My Purple Martins – Show Your Wings Blog Hop

Twirl on, you and your satin blue.
Be water birds, be air birds.
Be these purple tumblers you are.
(from Purple Martins by Carl Sandberg)

This pattern has been languishing in my pile for ages, however, the background fabric was selected for it. It waited, and it waited, and it waited. When the Show Your Wings Hop was announced, I knew what I would do….a small bird wall hanging from Backyard Birds* by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins of Piece O’ Cake Designs. I also said that I would do it for one of my quarterly goals here

I got out my trusty appliqué tools:
-a sandboard*
sewline pencils* – white and grey are usually all I need
sewline glue* – NEWS FLASH – I basted with this!!!
clover needle threader*
thread heaven*
clover applique needles*
mettler embroidery weight thread*(60wt)
Sandboards come and go with availability, but the popularity of EPP seems to have brought them back in stock. There are a few out there and if you do handwork, I highly recommend them.

This paper was recommended by Becky and Linda so I tried it. I liked that it stabilized the paper. The procedure was to photocopy the pattern pieces, then layer this paper on top. After that, you cut our your pieces. It gives them a nice firmness and they can certainly be reused. They worked perfectly, and I think it would be best for something you planned on making a number of times.

This is the way that I make a guideline for my appliqué. I use vinyl and a sharpie and copy the pattern. I fold my background in half in the center and finger press just a bit. I transfer that cross onto the center of my appliqué vinyl pattern to use as a registration mark.

I loved making this little piece. It came out to be 14” x 14”. I couldn’t resist pulling in the purple in the border, to really draw yours eyes to the color. In person, it helps bring out the depth of the greens, too. All the applique pieces are Island Batiks – and they are gorgeous.

The baby birds in the nest really make me smile. I just love it. Thank you to Carol for hosting another great hop!

Please visit the rest of today’s bloggers for the Show your Wings Hop:

February 19
Patchouli Moon Studio
Vroomans Quilts
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Songbird Designs
Quilts Fabric and Thread Tales
Sew Many Yarns
Kathleen McMusing <—–that’s me
Life in the Scrapatch
DesertSky Quilting
Clever Chameleon Quilting

Yesterday, I was featured in the Dust Off A Quilt Book Blog Hop and it continues through Friday. Here are the other folks blogging today, please visit them too, if you have a chance.

Tuesday Feb 19th
Cindy Stitchin at home
Jennifer at curlicuecreations
Stephanie at stephjacobsondesigns
Kathy at Kathysquilts
Shasta at high road quilter
Theresa at bumbleberrystitches

I am off to QuiltCon early Wednesday. I will have a blog post Wednesday for the hops for the rest of the week. I may post while there, but it may be more on my @kathleenmcmusing on Instagram or Facebook. I am beginning to use these accounts more for my quilting content.

Update 3/4/19
WINNERS!!!THANK YOU to all who commented during my giveaways. My giveaways were sent on Friday, Karen T, Bernie K, and Kathy L won and should be getting there FQs and a few little things soon. I haven’t decided on the next, but it is coming.

The giveaway continues! It will be open until Sunday, 2/24 at 11:59 pm. I don’t know what it will be..maybe swag from Quilt Con, maybe Island Batiks or maybe something else. Let’s see what develops this week. You get one entry for a comment on each of my blog entries this week (not sure how many there will be after Wednesday but there are three planned right now).

Appliqué Products*

Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Backyard Birds
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Backyard Birds
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Backyard Birds

Linking up:
The Crafty Quilter: UFO WIP Challenge
Dizzy Quilts: 1st Quarter 2019 Finish Along

Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.


  1. Gin
    February 19, 2019 / 1:24 AM

    That purple Martin is beautiful! Great work.

  2. Christi
    February 19, 2019 / 2:39 AM

    I love your purple martin. Nice!

  3. February 19, 2019 / 3:03 AM

    Love your purple martins. And how you made the background fabric seem like a totally integral part of the picture. Lovely.

    • February 19, 2019 / 1:57 PM

      It was a fun project! Why I decided to do a hand one with all my deadlines, I’ll never know. I did enjoy it though.

    • February 19, 2019 / 10:53 PM

      Thanks, Dione. This was a fun one for me….why I decided with so many deadlines to do it by hand was beyond me, but I enjoyed it.

  4. Lisa Marie
    February 19, 2019 / 6:13 AM

    So beautiful, and the background fabric is absolutely perfect !

    • kathleenquilts
      February 19, 2019 / 12:52 PM

      Thanks, Lisa! I love that background, too.

  5. selina
    February 19, 2019 / 6:52 AM

    this is a wonderful piece. That background fabric is amazing. Love the little ones in the nest.

    • kathleenquilts
      February 19, 2019 / 12:50 PM

      I do love that background. I have one more piece – maybe a cardinal next time.

