Bird Watching in McCALL’S QUILTING (July/August 2014) & Giveaway!

Cover full

Happy Friday, Friends!  I hope you have had a good week.  Since my first ever feature in McCall’s quilting (posted here), I am happy to share with you about Bird Watching, my latest feature in McCall’s Quilting‘s July/August 2014 issue. You may purchase the magazine issues on newsstands, or online here. Exclusive quilt kits are available for purchase here.



Bird Watching is a fairly large throw quilt that uses quick to construct large blocks.  The blocks are made interesting by the different fabrics I have used, and their respective orientations.


This quilt uses fabrics from Alex Anderson’s Flutter line, released by RJR fabrics. This line features very rich and beautiful bird-related fabrics.  I especially love the focal prints.


Click here to view the entire fabric range.

flutter swatches

The design of Bird Watching uses the mix and match concept regardless of colorways within the fabric line.  Oftentimes, fabric swatches within a fabric line are grouped by colorways.  So, a fabric line would probably have 3 or 4 colorways with the fabrics within the respective colorways working well with each other in a quilt.  Bird Watching has fabrics from all the colorways for a summery scrappy look.  Sometimes using the most unexpected fabric may just be the pop you need for your quilt.  For Bird Watching, it was the pink and the blue swatches.  During the design phase, I was actually going for a red/brown rich look – but ended up really liking the lighter look with the blue and pink mixed in.


[image source: McCall’s Quilting]

Here are a few more shots of the quilt.



Quilting is done tone-on-tone with Aurifil Mako 50 cotton thread over Hobbs Tuscany bleached cotton batting.  The cotton batting gives the quilt a very flat feel, as opposed to the slightly airy and poofy feel with the Tuscany silk I normally use.  But I wanted a flat feel – so, I used the bleached cotton – which I really like as well.  By the way, have you checked out the Facebook pages of Aurifil and Hobbs batting here, and here?



I quilted rows of my pseudo feather across the entire width of the quilt.  By doing that, I kind of use  quilting to add another design element to the overall very blocky look of the quilt.


You can see here I alternated the directions of my pseudo feather rows.


More pseudo feathers…. you can read about my Thread Talk post on pseudo feathers here.


Now for the GIVEAWAY, I have two extra copies of McCall’s Quilting July/August 2014 issue to share!!!  Just leave a comment in the comment section between now and 6/20/2014 and tell me what you look for in a quilting magazine.  Two winners will be selected.  Winners will be announce on 6/23/2014!


I hope you have enjoyed Bird Watching with me today!   Thanks for popping by. Love and hugs to you all!


Click here to view the exhaustive list of my featured designs and projects.

My 2014 lineup to date —

Editorial features:

Annie’s Row Quilt Book (March 2014): Stardom

Annie’s Dazzling Diamond Quilts Book (May 2014): Solar Star

Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts (Summer 2014): Teething Rings

Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting (January/February 2014): Hurry Home

Generation Q (May/June 2014): Hole in the Wall

McCall’s Quick Quilts (August/September 2014): Owl Be Your Friend

McCall’s Quilting (January/February 2014): Spiral Squared

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2014): Bird Watching

Popular Patchwork, UK (April 2014): Mending Fences

Quilt Trends (Winter 2014): Enchanted Forest

Quilt Trends (Winter 2014): Urban Stars

Quilter’s World (Spring 2014): Urban Oasis

Quilter’s World (Summer 2014): Starry Repetitions

The Quilter (December 2013/January 2014): Farm Crossing

The Quilter (December 2013/January 2014): Boxing Day

The Quilter (April/May 2014): All Squared Up

The Quilter (April/May 2014): Tulip Trail

The Quilter (June/July 2014): Garden View

Free to use designs:

January: Midori’s Place using Gramercy by Benartex

January: View on Lexington using Gramercy by Benartex

January: Everything’s Coming Up Rosey using English Rosey by Benartex

February: Verde (Quilt) by Quilting Treasures

February: Verde (Banner/Runner) by Quilting Treasures

March: Hot Topic by Quilting Treasures

March: Poseidon’s Adventure using Neptune’s Dream by Benartex

March: My Cozy Sweater using Palm Springs by Benartex

March: Wild Kingdom using Sew Rousseau by Benartex

April: Fun with Frosty (Quilt & Runner) by Quilting Treasures

April: The First Thanksgiving (Quilt & Runner & Placemat) by Quilting Treasures

May: Party Poppers using Paintbox/Shadows by Benartex

May: Sprinkled Sweets using Paintbox/Shadows by Benartex

May: Dino Craze using 10,000 B.C. by Benartex

June: Monster Mash by Quilting Treasures

June: Santa’s Sleigh using Starry Night by RJR Fabrics

72 thoughts on “Bird Watching in McCALL’S QUILTING (July/August 2014) & Giveaway!

