Bewitched by Bertie

I tried to resist, really I did. For several years I was the only one in my quilt group, the Quisters, who didn’t do wool appliqué. Not that I wasn’t tempted or didn’t admire it. I just didn’t want another hobby on top of my quiltmaking obsession. Nor did I need another category of fabric — wool — vying for space with my quilting cottons.

All that changed when I saw Bertie’s Year on display at the Pine Needle’s Open House earlier this year:

Bertie's Year originals by bonnie sullivan
Bertie’s Year by Bonnie Sullivan


Designed and made by fellow Oregonian Bonnie Sullivan of All Through the Night (“Folk Art designs with a bit of whimsy”), Bertie’s Year is made up of a dozen 13″ x 17″ wool applique projects, one for each month of the year. The projects are bordered by different designs of half-square triangles made of Woolies flannel (designed by none other than Bonnie Sullivan for Maywood Studios). The monthly projects can stand alone or be combined into a quilt.

So am I going to make the entire quilt? Heavens, no! I’m just dipping my toe in the water. I’m going to make one month’s project to see how I like it. My Quisters promised I could raid their wool stashes, which are ample because they are also rug hookers.

The hard part was choosing the month. Every single one of the projects is absolutely charming. I finally decided to make the July project for the simple reason that it makes me smile every time I look at it. Here is Bertie perched on a slice of watermelon spitting a seed. He’s sporting a jaunty hat (probably made from a folded newspaper) and tucked under his wing is a little branch loaded with blueberries:

Bertie's Year July original by Bonnie Sullivan
Bertie’s Year — July

This little vignette speaks to me of summer, sunshine and good times with friends and family. Can you see now why I gave in to temptation?

This is how far I’ve gotten:

Bertie's Year July initial prep
Thanks for the Wool Scraps, Quisters!

The background is flannel the color of espresso and the appliqué pieces are wool scraps courtesy of my Quisters. Bertie is looking a little bare at the moment but that’s only temporary.

Of course I had to get a bundle of fat quarters in the Woolies flannels:

Bertie's Year July red flannels
Fabulous Flannel Fat Quarters


Bertie is coming along with me on an upcoming trip so I hope to have something to show you in the next few weeks. I am eager to get started!

Tell me, have you been bewitched by Bertie, too?




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7 Responses to Bewitched by Bertie

  1. I have been bit as well! I wanted to join the BOM program so much but cannot start one more BOM without finishing others I have started. A few weekends ago I was at a shop hop and a shop had monthly kits available- I held myself to one- I got the one with the squirrel. I cannot wait to start it!

  2. Clara Chandler says:

    I can agree with you about not starting a new hobby while quilting but…..handwork is always good to have available so I succumbed to February. Yes, just one and it was due to the bleeding hearts, one of my most favorite spring flowers. Good Luck on your project. I’ll be starting mine soon.

  3. Jeanne Ann says:

    Adorable! Bertie seems fond of hats and headscarves.
    Looks like fun!

  4. Sherri says:

    Wow Dawn,
    Is there anything you can’t do and can’t do well?
    Bertie is so cute! I am interested in how you prepared your applique.
    How is wool applique different from regular applique?

  5. Sherri says:

    The new Quilters Newsletter digital edition has been released. Three more blocks!
    Have you noticed that the 4-square that goes around the outside the squares (there are 10 of them) look very much like the one in the medallion that we have already made? I wonder if those could me made up ahead. Of course, as sure as I do that, I will be wrong. What do you think?

    • Dawn says:

      Sherri, I am about 99% sure those squares are the same size but I want to draft them on graph paper before I commit totally!

  6. Diane says:

    It is so entertaining reading the comments from fellow quilters and Dawn’s blog posts! You all have it so bad – the lust for new projects in conflict with unfinished projects. I say GO FOR IT because you all know you will have huge fabric stashes and unfinished projects awaiting your heirs! 😀

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