Common Threads Common Threads Quilt Guild, Bexley, Ohio

Guidelines for Birds-in-The-Air Block Exchange

You will prepare 16 6-1/2" blocks for the Block Exchange - 15 pairs to exchange, 1 pair for yourself.  The blocks finish to 6" so that they can be used with the charm squares and other blocks we've exchanged.

Materials required for sixteen paired blocks: 

  • 1/2 yard each of 2 different fall prints (golds, rusts, dark greens, reds, etc. NO NOVELTY OR SEASONAL PRINTS, PLEASE)
  • 3/4 yard cream-on-cream
  • optional - triangle paper for 32 3" (finished) half square triangles


You will need the following cut pieces:

8 - 6-7/8" squares from each fall fabric, cut diagonally once to yield 16 large birds.
32 - 3-7/8" squares of cream on cream, cut diagonally to yield 64 small triangles, 32 to be used with each of the different fall print large triangles
16 half square triangle units made from COC and one fall print, and 16 made from COC and 
the other fall print.  Do this with triangle paper or cut 16 more COC 3-7/8" squares, halved diagonally to yield 32 more COC triangles and 8 3-7/8" squares of each fall print, halved to yield 16 small triangles of each; sew to make the small 1/2 square triangle pieces.


Sew, cut and press half square triangles. Press toward the dark fabric.

Lay out pieces for the "Birds-In-The-Air" blocks and construct two sets of blocks.

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
  • Press seams towards the dark fabric so that the final squares will sew together correctly.
  • Trim thread ends and triangle tails as you go. Those who exchange blocks want a finished, usable product of the correct size, cleanly finished, not a sloppy, hastily done effort.
  • Square up your blocks so that they measure 6-1/2".
  • Pair up your blocks by putting one block of each color in a plastic bag with your name on it.  You should have 15 pairs of blocks (30 blocks) to exchange, and one set (2 blocks) for you to keep.


  • Pressing after each step seems to cause stretching problems with the triangles. I recommend you finger-press after each step, then, after the block is completely finished, press with your iron.
  • Measure carefully as you cut and as you sew. I had to be very careful with cutting and seam allowance to get a 6 1/2" finished block.
  • For alternate directions, you can visit this link -


If you have questions or comments,  please send email to .
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