Tuesday, October 20, 2015

When Your Flying Geese Head South

I got it in my head last month that I needed to make a quilt with oversized flying geese—like, really oversized. I had been wanting to piece something with Essex Linen and to sew a palette of saturated blues. Surely one quilt project could check off each of those boxes.

I got fairly far with my vision, or so I thought. I decided to make some of the geese out of made fabric. I would sew a few random pretty blocks and join them with bits of scraps, comparable to Victoria Finlay Wolfe’s technique but with more structure. I would cut the other geese out of yardage.

I started with the largest of the flying geese, which measures 15 inches by 40 inches. I really liked the results ...

One of my giant mutant flying geese!


Then I moved on to the scrappy geese and decided I hated them ...

Trust me, viewing this in person with the other blocks was total ick.


Annoyed with how things were going, I didn’t bother sewing the linen on here. But I had already sacrificed my last few blue Lizzy House butterflies for this block. Ack!


The geese with the made fabric seemed fussy. Perhaps the problem was an issue of scale and my approach would be better suited to something smaller? I kicked the scrappy geese from my flock, tweaked the palette, considered a pop of color … and still felt that I was on the wrong path.

Maybe these blues will do the trick?


As I forced the creation of this quilt along, I knew I was on the verge of losing my sewjo. So here’s what I did when my flying geese headed south ... I folded all the fabric up neatly and hid it from view. I cleaned my house. I did a little online shopping. And I decided to wrap up some projects that would be surefire successes, ones that would require little brain power or creativity at this stage of the game.

Here are the geese-less projects that are now on the sewing table:

My Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt. The quilt top is fully pieced. I just need to sew the back and quilt this project. With the easy piecing comes easy quilting. I’ll be stitching in the ditch on this one. Yes, please. I hope to post the finished quilt and tutorial before Thanksgiving.


My Obsession Quilt. I started my Obsession Quilt almost a year ago with a thorough excavation of my scraps. It’s time to finish her up. One quadrant is done. I just need to complete the other three. And heaven help me, if I’m unable to do that in the weekend retreat I have coming up, I’m heading south with those geese of mine!


I know I’m not the only one. What do you do when you’re in danger of losing your sewjo? I promise not to judge you if your solution involves alcohol, credit cards, or (my go-to) cleaning projects, like organizing your bathroom drawers. (Hey, I might not have control over my quilt projects, but I have control over those drawers!)

Linking up to WIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social ...


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18 comments:

  1. I know you do not want to hear but I love the blue blocks! Blue is favorite color and I hoping to do multi blue quilt. Maybe when it comes back out, you know what to do. I live your quilt obsession quilt!!

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  2. I love blue too, if if that block does not have the look you want, it's not right, is it?
    What an amazing block the quilt obsession is - can't wait to see your finished top.

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  3. I just fold up what ever I am working with, put it far back into the closet, clean and fold my fabrics and start something new :) UFO's age like fine wine :)

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  4. Add another color. And I'm not even suggesting yellow... Orchid would work nicely here. A bright lime green maybe. I think these feel very much like a sad Michelle over worked with drudgery. Other suggestion: change out the tan. Nearly any other color would work better with those blues. Yes, yellow, but also aqua, orange, chartreuse, anything bright and happy! And if that doesn't work, well, I have an entire apartment full of unorganized drawers for you. :D

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  5. I try to switch projects as much as possible. I complete little projects. I step away from the machine and read. :)

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  6. Bring those geese North to retreat, see what our powers combined can do! Also, if I lose my sewjo I just start collecting inspiration until I feel inspired. Of course with some wine.

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  7. I'm obsessed with that giant goose on the door. I think you need to make two more, exactly the same, buy some more essex linen and float them toward the left side of the quilt. Bind in that blue. Then send directly to me. ;) Oh wait, that wasn't what this was supposed to be about? okay. . . well, glad you now have a clean house, some goodies coming in the mail, and your sewjo in tact! xoxo

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  8. Well, it rarely happens, but when it does, I organize my fabric, play with it, invariably find a pattern that's pretty quick and off I go!

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  9. PS, sorry hit send too fast, meant to add that I just love your Obsession quilt (the rainbow star one)!!

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  10. Taking a break is the right thing to do, you'll figure out those blues when you get back to them. Lovely rainbow obsession quilt.

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  11. Your X quilt stopped me in my tracks! Now I have a new obsession!!!

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  12. Yeah...I totally hide projects. Right now, that's not hard since my sewing area has become a dumping zone, but usually, they hide until I'm feeling brave. :) I'm sorry you're not loving this one.

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  13. I saw your scrappy quilt on WIP Wednesday. It is wonderful--great color placement.

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  14. I like your jelly roll quilt - it's fun. And the fabrics are really great.

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  15. putting a project away is a sound idea! time out usually helps. the fabrics are really great for your jelly roll quilt! that looks like a nice distraction. best of luck getting your obsession quilt finished and then maybe seeing what those geese are up to.

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  16. I hope it works out for you. I really do like the giant goose on the door. a few more like it with some neat quilting would suit me. But it will be neat to see what you come up with when you feel up to it. I think that lately when I'm having trouble getting excited about a project I just keep walking past it like it's not there, and then I go read blogs.

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  17. I hope you have a great time at your upcoming retreat. If I lose my sewjo for a short period, I ride it out. Sometimes I just need a little break. If all else fails, buy a new pattern/fabric and start a new project. Good luck.

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  18. If I fall out of love with a project I either make myself finish it or relegate to the UFO pile for a while. If I make myself work on it, it usually becomes my leaders and enders project. Enjoy your quilt retreat, sounds like you have some very fun stuff to work on.

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