At the start of the year, a quilter contacted me and asked if I had designed a Northern cardinal block. I hadn’t but I thought it was a great idea!
A few months later and here he is! What do you think of him? I used two different shades of red, a deep red for the wing and a scarlet for the tail and body. The beak is actually a deep orange although I’m not sure it shows up too well in the photo. You can get the pattern here.
The cardinal pattern makes a 12.5″ block including seam allowances. It is sewn with straight-forward , traditional piecing techniques. There is nothing more tricky than half-square triangles and a flying geese unit! Some of the pieces are quite small though (the smallest is 1″ square) so accurate cutting and piecing are a must! You could check out my tutorial on testing your seam allowances if this is tricky for you.
I added a couple of applique branches and a leaf to the winter scene. I wanted this block to be versatile so the pattern contains all the instructions and applique templates to make both a left and right facing cardinal bird. This allows multiple blocks to look great when put together in a project. You could make a gorgeous table topper as a festive gift with three cardinals in different tones of red. And how stunning would the cardinals look in a full-sized winter quilt!
I have been delighted by the reaction to this pattern so far and as ever, I am grateful to my testers for your valuable feedback and prompt responses. You know who you are!