Friday, March 23, 2018

Another Finish and a Simple Pattern

Last fall, my quilting gang and I took on a project to make a half dozen twin size quilts for men coming into a local recovery home where they live during the final stage of their transition to a sober life.  The director of the home welcomed our offer and made only one request – that they be “manly” quilts.  Fine, I said, not realizing that our supply stash was heavy on “not-manly” fabrics.  So the challenge became one of finding inspiration for simple quilts we could produce easily and still achieve a “manly” look.  One morning, I woke up with the inspiration for “Lift-Off” in my head.

Ever since Marti Michell introduced her small Diagonal Set Triangle Ruler, I've been thinking about using it to cut and create a flying geese quilt using giant 5" by 10" geese units!!
 Both of the triangles needed for a basic goose unit are cut using the full ruler.  It's the same combination of large and small triangles as Marti's standard Flying Geese Ruler -- just bigger!! 
Most of the units are the standard layout -- one large and two small triangles, but to create the look of a flock of wild geese lifting off a pond, I included several of these "combination" goose units.
Wait until you see how they fit into the design!
It took me most of that day to cut out all the triangles and piece the geese.  At the end of the day, I had the basic layout of the flock up on my design wall.
Then I stumbled across this print while searching through our "charity" stash and the background of the quilt materialized easily!
The quilt is built in vertical rows and while I had the background sketched out on graph paper, the sizes of the available fabric dictated the final sizes of the background pieces -- the idea is that the flock is lifting off a lake (where they spend the night because it's safer) and heading out for a day of foraging in meadows and marshes nearby. 
Once the layout felt right, I started to assemble the vertical rows.
I quilted it in two sections of three rows with (somewhat) parallel vertical lines for ease in handling and to reinforce the flow of the pieced design. 
Have you tried quilting larger pieces in sections?  It is definitely my "go-to" strategy for the past decade.  It's so much easier to handle since I am working at a large sit-down machine (APQS George) when quilting.
Finally the day it was finished!! 
I love the way the movement of the flock up through the quilt! 
It reminds me of days I've been lucky enough to come across a flock of geese or swans lifting off and moving on! 
Next week, it is off to it's new forever owner.
I hope it will remind him each day to keep "lifting-off" for the next good thing!! 
I've written a 3 page guide to help others create this quilt.  It's isn't a complete pattern as it assumes you already have a favorite way/tool for creating flying geese units.  It includes a chart of six sizes from a 12" by 18" wallhanging to a full size quilt, very basic instructions, and a drawing that you can use to play with the design.  
(Can you see this with a "rainbow" background?)
You can purchase a PDF copy of it from my Etsy Shop HERE and support my group's efforts!
All proceeds from the sales go directly into our "batting fund" so we can keep layering up quilts!
We are grateful for the opportunity to bless others with our skills!

Have a lovely weekend!

P.S. Happily, this is also one of my first quarter 2018 Finish Along goals -- DONE!!!


  1. I see a mountain when I look at this quilt. That is still, manly, right? Mountain man!
    Great work, Mary.

  2. I like the strong movement in it. You're doing great work, Mary, and I hope your batting fund gets filled and fluffed.

  3. This is a really neat quilt! What a perfect design for the cause.

  4. I love the twist on the flying geese! Keep up the amazing work. On behalf of the Finish-A-Long crew, thanks for joining up!