FREE Bird Watching Quilt Pattern


The name Charley Harper typically elicits one of two responses: 1.) "I LOVE him! My mom/grandfather/1st grade teacher had a mug/poster/puzzle of his artwork." OR 2.) "Charley who?"

Or, if you're my adorable Aunt Kay – "I LOVE her work! She's amazing!!"

Haha! Totally, Aunt Kay. She's the best.​

For those who are unfamiliar with our guy, Charley, here's what you need to know:

  1. He's a he. (FYI, Aunt Kay)
  2. Although he was born in West Virginia, he lived most of his life in Cincinnati, Ohio.​
  3. He created a distinct and stylized illustration style, focussing his skills mostly on portraying animals – namely, birds.

Once you recognize his aesthetic, chances are you will begin to see his art in a lot of different places. Below are some book examples.


Beguiled by the Wild: The Art of Charley Harper

Aside from books, wall art, puzzles, children's games and bedspreads (isn't this line from The Land of Nod darling?!), we can also find Charley's artwork being reproduced in our most beloved avenue – fabric.


Pictured above is the latest line of Charley Harper fabric – Western Birds by Birch Fabrics. These minimal modern birds are also the inspiration for the newest and free-est, quilt pattern here at Suzy Quilts – Bird Watching.


This quilt is designed to highlight the large-scale patterns found in the fabric line. Each triangle is about 6" finished – allowing for each graphic bird to be displayed fully. Through fussy cutting*, each sweet little birdie fits nicely into its own triangle. Feel free to mix and match as many birds and colors as you wish!

*Fussy Cutting is when you cut a piece of fabric to target a specific area of a print, rather than cutting the yardage into random pieces. I suggest using a clear triangle ruler so that you can see the birds as you cut them out. It would be quite sad for one of your little wrens to end its journey with a missing a head.


In the above picture I am having a veeery typical conversation with my photographer (aka my husband). I'm asking him lots of questions about shadows and wind and my hair and the lighting get the picture. He, meanwhile, snaps one photo and tells me it's "the money shot." Also, we should ditch the quilt and grab some burgers.

I'm firing my photographer.​


​Before handing over the pattern, I have one more quick thing to tell you. (It's super quick. I promise.) I hate avoidable seams. When designing a quilt, I will try my hardest to use the fewest amount of seams possible.

This quilt could be made with only 6 3/4" equilateral triangles. But do you know what would happen? Thaaaat's right – you'd have a bunch of white triangles sewn to other white triangles – aka avoidable seams.

Since we don't do that here at SQ HQ, this pattern uses two templates – one 6 3/4" equilateral triangle and one very large rhombus. That large rhombus piece will need to be handled with lots of care because of its two large bias edges. Those edges will want to stretch and distort. Don't let them!

Check out this post on How to Cut Templates!

To prevent stretching, do two things:

  1. Use starch. I have an article about different kinds of starch and how to use it. Check it out!​
  2. Be gentle. You know those two words most adults anxiously whisper to toddlers as they careen through life? Well I'm saying them to you now. Just be gentle and you'll be fine.

This Bird Watching quilt kit will be available soon at and the Charley Harper fabric is now available for pre-order! And did I mention that the Western Birds Main print comes in 108"?? This fits into my anti-seam quilt world very nicely.


If you like this quilt design, check out some similar quilt patterns in the shop!

Triangle Jitters​

Triangle Jitters Quilt Pattern

30 thoughts on “FREE Bird Watching Quilt Pattern

  1. Susan R. says:

    I’m new to your blog and love it (my daughter sent me here – ha, ha). Even though I am more of a traditional quilter, I love your happy posts and wonderful patterns. We are going to work on one of your quilt patterns together. Thanks for your inspiring, tips, and great patterns!

  2. Sharon says:

    Cincinnati native who has seen his original work and met Charlie Harper, he was as genuine as his art! His artwork was throughout my children’s pediatrician patient rooms. Each child had their favorite.
    Thank you for sharing! I am getting my fabric preordered.

  3. Katie says:

    Love, love, love all of your quilt designs! You have perfect toes also (as seen in some of your photographers shots!)…LOL

  4. Dara says:

    Suzy- you’re a gifted writer and blogger/blog manager.. I’ve read many, and you have the business side + the beauty + the talent pegged! Oh!! And your quilts are fabulous!
    I used 108″ bird backing on a throw. Purple background with big dots. I don’t know the designer, but it’s fabulous! My very traditional quilter friend almost had a stroke!! 😂😂

  5. Vanessa says:

    Hi Suzy! I’m just working on making this Quilt as a Christmas gift and I had a question regarding the templates. I thought my printer didn’t print to scale but I think it did because template B is 12 1/2″ high but template A isn’t 6 3/4 high. I have a equilateral triangle ruler so I cut the triangles 6 3/4 high but am now worried that everything won’t fit together appropriately. Suggestions?

