puzzle I decided to find out. Watch me (sort of), dear reader as I make a bird.

Since I had my pink and pinkish scraps handy, I played around until I had these fabrics. Note I make big leg panels ahead of time. (I am not going to explain how I make these. That is what The Tutorial is for.)

Now you have to remember, I’ve made a few hundred birds, so I know how to do this. Here are the pieces all cut out.

Here is the first go-round of sewing. I work efficacy. If I can do several steps at the same time, I’m going to do it.

Here the bird is ALMOST put together. I need to add the legs and the trim piece on top.

OK! Here you go! Bird is done! (And look I changed my mind about the legs and decided to use something else.)

Buffy, you will have to do the math. Just how long did it take me to make the bird?

Yesterday, Peggy asked about the extra long rulers that hang near my ironing table. I have a confession to make. I love rulers. I have a thing for rulers. I have metal rulers because, duh, you can cut against them with your rotary cutter. I use them for trimming quilts and for cutting long things straight. There is a 36″ one (also known as a yardstick), a 48″ one and a 60″ one.

When you need to cut a long straight line, use the longest ruler you can find. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can push a shorter ruler along and get the same result. You must be careful with your big long metal rulers because they can get bent and nicked, and you need them to stay straight and true, so I hang mine. And I get them at the hardware store.

I also have 18″, a half meter, and a 24″ ruler hanging there, along with some long rulers the guys who cut drywall use to cut something nice and “square.”

I also have two gizmos I bought way back in 1984 that are probably no longer available. They are 18″ rulers and you slide one thing over and the ruler will automagically find the halfway point on one, and the one-third point in the other. Hardly ever use them, but like I said, I’m a ruler junkie, so I had to have them.

Peggy also wanted to see the fabrics I bought on Saturday. Some of them are shown above. I’ll show the rest later. In the meantime, you can all go back and read this post about my Stash. It explains why I buy what I buy and how much, although I did break a couple of those rules with my purchases on Saturday.

So if you want to make a bird or two (or thirty or fifty) you can get my tutorial here at my Etsy shop. It’s an instant download so you can get started right away. Now if you are an OCD type, and want exact dimensions of every tiny detail, you probably won’t like my tutorial. My way of working is very flexible and I don’t like to carve anything in stone, because flexibility = creativity and that = fun. I am not into making millions of things that are exactly the same. Besides, the birds are kinda bulletproof. You can do all kinds of things wrong and still wind up with a handsome bird. That’s the definition of success in my book!

And since I know somebody will ask… the yellow thing on the metal light fixture in the picture with the rulers is a magnet on a handle. I use steel pins and a sloped worktable. Gravity happens. Need I say more? The silvery thing next to it is a small magnet at the end of a telescoping handle for reaching small metal things from a distance. Because, you know, it’s a cool tool….

Millie would have been 16 today. I miss her something awful.
This picture was taken in March 2018.

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