  6. February 19, 2019 / 7:07 AM

    Gorgeous! The batiks work wonderfully with the pattern.

    • kathleenquilts
      February 19, 2019 / 12:51 PM

      Thank you!

  7. Sandy Allen
    February 19, 2019 / 7:30 AM

    Love you r purple martins! Thanks for the tips on applique. I don’t do a lot of it and often forget these little things!

    Have fun at Quilt Con!

    • February 19, 2019 / 1:20 PM

      I love it and find it fun once I get back to it. Hand appliqué is really my favorite.

  8. lee
    February 19, 2019 / 7:47 AM

    I love your purple martins! Love the fabrics you used!

  9. Jennifer Thomas
    February 19, 2019 / 8:05 AM

    So pretty! I love applique and your Purple Martins are lovely. Have a super day!

  10. February 19, 2019 / 8:32 AM

    Your Purple Martin piece is so pretty in those batiks and all the details are amazing! Such a fun “wing” piece for inspiration. Have fun at Quilt Con and thank you for hopping along with us!

    • kathleenquilts
      February 19, 2019 / 12:50 PM

      Hope it does inspire you to make one – and I am sure I’ll love QuiltCon. Always fun to hop with you!

  11. February 19, 2019 / 8:35 AM

    I too like to stiffen my little applique patterns up, although I use the lamination sheets. They work fabulously!

    • February 19, 2019 / 1:21 PM

      It really was a fun to try something different – and relatively easy for making the templates.

  12. February 19, 2019 / 8:45 AM

    Oh, it’s beautiful. I love all the little details. Great work

  13. February 19, 2019 / 9:00 AM

    The purple martin is beautiful, especially in batik! I like Piece O’ Cake designs too. I used to do hand applique, but now I prefer fusible wit blanket stitching. Off to see the other blog hop you were in.

    • February 19, 2019 / 2:02 PM

      It really is fun to have something just for me! I love how cozy it is and remember my grandmother making covers for blankets from flannel sheets – the only thing close to quilting she did. They were so warm as is this quilt.

  14. Rosalind Gutierrez
    February 19, 2019 / 9:40 AM

    Great Purple Martins quilt inspiration and cute baby birds in the nest.

    • February 19, 2019 / 1:52 PM

      Thank you, I just think their little heads are so sweet.

  15. KJ
    February 19, 2019 / 10:35 AM

    Such a sweet wall hanging. Thanks for taking us through the process and for the chance to win.

  16. February 19, 2019 / 10:48 AM

    Absolutely beautiful, I am speachless.

  17. February 19, 2019 / 11:13 AM

    Hi again Kathleen! WOWEE! That purple is just fabulous. All of the fabrics are nice, but the purple looks so deep and rich. And the background fabric – could it be more perfect?!! It looks just like momma bird is flying in to feed or check on her baby chicks. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • February 19, 2019 / 2:19 PM

      The Momma is swooping in. The pattern had a yellow bird but purple called my name!

  18. Joyce Carter
    February 19, 2019 / 11:20 AM

    Your project is so beautiful Kathleen! I love the fabrics. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Angela J Short
    February 19, 2019 / 11:21 AM

    Amazing project. Super cool. Enjoy your day! 🙂 🙂 angielovesgary2 atgmail dotcom

  20. Quilting Tangent
    February 19, 2019 / 1:17 PM

    Pretty purple martin.

  21. Kathryn Laposata
    February 19, 2019 / 1:27 PM

    I took a class with Becky Goldsmith and she inspired me to try applique again. Lovely birds.

    • February 19, 2019 / 1:55 PM

      How wonderful! I love when I get to take class from the experts.

  22. February 19, 2019 / 2:16 PM

    The purple is perfect!
    I haven’t tried applique yet – it is scary to me!

    • February 19, 2019 / 2:22 PM

      You can do it! It is not so hard.

  23. February 19, 2019 / 2:40 PM

    Clever idea for using that beautiful deep purple IB fabric! Have a blast at QuiltCon! I’m looking forward to seeing some IG posts!

    • February 19, 2019 / 10:47 PM

      It is a gorgeous purple. I promise to post!

  24. February 19, 2019 / 3:04 PM

    Beautiful Purple Martin piece. I love the fabrics you used. Thank you for showing photos of the details and of the process you used to make this … 🙂 Pat

    • February 19, 2019 / 10:50 PM

      You are welcome – I enjoy sharing the details.

  25. Jayne P
    February 19, 2019 / 3:07 PM

    The fabrics are just right for this project. It’s lovely

  26. February 19, 2019 / 3:20 PM

    What a great use of that batik fabric!! You did a beautiful job on your backyard bird. Nice choice for including in the Show Your Wings Blog Hop!!

