Welcome to week 5 and block 7 in the Quilt-as-You-Go Simple Sampler!
The Birds in the Air block is probably my favorite in this whole quilt. It's also the most challenging block to turn into a 8.5" block because it naturally divides into thirds (and 3 doesn't go neatly into 8). But here we go!
First you'll need to cut a 9.5" square of your focus fabric, (2) 3.75" squares of your focus fabric, and (3) 3.75" squares of your background fabric.
Mark a diagonal line on the back of the two small focus fabric squares.
Pair the two focus fabric squares up with two background squares right sides together and sew. One pair you will sew on both sides of the line, the other on just one side.
Cut the blocks along the marked lines and press. The spare focus fabric
triangle is extra, not needed for this project. Trim your HSTs to 3.25". Be sure that as you're trimming them you align the 45 degree angle on your ruler with the angle in the block.
Cross cut your large square on the diagonal. Keep one half and toss the other in your scrap bin. Also cross cut the unused background square to create two triangles. Layout the blocks as shown above and sew the pieced half of the triangle together in rows. As you sew the rows together align everything toward the straight sides (top and left in the pic above) and nest the vertical seams to be sure everything is going together right. When it's assembled press carefully.
More than likely you're going to need to go some trimming to make everything fit, and you want to be trimming the excess from the diagonal side. Trim the block by measuring 1/4" from the points of the HSTs on the diagonal side and trimming the excess.
Join the pieced triangle to the focus fabric triangle, aligning one side and letting the excess hang over at the end. Then press the block and trim to 8.5" square.
Check out the index post for instructions on how to add borders and make a mini-quilt sandwich.