Robin Pickens

Little Bird Song Table Runner

When making a gift for someone I’ve learned it’s just as much about the process of making it as it is about the finished product. First, you spend time picking out the perfect project idea and pattern for the recipient: what are their likes, what is their style, would they use this gift? After that there is much thought and consideration about the fabric selection. Their tastes might not match your own, so you need to consider their favorite colors and what style of fabrics they would like. Then while making it, you try to make everything “perfect”, sometimes ripping out and redoing many seams so the recipient will be pleased with it. It’s more pressure than what you are making something for yourself!

But another thing that goes on during this process is spending time thinking about the person. You picture them using this gift and imagine them surprised and happy to receive it. To handmake something takes a lot of time and you hope the person appreciates the work you put into it, but I’ve come to realize even if they don’t understand all that you’ve done it’s ok. You get to experience the joy of making it and thinking about them and appreciating them which is a gift to yourself.

This is exactly how my Little Bird Song table runner came to be. I decided I wanted to make a Christmas gift for my brother and his girlfriend and thought a table runner would be something useful for their pristinely decorated house. Their (her) style is modern and color palate is exclusively black, white and gray. They enjoy watching birds at their bird feeder, so I thought featuring a bird would be a special touch. I searched for modern bird quilt patterns and came across Little Bird Song by Robin Pickens. Perfect!

The pattern is actually for a wall hanging, so I had to figure out a way to adapt it to a table runner. I started by making two birds and then tried to figure out how to lay them out in a way that made sense for a runner. Through some trial and error (involving sewing and unsewing them multiple times when my ideas didn’t work out), I finally got them situated facing each other on their branches.

After completing my layout design and sewing it together I realized the empty space between the birds would be a perfect place for a candle or centerpiece! It looks intentional but it definitely wasn’t! 🙂

I used various black, white and gray fabrics from my stash, hoping to add interest through a mix of fabric designs instead of using color.

I kept the quilting simplistic using straight diagnol lines because I really wanted the birds to be the focus.

Though this modern design and color scheme aren’t my style, I am very happy with how it turned out! It was a good challenge for me and allowed me to excersize my design skills instead of simply using the exact pattern and fabric choices from a kit. It was an enjoyable gift to make!

Finished Size: 12" x 37"
Pattern: Little Bird Song by Robin Pickens

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