More quilt finishes for my personal “Quilts in the Time of Covid” coffee table book (I’m only half joking – I think I will make myself a photo book to commemorate the year from hell. Although it was a very prolific year in terms of quilting!)
These next three quilts all use flying geese – a very classic and traditional block. Flying geese have a central triangle (the goose) and two side triangles (the sky) and can be both constructed and combined in myriad ways. Folklore has it that the flying geese block is from the Civil War era, and that it was used in the Underground Railroad code. A quilt with specific blocks hanging on a clothes line outside a home would be used to send messages to escaping slaves – and tradition tells us that the flying geese block would be pointing the direction to freedom. I don’t know if this is strictly true or not, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still a compassionate, compelling story and I’m sticking with it.
This black one is now a favorite – these colors seem to actually vibrate. The fabric line is Marbella by Benartex. I bought several fat quarters, without much of a plan, just because I loved the saturated colors so much. Here the flying geese blocks radiate out from a square within a square, and with the intense colors it seems a more modern use of the block. This arrangement of blocks is called a “circle of nine” for obvious reasons, and I love all the negative space it allows around the blocks. For the quilt design I used the “beads on a string” idea but with spirals, that adds so much texture. I changed thread color so that the black thread wouldn’t show up too much on the yellow block.
This red, white and blue quilt I gave to my parents for Veteran’s Day this fall – which happened to be the last time I was able to make a trip to see them. I am very committed to keeping us both safe from COVID 19 and have been limiting our in-person visits. They are getting their vaccine this week, so I am hopeful I can resume visiting soon. They are both Air Force veterans – my dad a navigator and career officer and my mom did a three year tour as an Air Force nurse, so the patriotic color scheme was perfect. Again the flying geese are front and center – even the squares are really just two geese back to back. This design is by Lisa Audit for Willmington. I appreciate the clean look of the white background and the way the colors kind of fade in and out from those central squares. A simple all over quilting design of spiral molar flowers keeps the quilt soft.
And this last one has more half square triangles than flying geese, but the geese are still at the party. Again, I am quite the fan of black in quilts. This one is called a king’s crown. The block itself was enlarged, and wide borders added, to make it big enough to be a one block quilt. It’s a wall hanging size with straight-ish line quilting with a walking foot. I used purple thread, and in real life you can see the purple lines which adds quite a bit to the overall look of the quilt.
Thanks for reading! And if you’re interested in making some flying geese of your own, I actually have a 4-at-a-time tutorial on my website under the tab “tutorials” (naturally). I made that tutorial for selfish reasons – I kept wanting the measurements needed to make a specific size goose and how to trim them correctly and could never remember which website I used for that info – so I made my own and now don’t have to hunt all over the internet when I want to make flying geese!
Everyone stay safe out there – wear your mask – they really do help!