Does anyone else find it a little ironic that the Cats Cradle Block includes six Birds in the Air Blocks? As ironic as it is, I doubt the origin of the block had anything to do with cats catching birds. More likely (this is my guess), the block originated from the string game, Cat’s Cradle, which is several hundred years old. If you look carefully, the block shape looks much like the shape from the string game.
Of course, this traditional block is part of the Kitty in the Middle Quilt. The first step in construction are Half Square Triangles (HST). These HSTs are then converted to Birds in the Air by sewing two small triangles to adjacent sides of the HST and a large triangle to those two smaller triangles. If you are using a directional print, you should cut your pieced carefully and audition them before stitching.
Bird in the Air Blocks are then combined with plain blocks in a nine patch arrangement to create the Cats Cradle Block. The important thing to remember when making the nine patch is to ensure that the Birds in the Air are facing in the correct direction. Three face one way and three face the other way. It truly makes a difference in how the block looks!
When making a quilt with lots of triangles, I highly recommend using starch or sizing to prevent the pieces from stretching while you sew. It makes your blocks much more even.
There are eight Cats Cradle Blocks in the Kitty in the Middle Quilt. Here is how they fit together so far! Three sets of blocks down. Five more sets to go. This is coming together nicely, if I do say so myself 🙂