  1. Rosemary B here:
    :-) Happy Friday!
    I love this quilt. Love the fabrics. I am always impressed by your ideas and creativity with fabrics. You do inspire me.

    I like the cover of the magazine but sometimes the quilt on the cover is not that great!
    Inside I love to look at all of the projects. I try to find one that is something I know I can complete, and not too big, so I guess simple happy patterns…. constructed with fabrics in light colors is always helpful.
    Even though I love those large traditional blocks, they can be intimidating if you do not have large chunks of time to focus.
    Like these blocks above. Very simple but perfect to focus on the pattern of the fabric.

  2. I love this pattern, extra special with the bird fabrics since my family room is all dedicated to bird pictures, pillows ect, it would look so awesome hanging on the wall or over my couch with those materials also. I was needing a knew project. This us standout for me. Awesome.

  3. HI, I love this post,the bird fabric and the quilt!
    I always look for FMQing advice!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. While the cover of a quilting magazine will catch my eye, I always page through to see #1 if there a Wendy Sheppard offering there :0), #2 are there other patterns (like several) that might be fun to do at some point. I’ve got magazines from years ago with notes about using a pattern a number of times. I’ve done your Sunshine in My Soul three different times.

  5. Thank you for the giveaway today. I look for free motion quilting designs! That is probably 85% of why I buy a magazine and what I flip thru to find. AND any tips on FMQ! My color and design are well instilled…but FMQ has been my obsession for the past 2 years……guess who doesn’t send her quilts out to be done? I could not have imagined how satisfying it is to make AND finish the ENTIRE quilt myself!!!

  6. This is a great design, and I agree about the blue and pink adding something special. I love the pseudo feathers, too, and I’ve been using that in my quilts, too. It’s a great design, so thanks for that! What do I look for in magazines?? Your designs, first, (really) and other great designs, plus designs that look “do-able”. I purchase because of other designers that I like, as well. Thanks!

  7. Being a new quilter i look for patterns that i think I will able to accomplish. I look for bright, modern fabrics.

  8. I love the pattern! (I look for easier patterns, or patterns that wouldn’t be too hard to learn)

  9. I look for both quick and easy and more challenging and also precise instructions. McCall’s Quilt magazine is one of my favorites.

  10. Bird Watching is a wonderful pattern. Being a bird watcher, I also adore the fabric line. In a magazine I look for new techniques, with a pattern to use it, or new ways to do traditional techniques. I am trying to expand my FMQ so I like articles on designs and how to achieve them. A great giveaway. Thanks.

  11. I love you magazine! I just started quilting and your magazine was one of the ones that I went with. I love the projects that you have. I enjoy looking through you magazine and seeing your projects that hopefully one day soon I will be able to do. I am new at quilting and I am working on my second quilt. I still have to put my border on my first one and hand stitch, then it will be completed. I am machine piecing my second quilt and hoping to begin my third. If Im lucky my third one will be from you book. Thanks again for all your great ideas.

  12. I look for modern twists on traditional designs, and for at least 2 projects that I want to make. Your design has my head spinning! Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. Quilting magazines usually frighten the living daylights out of me. I still haven’t got past random all over quilting and straight lines. Anything else just turns out a disaster. I do look for ideas that I can adapt to different fabrics. That’s only because I have a huge stash of miscellaneous fabrics that need to be used up!

  14. Great design, Wendy, and, as usual, gorgeous quilting.

    When I buy a quilting magazine, I look for articles about design, construction process, quilting, embellishment, quilters, and new tools.

  15. I look at new fabric but first I look at index to see who has quilts in it. And if your name appears, I save that magazine. Otherwise I share them.

  16. I used to like seeing full-size quilting patterns, but now you mostly just see a tiny little picture of the quilting design. And I like articles about the quilt MAKERS, ordinary people making quilts, not celebrity designers, and not just patterns. Sigh… very hard to find nowadays.

