Just as I was finishing up Orange Crush at the beginning of the week, I started wondering what I would be working on next. Usually I have a plan, or some kind of inspiration, or a commission, or *some* seed of an idea about what project I want to work on next, but even with some fabric bundles bought for specific purposes, nothing was really speaking to me. So after I finished binding Orange Crush, I threw it in the wash and sat down at my computer to find some inspiration. I quickly scanned my email, and to my delight I found that I had won a free pattern, Three Flocks from Brigit Gail! What perfect timing! In the giveaway on her blog, Brigit asked what background color we would use if we were to win or purchase the pattern. I said I would like to use a bold green like Kona Jade Green.
On Tuesday morning, I shuffled off to my LQS to see what they have in stock. While they did not have Kona Jade Green, they did have Kona Jungle. So I purchased Jungle as my background fabric for the quilt and I selected a range of Kona pinks for the accent colors. My LQS has a limited supply of Kona cotton fabric, so I tossed in a couple of marbled cotton prints to get 7 accent colors for the quilt top. I was tempted to use more than the 7 accent fabrics that the pattern calls for, but it would have required I used some pink prints. After auditioning the prints in the mix, I realized that I really liked the simplicity of the solids and near solids much more.
After a quick hour of fabric prep, I was sewing the quilt blocks: flying geese. I decided to focus on making one flying geese triangle at a time instead of chain piecing all the flying geese blocks. I do like the reward of seeing the piecing come together, so doing some block work and then focusing on piecing is a really enjoyable way for me to work on a quilt top. It also gives me the ability to adjust my methods along the way if somethings in particular is really not working out.
The method described in the Three Flocks pattern for making flying geese creates 2 triangular “dog ear” trimmed left-over sets from each flying geese block. I decided to sew them into HSTs and square them up to 2.5″ as I went along, and I am thinking that the HSTs are going to be featured prominently on the quilt backing. No waste – yay!
I am going to admit that my flying geese are far from perfect. I have sewn flying geese blocks before for the ZigZagged quilt and Shooting Star Mini Quilt, but I just could not seem to get these flying geese to be 3.5″ by 6.5″. Close… but not quite. Well, instead of sweating the slightly undersized blocks, I decided to mark the ideal 1/4″ seam allowance on the back of each block with my water soluble marker to use as guidelines when piecing the blocks together.
To make the marks, I start by creating the line that goes through the point at the bottom of the flying geese block shown below. Then I marked another line 3″ away (and parallel) to the first line. Then I center the point of the flying geese and make the 2 perpendicular seam lines. As you can see in the block above, that means that there is a bit more than a 1/4″ seam allowance at the bottom of the block and a bit less on the short edges. I am happy to say that lining up the marks was pretty easy when piecing together the first of the Three Flocks triangle groupings, and other than piecing the top row together in opposite order (oops), I am really pleased with how my first large block came together for the quilt top!
While these colors are not typical for me, I love how this color combination makes it look like there are flowers in a spring field.