Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Quilting, gardening, and flying geese

Lately, there have been a few forks in the road of my quilting quest. The latest took me down a dirt path--quite literally. I've been doing some gardening, thanks to the beautiful weather we have been having this Spring. Things are looking alive and healthy. It is all I could do to not get out there and play. Last year, with its hot, dry conditions, I couldn't imagine anything ever coming back to life, but it did. So after tugging at the tangles of Bermuda grass in the flower beds, there were honestly times I wondered if I will ever quilt again. That stuff is so hard to pull with its long underground root system that rivals anything I've ever seen.

I did manage though, to get some quilting in, even though not as much as I'd like. I know I will never be far from a threaded needle. It really doesn't matter much, whether that needle is attached to my sewing machine or stuffed into a pin cushion, the little thing calls to me. 

I have a few projects in various stages, but the main one is my quilting board Block of the Month (BOM) project. I'm not sure if I'm pleased with the colors I've chosen--turquoise and yellow, but I'm sure when it is a completed quilt, it will be beautiful. After all, quilts are just naturally beautiful! 

The only other projects I have been working on lately are to make a few table runners as birthday gifts. I've made three so far, in different colors, using the same favorite pattern. 

I just made this green one for a friend of mine.  

Flying geese table runner

The pattern is from my purple quilt, the BOM sample quilt from last year's Craftsy class. In fact, that's it peeking out from behind the table runner.

The quilted design is from the free-motion quilting pattern taught by Leah Day for her Craftsy class, Free Motion Quilting a Sampler. I'm getting pretty good at these stitches, but only because I've done them on 10 blocks now--three for the three table runners I've made and the original block in the quilt. 

This is the only table runner of the three that I managed to snap a picture. 

It is a simple block, made of several pairs of flying geese arranged with simple squares.

Flying Geese - done!
Flying Geese - done! (Photo credit: jeansophie)
For non-quilters, a piece of patchwork known as 'flying geese' refers to the pattern shown at left with four flying geese patches. There are many different ways to make this patch. I use the one where in this example, a blue square is sewn diagonally onto two corners of a cream-colored rectangle. The excess fabric--half of the blue square, a triangle, and its accompanying cream colored triangle beneath, are then trimmed away. The pattern is vintage and represents as it suggests the pattern made by geese flying north in the summer and south in the winter. 

It has been said that runaway slaves fleeing northward used handmade patchwork quilts to communicate, with one another. They used to hang flying geese quilts on the line to signal to others that it was time to follow the geese northward. Their movements were masked by the noisy geese. The direction of the points on the quilt showed them the way.

I've achieved 'flying geese' progress in that I no longer have to draw a diagonal sewing line onto my squares. I have learned to eyeball it. Now that's progress! 

Time to go water the garden.


   
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