Scrap quilts are my favorite format. The eye is constantly moving across the quilt surface discovering treasures that the cursory observer passes by. Flying geese are one of my favorite units – a pleasant reminder of the Midwest autumn. My inspiration quilt combines both of these. The unexpected border treatment was ‘icing on the cake.’
I chose to reproduce the original quilt. I consider my quilt to be a product of three generations. The first generation is the original quiltmaker who created a masterpiece (to my eye) with rudimentary tools. The second generation is the era of my appliances – my mom’s 1951 Singer sewing machine and GE steam iron. With flying geese this small, a good steam iron is a must. The third generation is the ‘age of the internet.’ The internet was instrumental in finding the quilt owner, searching for pink fabric to supplement my stash yardage (generously gifted by an internet acquaintance I’ve never met) and refreshing my memory on the quilter’s knot via a ‘You Tube’ video.
I embraced the scrap quilt format. All the fabrics in the quilt, with the exception of the wide muslin backing, were from stash – most pieces were leftover snippets from other projects. Each block was a fabric treasure hunt – my favorite aspect of quilting.
Close examination of each block leads me to question if the original quilt was pieced by two quiltmakers. The Flying Geese blocks in the lower section of the quilt show controlled symmetry of fabric placement by value. The upper section and borders are much freer in format. Each border is independent – the right border is high contrast with the inside row mainly plain muslin. No other border incorporates plain fabric. The top border is very low contrast. Reading the clues, I think the bottom border was pieced last, right to left, as there are two ‘pieced’ pieces near the left edge.
My piecing style is aligned with the ‘controlled’ lower section of the quilt. My eye is wired for symmetry. It was fun to ‘go with the flow’ in the interpretation of the upper section of the quilt.
The greatest ‘take away’ for me was the re-introduction to the joy of hand-quilting. As an adult we often abandon things that frustrate us – because we can. Walking away from my frustration wasn’t an option. You can ‘teach an old dog new tricks’!