  27. Verna A.
    February 19, 2019 / 3:57 PM

    What a beautiful project! I remember getting dive-bombed by purple martins when I was a kid. Haven’t seen any in years (until yours today!).

    • February 19, 2019 / 11:02 PM

      I have been dived (sound wrong but its too late) by catbirds, not purple martins. Gotta start looking for them!

  28. Lori Smanski
    February 19, 2019 / 4:25 PM

    This is so sweet. Thanks for sharing

  29. Susan Shaw
    February 19, 2019 / 4:38 PM

    The purple martins are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your work with us. I have a couple of sand boards – I think they are exactly alike. I forget about them and yes they are very useful. They make holding fabric for tracing much accurate even if it’s for primitive quilts. Sometimes we want that exact look for a reason regardless the look. Some people are more exacting than others, too, I’m thinking about doing some applique and hadn’t even thought about my sand board. Thanks for the reminder and most of all – thanks for sharing your project.

    • February 19, 2019 / 11:11 PM

      You are so welcome. I love my sandboard and whenever I mark for hand work, I use it. Glad I was able to jog the memory!

  30. thedarlingdogwood
    February 19, 2019 / 4:46 PM

    I love this! That purple Island Batik is just perfect! I haven’t used a sandboard before but I’m thinking I might try one.

    • February 19, 2019 / 11:10 PM

      You will love it once you do. It really grips the fabric just right when marking your fabric.

  31. Brenda @ Songbird Designs
    February 19, 2019 / 5:37 PM

    Those purple Martins are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Carla
    February 19, 2019 / 8:40 PM

    I really enjoyed reading about your process and love your sweet mini. Very pretty and it definitely makes me smile.

  33. Nancy Myers
    February 19, 2019 / 8:44 PM

    A very nice applique project. The process was interesting.

    • February 19, 2019 / 11:01 PM

      Glad you enjoyed hearing about the process.

  34. Laurel Bandi
    February 19, 2019 / 9:03 PM

    Beautiful work! It reminds me of my grandparents. They had a Martin house in their backyard.

    • February 19, 2019 / 10:59 PM

      We have some on the Island, I will be looking harder for them this spring. I love the flashy birds so much!

  35. Karrin Hurd
    February 19, 2019 / 9:12 PM

    What a great project!

  36. Teri
    February 19, 2019 / 9:16 PM

    Purple Martins bring great memories of my aunt. Thank you for sharing your applique tips.

  37. Vicki Sprain
    February 19, 2019 / 10:57 PM

    My bother made a huge purple martin house when we were in 4-H years ago! I love my sand board for english paper piecing too!

    • February 19, 2019 / 11:18 PM

      Great use of the sandboard! Lots of memories of martin houses are popping up. My neighbors in Maine have one!

  38. February 20, 2019 / 7:53 AM

    Great appliqué project and pattern – this is something I haven’t tried but it looks like fun. So many things I want to try!! This pattern really appeals to me. I love the birds and the simplicity of the design.

    • February 20, 2019 / 5:32 PM

      Thank you! Just relaxing in the hotel in Nashville. Already have a story or two to tell. Enjoy the rest of your time in VT.

  39. February 20, 2019 / 9:13 AM

    Such a beautiful work of art. It is stunning.

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:13 PM

      Thanks, Sherry.

  40. Deborah Browning
    February 20, 2019 / 9:48 AM

    Thank you for sharing your quilt and tips. Your quilt is lovely and your background fabric was perfect for it. I have not seen the sand board before and I am going to check it out.

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:13 PM

      You will like it if you try it!

  41. February 20, 2019 / 11:45 AM

    You’ve really earned your wings with this sweet quilt. I’ve been so busy this winter that I wasn’t able to join in on any blog hops but this one did sound fun.

  42. Joan
    February 20, 2019 / 12:29 PM

    I absolutely love this piece. Piece O Cake designs are so cute and your colors sing! Have a great time at Quilt Con. You know those who can’t go are very jealous here! LOL!!!

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:16 PM

      Looking forward to more time tomorrow to do it all again; quilts, vendors and class!

  43. February 20, 2019 / 8:10 PM

    I love this pattern and it’s so pretty in batiks.

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:08 PM

      I think it worked really well, too.

  44. February 20, 2019 / 9:21 PM

    Beautiful! I love the fabrics you used.

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:07 PM

      Thank you.

  45. Janet T
    February 20, 2019 / 10:16 PM

    Love your bird and the fabric choices you used in the block. Very striking!

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:07 PM

      Thank you.

  46. Ellee
    February 21, 2019 / 1:16 AM

    How wonderful that you get to go to QuiltCon! I was able to go when it was in Pasadena. Wish I could be there this time around.

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:07 PM

      There is so much to see and do. Right now I wish the exhibit hall was open in the evening!

  47. Karen McMahon
    February 21, 2019 / 9:07 AM

    I love your bird, so sweet.

