It’s been quite a while since I made a flying geese quilt.
Within the past couple weeks, I got back in touch with a friend, “A,” I met through work ten years ago. We were at the same company, and I ended up getting a new job in a different state about six months after she started. Fast forward a couple years and she got a position at the same place where I worked.
It’s very rare to have someone in your life who has some of the same shared professional history. A and I could talk about our previous work place and the city we used to live in. We haven’t seen each other in a few years, and in that time period she 1) got married and 2) was expecting her first child.
In fact, when we reconnected she was about a week away from giving birth. A has always been wonderful to me and James. We used to go to this place that had Dollar Sushi Night, and on one occasion, she rescued us when the borrowed pickup truck we were in suddenly died at an intersection.
When I saw A was pregnant, I knew I had to make something for the baby. I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone and create my own quilts without looking at a pattern. Not to mention, it was an opportunity to bust out my new Fiskars 14 X 14 inch Self Healing Rotating Cutting Mat. Using Cotton + Steel Netorious Mixing Bowl and Art Gallery Fabrics Priory Square Steeping Awakening, I made up eight flying geese blocks. I’ve been using the Quilt in a Day Large Flying Geese Ruler for years and it sure makes things easier for me!
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The quilt design layout was pretty simple and somewhat improvisational. The flying geese blocks were 4.5″ by 8.5″ so I cut out various lengths of the Priory Square fabric with an 8.5″ width. Then I made a row interspersed with flying geese and background fabric.
Originally, I had two yards of the background fabric, and used some for the center row. The remaining fabric was sliced in half on the diagonal and sewn on each side of the row.
The quilting is simple – just straight lines that turn a corner. I did *not* eyeball this – each line was marked using an air soluble purple marker and ruler. For me, I find my lines are the most accurate when I mark the actual line instead of using a seam guide.
The backing is a coral twin sheet from Target’s Threshold line. I found it on clearance months ago for around $6. No sewing seams here! I’ve had hit or miss luck with using sheets as quilt backings. The Threshold Performance sheets didn’t do so well with another quilt I made, possibly because they don’t shrink at the same rate as quilting cotton?
The sheet for this baby quilt was from a different line – the 300 thread count Ultra Soft Threshold line. It’s 100 percent cotton and found it was more alike to quilting cotton. However, I would definitely use the Performance sheets for garment making. I think they would launder well and not need ironing.
My new Janome Horizon 7700 has a couple monogramming stitches, so I used the cursive option to make a quilt label with the baby’s name, birth date, and a short message. Coincidentally, I completed this quilt on the day of the birth. I still have a bit of leftover unicorn print fabric given to me by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness – it’s part of her new Fantasia line for Art Gallery Fabrics. It was absolutely perfect for the label!
I’m really happy with the way this quilt turned out. This is the first time I’ve managed to machine bind and it looked pretty good! I’d been glue basting the binding, but used Wonder Clips instead and they gave me a much better result.
I attached the binding to the quilt front, pressed the binding away from the front, then used clips to attach to the back – making sure the binding completely covered the stitch line. Then I stitched in the ditch on the front. There was only one small area that didn’t “catch,” and I hand sewed it.
Another strange twist of fate is that I’d asked A what colors she was doing the nursery in. Her response: light green, gold, and cream. I just happened to have those two yards of the gorgeous Priory Square gold roses fabric, and another two yards of the Cotton + Steel metallic Netorious Mixing Bowl. I really wanted to use these fabrics, but hadn’t come up with the right project until this one.
The quilt is now in the mail on its way to A and the baby – I hope she likes it!
See you next time!