  6. Chris says:

    The bird watching quilt is beautiful. I’m making your mini triangle quilt now in the throw size. Does the bird watching quilt have directions for smaller size quilts or just the large size.

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      The pattern includes just the one size, but you could easily make it smaller by sewing fewer triangles together on one side and on the bottom. I’d love to see this as a baby quilt!

  7. Linda S. says:

    Hi Suzy, I would like to download this pattern but am not finding the link. Is it still available as a free download? If so, let me know what I’m missing. Thanks so much for these Charley Harper quilts. I purchased some of the newest line and was trying to figure out what pattern to use. This one is perfect. Thank you!

  8. Carina says:

    I’m new to making a quilt with triangles. You suggest using a 6.5inch clear triangle ruler but the pattern is 6.75inches. Can you clarify the difference? Thank you!

  9. Jill says:

    Question, why do we need 1/2 yard of the mint solid specifically? Is that colour used more in the pattern somewhere? I can’t buy the kit anymore so I’m trying to source the fabrics individually and it’s proving to be a challenge! TIA

  10. Emma says:

    Hey!!! 😀
    I had the MOST AMAZING auntie who made a stellar king-sized variation of this quilt for us. The pattern is so beautiful! Can’t wait to post and tag after I gift this to my man for our 10 year anniversary. I’m just working on the embroidery patch. Is there a quilt number, code, name I can write to simply reference where the pattern is from? What do you suggest?
    Thank you for your beautiful work.

  11. Anita Laney says:

    Hi Suzy, I am a beginner quilter… but I love hand embroidery and found your How to Hand Quilt tutorial on YouTube. Is the quilting (in the photos) of the Bird Watching Quilt Free Motion Quilting (done on a long arm or domestic machine) or was it done with a walking foot?

  12. Joan says:

    Took a while but I’m finally making this quilt – and it is easy – HOWEVER watch those rhombus seams like Suzy warned! p. s. I’m not having fun shopping during this mess and I hurry – I felt the cream fabric, had it cut, took it home and – well, it’s really thin, low thread count also adding to the “wobbly” nature. But top is done and so cute!!!!! Now to quilt…..hmmm

  13. Mona says:

    This quilt pattern is amazing and was a very good introduction to making triangles. The pattern really shines with large scale prints like the Charley Harper line. I made it twice and bumped the size to Queen for each. Thank you!

  14. AIMEE L EMERY says:

    i just recently made this quilt its absolutely beautiful. i was lucky enough to purchase it when birch fabrics came back from quilt con.

  15. Carole says:

    I purchased the Bird Watching Quilt Kit from FabricWorm. It came with the Charley Harper Sierra Range of fabrics. So beautiful! BUT…It comes with 6 FQ of printed fabric and 5 FQ of solid color fabric. There’s 1 1/2 yards of Dark Forest Solid for the background and 1/2 yd. of Golden flax solid for binding. Also the Sierra Range Poster Panel..which is 1 yard. Given that the instructions that come with the kit feature 15 FQ prints, I’m having a hard time figuring out how to cut out all the printed fabric Template A’s. Can I get 42 6 3/4″ triangles out of only 6 FQ? I realize it’s been a while since this kit was sold at Fabricworm..I did go to the website to see if I could find any instructions or help. Nothing there. I’d appreciate any help you could give. This will be my first quilt!

    • Jessica Schunke says:

      Hi Carole. You need 80 Template A pieces total. You can get 9 Template As from a single FQ, so if you have 11 total FQs, you’ll have more than enough and can decide among your fabrics how you want to divide the pieces among the prints and solids. To get 9 Template As from one FQ, cut the FQ into (3) 6 3/4″ x 18″ strips, then use the template to cut three pieces from each strip, rotating the template 180 degrees for every other piece. Hope that helps!

    • Jessica Schunke says:

      Hi Judy! Do you mean the white fabric with the birds? That’s just the backing Suzy used on the Bird Watching quilt. It’s from the Western Birds fabric collection by Charley Harper for Birch Fabrics.

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