  17. This is such a calm pattern, but the fabric gives it a big feel. I like a magazine that gives clear direction, both for cutting and piecing. I also like options in the pattern, for instance using fat quarters, or full width of fabric cuts. I dislike “quilt as desired”.I love that you explained why you quilted and how you quilted as you did. ..I am looking for ideas, suggestions and options. I love hearing about the type of batting and the “WHY” behind the choice…like you explained here in this post (flat feel of cotton vs poof of the silk). Thanks for a chance to win!

  18. I like lots of quilt patterns and clear instructions, and I like when each quilt is shown with different fabric possibilities. It gives me more ideas to play with!

  19. I’m typically looking for at least two quilt designs I would like to make before I purchase a magazine. I’m also looking for clear directions and great pictures. I really like the design of the quilt above and also really like the sashing treatment to jazz it up and it gives the entire quilt interest. Thanks for the opportunity to participate!

  20. I love McCalls because of the copyright notice they put at the front of each issue! (I am a retired lawyer, so I get excited about stuff like that.). I favor their mags over others because of that.

  21. That is a lovely quilt a magazine I look for quilts with visual impact which give me ideas on the use of colour and which are hopefully not too involved in the making, I like reading articles especially about quiltmakers or techniques and new products that are available online (I need them online since not a lot of them tend to find their way to the part of New Zealand that I live in)

  22. A magazine must have more than one ” got to make it ” quilt pattern in it and perhaps even a tip or two to make it worthwhile to purchase, I think. Sincerely, Paula K.

  23. I look for a quilt to wrap up in on a chilly morning. Also one that would be fun to make.

  24. My quilt magazines have to have great color photos. Also great pattern instructions that have been “tested” in the magazine sewing room so you know the sizes/instructions are OK. I like to read not only the how’s to a quilt but the why’s, too. And a section of “readers” quilts for show and tell. A good selection of traditional to specialty & modern quilts and patterns from simple to complex. And I even like the pattern series quilts over the course of several months…. but not often (you might have missed an issue); once a year for the series is sufficient. And stories about quilters.
    Wendy, I liked the Bird Watching quilt. Nice pattern.

  25. Wow your quilts are beautiful! what I look for in a magazine is the patterns, tips, and tricks.

  26. I love your quilt! I’m a fan of both birds and feathers, and they seem to find their way into all. my quilts. In a quilting magazine, I love lots of inspiring photos, and some art quilts

  27. I look for a magazine that has lots of scrappy quilts, inovative ways of using/combining traditional blocks, and that give the quilt instructions clearly with pictures to follow. :) Thanks for the giveaway! I love the clever use of the bird fabric in your quilt.

  28. I love this pattern Wendy! I actually picked up this magazine about a week and a half ago lol. I am hoping to find some of the fabrics from Alex’s new line while I am at a retreat down in NE. Here’s hoping – after all there are a lot of shops between Canada and NE LOL! Have a great week Wendy!

  29. I like magazines that show close ups of the quilting in detail. I get so frustrated when they say “quilt as desired”!!! If the free motion pattern is detailed (or even if it is a pantogram), I wish they would show the path sewn with arrows. This is seldom done. Thanks.

  30. I look for visually rich colors and designs in a magazine, modern and vintage. I also like clear concise directions. I agree with Betsey Ryan that it would help greatly to show the path directions for free motion patterns.

  31. This is a great giveaway, would love to us up some of my fabric stash that are feature type prints. It always to read articles in magazines of all the different quilters and designers. So much talent In the world.
    Good luck to everyone. Bunny

  32. What do I look for? New ideas, not a rehash of the same ol’ same ol’. Got lots of copies of those ideas.

  33. Fresh modern designs have renewed my interest in quilting. I am interested in seeing those wonderful picture’s and patterns in popular quilt magazines

  34. I look for a magazine with 2-3 projects I would like to try. I am interested in both traditional and modern quilts.

  35. I look for tips and ideas. I am fairly new to quilting and love to pick out patterns to follow with my own colors. Thank you for sharing this giveaway.

  36. Oh my goodness girl I love this fabric – and the pattern is perfect for it. Thanks for sharing. In a magazine I like to learn new techniques and have enough instruction that I can feel confident giving it a try. I also love to see LOTS of pictures, of the pattern as well as the quilting. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for the giveaway! Karen

  37. I love the way all the sections of this quilt look like you are looking out a window and into one of natures beautiful creatures while adding some of natures garden by introducing other fabric/color choices. You have presented this quilt beautifully in your photos just by keeping things simple!,,, LOVE IT!!!!!

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