The Great Migration Quilt is simply a combination of two sizes of Flying Geese blocks. The blocks are left-overs from two previous projects.
The “geese” started out as 5″ squares and 8″ squares that were sewn diagonally through the center to make two half square triangles (HST).
I sewed 10 of the bigger “geese” into three rows.
The two rows of smaller “geese” have 20 blocks in each. They did not quite fit right so I ended up adding about an inch of muslin to the end of each. Use those creative skills…
The small interior borders are simply three strips 1.75″ wide sewn together.
The burgundy exterior borders are 4″ for top and bottom, and 6″ for the two sides.
The top went together quickly since the “geese” blocks were already together or mostly together. I think it took me longer to add the borders. Simple and quick quilt.
I did not buy anything for The Great Migration Quilt but the batting (even used a coupon). The geese blocks were left-overs from other projects. The borders were fabrics in my stash. The backing was the extra wide backing fabric that was already in my stash. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that I am using what is on hand.
Please don’t feel like you have to go out and purchase fabric for every quilt you make. Beautiful quilts can be made from the scraps and stash you already have on hand.
Today was a fairly nice day for early December in central Indiana. No snow, no rain, in the 40’s temp range, partly cloudy that eventually turned blue. I wanted to be outside but couldn’t think of a real reason to be there – I needed to be getting some fabric cut. Um….how about a road trip and beautiful quilts thrown in.
So six Christmas quilts got chosen to go along and get their photos taken outside and/or in an interesting location. Ended up in Sullivan County, Indiana with my trusty side kicks (AKA hubby and grand-daughter).
Taking photos of quilts is fun and honestly, who doesn’t want to show off the quilts they make? Look around for interesting places to use when taking photos of your quilts – it can be your own personal quilt show and a fun road show at the same time.
Background of Flowers & Tumblers quilt: FLOWERS & TUMBLERS (or scraps are taking over my world) part 3 – I have been trying to use only scraps to make quilts during 2019 and am making a dent in the two boxes of scraps. For this quilt I was inspired by a row quilt that I hand quilted for a customer this past summer and thought that some sort of row or section quilt would be fun. See previous posts:
Once the sections of tumblers and flowers were complete, I added 2.5″ strips of lightweight denim sashing around the sections. Now to come up with a border.
What to do about a final border? I decided on Flying Geese. So maybe I should change the name of the quilt from Flowers & Tumblers….No, I like the name. Anyway, I wanted big geese so started with 9″ squares that I will mark down the center diagonally and then sew the foot width from each side of the line. Those will be cut apart on the pencil line, turned and sewn together as geese. The advantage of this method is that there is no stretchy side to deal with and they can be made any size.
I sewed 20 big geese blocks, but I wasn’t thinking about how each goose is 2 blocks so after sewing the geese together, I realized they were way too big (um….ever heard of measure twice and cut once?) so I just went thru the scrap bin again and pulled out scraps to cut 5″ squares that sewn together as geese will make 9.5″ geese (the correct width for this project).
How to make the flying geese for the border
I cut 5″ squares of white or cream muslin and cut 5″ squares of various scraps. Just FYI – making geese this way allows you to make the geese any size you want for any project.
I drew a line from corner to corner on the light colored squares with a pencil. This line will allow me to sew a straight line beside it and use the marked line as the cutting line for a half square triangle (HST).
Below are the sewn blocks all ready to be cut apart and be ironed. I assembly line sew the geese all one way along the drawn line, and then sew them the other way. Here are the long line of blocks all sewn on both sides of the line.
Once I have sewn on both sides of the drawn line, then I cut the geese apart so they look like below. Now they are ready to be cut on the drawn line and ironed.
See below that the blocks are ironed and stacked by twos so I can match them and complete the “geese”.
Here are two sewn geese. They are ironed and ready to go into a row.
I sewed the geese together in pairs of 2, then those into pairs of 4, etc until I had the border the length I wanted.
And that is how I make HST geese. It is time consumptive and I have no doubt others have methods that work just as well for them, but this is what works for me.
I came up a few geese short so I added white fabric to the borders to take up that space. I just wanted to be done with this quilt and move on to another one. Who says that the geese actually have to go all the way around the quilt border anyway?
