Hi everyone! I finished piecing my “I Love This Quilt!” remake of Geese in My Kitchen and I want to share it with you, along with a couple of tips in case you want to make your own version.
When I first blogged about this remake back in June (which you can read here), I was about halfway through making all 216 of the flying geese and I was still mulling my options for the two solids I’d need for the blocks. At the time I was considering a pale blue and navy blue in lieu of Kathy Patterson’s black and white (with one pop of bright orange).
I ended up going with Soldier Blue and Shell, a light beige, from FreeSpirit Fabrics’ Designer Solids collection. The Soldier Blue has a deep blue color I love that’s a bit brighter than navy, and the Shell, well, I told you these Jennifer Paganelli prints reminded me of a beach vacation, didn’t I? I admit I was drawn to the name but also to how the soft, pale neutral offers just a little bit of contrast to the clear, bright prints and their white undertones.
Once I had all 216 flying geese pieced, I organized and then sewed them into 9 sets of 4 rows of 6 flying geese each.
Then I made two test units with the solids before I cut all of the large and small solid triangles needed to make the blocks. I figured a couple of things out by doing so.
First, instead of using 2 large and 2 small triangles of the same solid for each unit, I decided to change course and use small triangles of the contrasting solid in each just because I thought it would give the overall design a little bit more “spin.”
The other thing I figured out through experience was the best way to join the triangles to the flying geese rows. I don’t know if you can tell in the photo above, but in the unit made with the Shell solid (the first one I made), I joined the small triangles to the ends of the row before joining the large triangles to the side. With the Soldier Blue unit I joined triangles in the reverse order, which of course worked better.
The most accurate way to join the triangles by machine is to sew with the triangle on the bottom with the flying geese row on the top. This allows you to keep an eye on the seam allowances of the flying geese to keep the corners nice and sharp.
The unfinished long sides of the triangles measure 13-1/4”, which is longer than the unfinished 12-1/2” of the flying geese row, so you need to find the proper alignment by matching the centers. This is easy to do by finger pressing the long side of a triangle and matching it to the center seam of the row.
Because the long sides of the triangles are on the bias, they can stretch while stitching them, particularly when they’re being pulled along by the feed dogs of the machine. For that reason, I pinned at the center as well as close to either end of the rows, keeping a close eye on making sure the corners of the triangles were correctly offset to result in a ¼” seam allowance and aligned raw edges when pressed open. Pinning each triangle in three places made the sewing take longer, but it resulted in more accurate piecing than if I’d just zipped them through my machine.
Once all 36 units had been pressed and the dog ears trimmed, the rest of the sewing went smoothly. Be aware that you will deal with some bulky seams where the corners of the flying geese rows meet; if your machine doesn’t handle bulky seams well just take your time stitching them together to keep your seam allowance consistent. Pin as much as you feel you need to in order to keep things together.
This was a good pattern to work on over the summer. I still love the bright prints, and even though I didn’t put them to use in kaleidoscope blocks as I originally envisioned, using them in this pattern still puts me in mind of beach umbrellas on the sand just footsteps away from the water’s edge. I can live with that.
I plan to quilt it sometime in the next couple months using our in-office longarm; I’d like to give the computerized module on the Grace Q’nique a try, as I know I’ll be able to find some very cool motifs to fill all that negative space.
I’ll be using two prints from Jennifer Paganelli’s recent collection Sunny Isle, also from FreeSpirit, for the backing and binding. I think this quilt is going to look terrific when it’s done.
So that’s it for this quilt! It sounded like a number of people were planning to put Geese in My Kitchen on their To-Make list—were you one of them? If you make a version of your own, be sure to send a photo of it to us at email@example.com. We love seeing what you make!