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:06 PM

      Thank you.

  48. February 21, 2019 / 11:42 AM

    This is a very sweet mini. wonderful work.

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:06 PM

      Thank you

  49. February 21, 2019 / 4:36 PM

    I love the applique work on this. This is my first time hearing of a sandboard. I have used sandpaper on a clipboard for a similar purpose in the past.

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:05 PM

      That works just as well, but as you know, it is always nice to have the right tool at the ready!

  50. February 21, 2019 / 7:42 PM

    This is a lovely use of batiks. Where I lived previously lots of folks had purple martin houses, and everyone enjoyed the benefits. I will be taking both hand and a machine applique classes soon. I am looking forward to adding applique to my projects.

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:06 PM

      Good luck, I am sure you will find at least one way of appliqué that works for you!

  51. February 21, 2019 / 8:49 PM

    adorable quilt and love the pusheen button!

    • kathleenquilts
      February 21, 2019 / 8:49 PM

      Thanks, Bea!

  52. Colette
    February 21, 2019 / 11:09 PM

    Great applique love the purple martins. Thanks for sharing your process.

  53. Beth Talmage
    February 22, 2019 / 5:46 AM

    I love how your version is so different from the version in the book. Each artist’s vision is her own. Thanks so much for sharing.

  54. farmquilter
    February 23, 2019 / 6:34 PM

    I really love your Purple Martins!! Applique is a lot of work but when you get results like this…totally worth it!!

  55. Thunder
    February 23, 2019 / 10:27 PM

    Wonderful little quilt. I love birds in quilt designs, I just bought a few patterns to give some a try. This is a fun hop.

  56. February 24, 2019 / 2:09 PM

    What pretty birds! It looks like you were able to use this project for both the hops at the same time.

  57. February 25, 2019 / 3:16 PM

    Oh I love your mini quilt Kathleen! Thanks for showing how you made it! It is just gorgeous! Is it going in your Maine home? Those IB batiks really are spectacular, aren’t they. 🙂

  58. February 26, 2019 / 10:40 AM

    I keep coming back to look at this. Thanks for sharing your technique. I haven’t done much hand work or applique and this is all new to me. Love the background fabric and how your worked it into your design.

  59. somethingrosemade14
    March 31, 2019 / 10:33 AM

    Hi there, visiting the Favorite Finsh linky party and saw this post. I never saw it when you originally posted it nor do I remember the book and I used to be a fan of Piece of Cake, still have their original fabric in my stash. I love Purple Martin, I know I would smile everytime I saw it hanging on my wall. Good appliqué tips, I even have the laminated sheets and I do have the cards of Piece of Cake patterns.

    • kathleenquilts
      March 31, 2019 / 6:47 PM

      It happens to all of us! This was more of a pamphlet – only about 16 pages. I feel like it was one of their last but probably not. I really enjoyed it and glue basting is the bomb! So fast.

  60. April 1, 2019 / 8:31 PM

    Beautiful quilt and thank you for sharing your technique!

My Favorite Tools

Pins with Numbers & Arrows
Annies Soft and Stable Foam Stabilizer
By Annie’s Clear Vinyl
Heat N Bond Iron On Vinyl
Omni Thread, Purplelicious
Aurifil 50 weight thread
Hobbs Tuscanny Wool Batting
Freezer Paper Sheets
Binding Sasher
Nexcare Clear Skin Tape
Cluck Cluck Sew Tape
Simple Folded Corners Ruler
Free Motion Quilting Workbook
Shape by Shape Collection 2
Shape by Shape
DayLight Wafer 1 Light Box
Freezer paper
Siteground Web Hosting
Dream Cotton Batting
Sidekick Ruler
Hex N More Ruler
4″ Circular Plastic Needlepoint
Awesome Ocean Pattern
Schmetz NonStick Needle
Sulky Totally Stable
Barn Quilt by Sherry Shish
Applique Pressing Sheet
Mary Ellen’s Best Press Starch
Clover Bias Tape Maker 12mm
Woven Diamonds Pattern
Hobbs Premium 80/20 Batting
Woven Star Pattern
Wefty Needle
Quilt Hanger
Fat Quarter Shop
Westalee Sampler Template Set
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Sewline Grey Pencil
Backyard Birds
Wing Clipper
Quilt Pounce
Hobbs Thermore Batting
Clover Chaco Liner – silver
Turnabout Patchwork by Terese Mairal Barreau
Sewline Glue Pen
Fusible 1″ Hexagon Paper
Fusible Appliqué Paper
Electric Quilt 8
Quilter’s Dream Select Batting
Quilt in A Day Log Cabin
Judy Martin Log Cabin
Emiko Toda Loeb
3M Command Strip Clothespins
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Clover Wonder Clips
Thread magic
Clearly Perfect Angles
Slotted Triangle Trimmer