Here is the PDF pattern for the exact size tumbler and hexagon I used:
What about the other Flying Geese blocks that were too big?
As for the blocks that are now complete but too big for this project, they are in the shoe box with the left over tumblers from this quilt. I believe the next scrap quilt is already started. I am starting to visualize a whole bunch of section quilts to use up the scraps.
I am already planning……
So what happens once the scraps are under control? At that point, I get to make a planned quilt. I have an idea for one that will be Christmas themed. On hand, I have a black and white Paris themed fabric and if I combine it with red and green Christmas prints, I can make a quilt dedicated to my trip to Paris at Christmas in 1985. My mind is already wandering to other possibilities……..
This Flowers & Tumblers quilt looks great, but it did not start as a cohesive quilt idea. It started out as an exercise in frustration because the scraps had gotten out of hand and were taking over my world. I absolutely had to do something to stop the flood of scrap piles on the floor, on the shelves, and generally in my way.
On Jan. 1, 2019 I went thru every single piece of fabric on the shelves and put anything a quarter yard or less in a box (ok, it turned out to be two). Then I started cutting 3″ blocks, 2.5″ strips, and hexagons in two sizes. Each type went in plastic storage totes.
The leftovers from this went in a “crumb” tub to make string or crumb blocks at some point in the future.
The hexagons went in bags that I drug around on my job travels. The smaller size “flowers” are being appliqued to plain muslin blocks. The larger ones shown here got used in the strips in the photos – and yes, there are several more waiting for me to get back to them.
Am I the only one who comes out with leftovers from most of my quilts? Honestly, I never thought I was that bad at math….
So these two strips of English paper pieced flowers were the starting point for this quilt. I made the flowers while at a family reunion in July. I don’t sit well with nothing in my hands, so these were easy to pick up and put down with all the visiting and conversations.
PDF pattern for flowers and tumblers. These are the exact size off the plastic pattern pieces I used (print off on 8″ x 10″ paper). The flower will take 7 hexagons (1 center and 6 petals):
Here is a link to my previous blog about the quilt shown here, and it gives a basic idea of how to do English paper piecing. I will get back to giving more info and better directions in a later post here for Flowers & Tumblers.
Flying Geese seems to be a well known and well loved block among quilters. These blocks are fairly easy to make and can be arranged in other ways beside the traditional Flying Geese quilts. I like darker backgrounds, and thought that “Night Flight” was a good description of geese flying through a night sky.
According to a couple books in my personal library, this setting is called “Dutchman’s Puzzle”.
All the “geese” in this quilt are Jinny Beyers fabric. I had a stash of them and thought this would make a really neat looking quilt if I used solid black for the background. I put a lot of hours into this quilt and it was finished from start to finish in 2008.
Steps to make your own Night Flight:
I started with 5″ squares. I drew a line diagonally and then sewed on each side of the line to make 2 half square triangle pieces that I matched and sewed up the center to make each “goose”. I know this is a time consumptive method, but I prefer the accuracy and working with smaller pieces of fabric.
In order to put the design together, I simply laid the pieces out like a magazine photo I had seen. The pieces in the photo were much smaller, but I like the bigger blocks and they were actually easy to work with.
I used to spend a lot of time working with triangles, but over the past 10 years or so I have gone to using the half square triangle method because of the accuracy, and the way triangles tend (for me at least) to really stretch out of shape, which is means a lot more squaring up to make the blocks fit.
When I show other quilters how to make these Flying Geese blocks, I use this method. The size can be adjusted easily to any size triangles desired.
The backing is not a match to the front at all. In fact, I think it is a super ugly fabric (my own opinion). This fabric was on sale for a great price and is good quality cotton. Another plus is that it was on hand. The budget would not stretch enough to cover another back, and the machine quilting.
Finished size is 100″ square.
Machine quilting is an all over cloud design by RLM in July 2008.
The binding is 2.5″ strips cut from the leftover Jinny Beyers fabrics. It is sewn into a long strip, and ironed in half (1.25″). I machine sewed the raw edge down on the front, flipped it over to the back and hand stitched down.
Here are two links to other info on Flying Geese quilts –