Rooster and Other Progress

For the first week or more after returning home from travels, I didn’t get into my studio, except to do a really minor project for Jim. My hiatus of about a month left my quilting “muscles” wimpy, so I eased in by sewing a label on a baby quilt and making a pillowcase for the baby’s older brother.

Flying Geese
After those were done, I still wasn’t mentally prepared for anything very hard. I decided to pull out my stack of flying geese, made before the end of last year with the intention of creating a strip quilt in pinks and browns, with the addition of teal and dark red. If you remember, that “strip quilt” became a medallion, centered by a house. But there were 88 flying geese, still plenty to make a strip quilt! I could split them into four sets. The geese finished at 3″ x 6″, so a strip of 22 geese would be 66″ long. Nice size for a big lap or couch quilt.

The trouble was, I would need strips to put between the geese, and then something else to use as borders. I’d have to buy something or do a lot more piecing. Honestly, I just wasn’t that into it. After moaning to Jim a bit about the math, the sizing, how it would be to make blocks instead of strips … he said something like, can’t you just sew them all together?

Heck, yeah!

Funny how someone else’s question can unstick your mind. It’s just one of those “what-ifs” we’ve talked about before. What if you give up the idea of making a strip quilt, or even a block quilt? What if you enjoy the shapes of the triangles, created by value differences between light and dark? What if the lines between shapes extend and end in unpredictable ways? What if you stop being so rigid? 🙂

Because I can’t give up the math completely, I figured that my 88 geese would go together in pairs, to make 42 blocks finishing at 6″ x 6″, with 4 geese left over. I sewed them into pairs and then started arranging. This was the finished top, with edges cropped in the photo-taking.

I found fabric for the back and cut binding strips. After I quilt it later in the month, I’ll donate it through my guild for the VA hospital.

Next time, what about that rooster? 🙂


28 thoughts on “Rooster and Other Progress

  1. Shasta

    Love the randomness of the placement of these geese! I know you carefully made sure each geese flew the proper way, but the placement is very whimsical and pleasing.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. As to flying the proper way, I’m not sure about that! I did enjoy the freedom of placement this piece gave. Thanks for taking a look.

  2. snarkyquilter

    Your title is quite the bait and switch Well, roosters and geese are both fowls. My favorite bits of your geese is where two bleed into the border. Even more of that would be great. If you really want to confuse folks you could call this one piano.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yes, more crossing borders is definitely in order, though it won’t happen for this quilt. And I love the name “Piano.” I was thinking of something more ordinary, like “Geese Gone Wild.” 🙂

  3. Elizabeth E.

    I saw this on IG, and wondered what the original story was. I went and re-read the House quilt post, and think you did a great job in making good use of all those flying geese. That block does have a lot of energy, and makes up a great quilt!
    You keep mentioning VA donations. Is this something you set up by yourself, or does your guild arrange donations? And are they completed quilts, quilting and binding and all? Or do you just contribute tops somewhere and someone else finishes them? It’s a good way to make use of our “experimental” quilts, that we don’t need to keep around.

  4. Nancy Granner

    Good looking quilt — I like the scrappy look with lots of different fabrics. Keep up the good work.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Your piece is terrific, great use of space, value, color… I like the addition of turquoise to strengthen it. Your comments seem to be turned off on this post and others I’ve noticed. If that’s on purpose, I’ll just add that I do enjoy seeing your work.

      1. jmn

        I apparently turned comments off about a month ago. I’ve turned them back on again. I enjoy hearing people’s reactions. Thanks for alerting me about them being turned off.

      2. jmn

        Lots to look at, actually. You’ve used the 2 geese blocks in interesting subtle ways – need to look closely to see all the juxtapositions. I like it.

      3. jmn

        In fact, that top row isn’t an obvious collection of 2 geese blocks – counting them shows me you did two 3-blocks! Haven’t looked closely enough at the rest to see where else you might have done that, but cleverly done.

        1. Melanie McNeil Post author

          Thanks! 🙂 I ended up combining a few in non-regular alignment, and it added some options for arranging them to cross the grid, so to speak. Thanks for taking such a careful look.


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