Friday, November 13, 2020

my flocks


It’s Fall, have you been hearing the geese call? They actually began calling me this summer when I saw a few compelling sunny yellow quilts and decided to make a scrappy yellow quilt of my own with HSTs in a flying geese formation.

My yellows felt very fresh and cheerful, unlike the sunny Summer weather, which was just plain horribly hot. I stuck to buttery, lemony, and very slightly gold tones for my fabric picks. It gave me exactly the impression I was going for. 

I included some really special pieces in just small amounts, mixed in with many blender prints. I finally broke into my Heather Ross stash, which I hardly ever touch! I love her prints and buy them frequently, but I rarely use them  most are novelty prints and I have a hard time mixing them in with my usual picks. However, in this scrappy quilt, they blended perfectly, even the funky ones like the honey bears and those newspaper hats. I’m beginning to get a feel for how to use them, so I think they will be showing up in my work more.

I even splurged on the backing by using a large piece of the Sleeping Beauty print. Unfortunately, I didn’t include the selvage like I meant to. No big loss, but it’s a touch I like to add when I can. I also used up the hats and bears on the back because I wanted to use them in a place I knew they worked and I would like them. I think they make a whimsical surprise on the back that will be fun to discover when using the quilt.

This quilt is all quilted up now. I used the HST squares as a grid for doing an orange peel FMQ pattern. I like how it adds curves to contrast with the angles. I've even got a binding made for this project, but as I have 5 other quilts that need binding completed, I'm thinking these geese won't be in use til after Winter, and that's just fine. The sun will come back out in Spring when it should.

But the geese aren't all hibernating just yet. Early last year I was pondering and lamenting over a lot of my early-on fabric purchases made in the excitement of discovering quilting, and trying to decide what to do with a pile of half-yards I had rashly acquired.  I decided to mix in coordinates from stash, some solids, and make a bunch of geese. These are true flying geese blocks, 4"x8" geese, made with the bloc-loc ruler. I'm using the squares-and-rectangle-trim-and-flip method, so I'm also get loads of HSTs as I go.

I'm getting so many geese out of the yardage I have that I decided to break it into two quilts: one warm, one cool-toned. I made a few early on this year, and the project fell to the wayside. But then my longtime quilty friends Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color and Lucy Brennan of Charm About You organized a Fall Flying Geese sewalong called "Geesey Geesey" (which my brain misread as "Geesey Geese" for several weeks, haha.)

Rachel has a pattern for her no-waste method and all the info for constructing a flying geese quilt in three different styles. She's a master teacher, so if you'd like to give geese a try, go learn from Rachel. I already had the project underway and was using the ruler, so I'm using the quilt along mainly for motivation to complete these projects. 

I'm calling the cool-toned quilt Olmstead's Geese as I was listening to Genius of Place, a biography of Frederick Law Olmstead when I began the quilt. The greens and blues remind me of his parks and landscape design career. (Such an interesting book, by the way, if you like historical figure biographies. I'm a huge Biltmore and Central Park fan, so it was right up my listening alley.)

the warm-toned quilt has been dubbed Grellow Garden Geese because of the heavy use of "grellow" (greeny-yellows and yellowy-greens) colors in the quilt. I'm using this floral as the inspiration print to guide the additional fabric selections. There are many golden "grellows" in the palette, as well as very light yellows and some spice browns. It's definitely a departure from my usual palette choices: very Fall feeling and with an almost ugly vintage 70's vibe. I imagine you could dig it up out of a chest in someone's attic.

These were some combinations I began with.

I'm currently in the process of adding in the browns from the inspo floral print. I can't say I love any of these on their own, but I'm hoping it all plays nicely when it's done.

So there you have my flocks, flying geese quilts for at least two seasons.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

fall paint lake


A few months ago I wanted a bit more of the yellow Sleeping Beauty Heather Ross print, which I found on Etsy. While I was ordering, I got a few more half yards to build my stash and help justify the shipping cost.

When the package arrived, I was super busy and set it aside, not opening it for a few weeks  (As a fabriholic, that’s pretty busy!) When I did open it up, I’d completely forgotten what I’d ordered and was so surprised to find this beautifully coordinated Fall bundle, accidentally curated by me! I took out the green floral print and light blue Rapunzel, but I thought the rest went together really well. I set it aside until I could decide what to make with it.

Up to this point, I have not been a seasonal quilter in the sense of making quilts with the colors or theme of the current season.  But I find I am leaning that way more all the time. When it’s Summer, I want to use summer colors. By the time we’ve moved into Fall, I don’t want to work on those summery quilts anymore - I want something reminiscent of Autumn. Many of my quilts don’t fall into a seasonal category, and I’ll work on them whenever. But lately I have definitely been feeling the pull of the season in my quilting.

Recently, I got a weekend to devote a large amount of time to quilting. I was working on flying geese from that really old stack of Origins fabrics in my stash, playing along beside Rachel Hauser and Lucy Brennan, two longtime quilty friends, in the Geesey Geesey quilt along. I was churning out those geese and the accompanying leftover HSTs for hours on end, making great progress. During that project, I kept passing by that stack of fabric above.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed a break from geese and their color palette. I looked at all my saved posts on IG and decided to make a Paint Lake quilt with my fabric stack. I cut it all out and assembled the majority of it in one evening, finishing up in the morning. It was soooo easy and very satisfying. 

I did have to add in more prints (mostly low-volume) to get the right number needed for the pattern, but I think I managed to keep the feel of the original stack quite well.

Completing the top got the urge out of my system. I have no idea what to back it with, but I’m in no hurry at the moment. That’ll come in time. I’m just really pleased to have made the top so effortlessly and satiated my need to work with that stack of fabric.