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About the designer

Alexandra Henry on craftsy.com
Flower Mound, Texas

Alexandra Henry is an award winning needle artist. She has been quilting, drawing, painting, and sewing since childhood. Alexandra is a free lance graphic artist/designer. Please visit Alexandra's ...

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Cactus Wren Applique Block

from Alexa's World
(7) Name: 'Quilting : Cactus Wren Applique Block
Cactus Wren Applique Block

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • Basic Applique Skills
  • Basic Embroidery Skills

Pattern Description:

When making the Cactus Wren block, I could not find the perfect fabric for the lower tail feathers. So I created one by using a Fabrico fabric marker. It worked perfectly for the larger spots on the lower tail. I wanted my birds to look realistic and as if they were ready to fly off their tree branch (or ground).

I love birds. I love drawing birds, painting birds, making applique blocks of birds, anything to do with birds. I discovered that 28 birds are all that is needed to represent all 50 states. So with a center flying eagle, I designed and made 'Symbols of Our Unity'.

I plan on uploading all 28 blocks plus the eagle pattern for sale. Rather than make people buy all the birds, I am uploading them as separate patterns so you can pick your favorites and buy just those patterns. The blocks are 8" but can be enlarged to 10" or 12" if desired, but an 8" block with a 2" border is perfect for a mini quilt that will fit a table stand. A bird block mini-quilt of their own state bird would make a great gift for that someone special.

These blocks can be done with needleturn, fusible, or machine applique. Pick your favorite method.

Please visit my website at http://www.artbyalexa.com to access other photos and my blog. There are tutorials for back baste applique and other techniques that you might find useful.

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • 8" square finished


  • One 9" square background fabric
  • One 7" square light green fabric for cactus
  • One 7" square medium green fabric for cactus
  • Various 6" squares of gray and black fabric for bird (see photo)
  • One 5" square white fabric for bird
  • One 4" square off-white fabric for bird
  • Plastic Template
  • Black embroidery floss (DMC 310)
  • Medium gray embroidery floss (DMC 451)
  • Ecru embroidery floss
  • Light Tan embroidery floss (DMC 436)
  • Black Fabrico fabric marker

You Will Also Need:

  • Applique needle
  • Embroidery needle
  • Lightbox (optional)