Let me just tell you, I did not expect the start of the school year to be this busy. I have forgotten what it is like to have a 30-mile commute, a second job that now has more hours to fill than employees, and pile of projects that just keeps getting bigger! And that pesky lawn needs to be mowed more often that I would like!
Despite the crazy, I could not not jump on the Dancing Geese Quilt Along bandwagon – quilt pattern by Alexandra Bordallo (IG: alextilalila). I was introduced to this quilt along through The Longarm League. Alexandra reached out to the League for a partnership on longarm quilting for her quilt along – she advertises you, you offer 20% off quilting for anyone participating in the quilt along. It is a win win situation!
This was my first opportunity to collab on a quilt along, so I jumped at the chance! Then I saw the quilt and knew it had to be made! The quilt is made completely of flying geese blocks and half square triangles, which are my favorite, and I knew immediately after seeing the pattern that I would finally have an excuse to get a new Bloc Loc ruler! Game over, the quilt was started!
Well, the ruler was purchased and then the quilt was started!
*Here is the Bloc Loc Ruler
Full disclosure, I am not a modern quilter…yet. I like bright, novelty fabrics with lots of cute prints and a lot of prints in one collection; I especially like pre-cut fabrics that do not take too much thought and coordination outside the pre-pack.
The Dancing Geese Quilt requires yardage, no pre-cuts, which means some thought and effort were needed. Ugh!
I also did not want to have to buy anything besides backing fabric.
The original fabric pull was going to be an ombre of pink solids with a light grey and white mixed in. It was nice but was definitely not giving the WOW feeling.
As I was looking through my stash of fabric for inspiration, my eyes were directed to yardage of Smoke and Rust by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics. I instantly scrapped the pink changed directions completely.
A black and white quilt was going to be made and it was going be fabulous!
Here are the fabrics:
- Confetti Cottons Black
- Confetti Cottons Riley White
- Confetti Cottons Riley Grey
- Smoke and Rust X’s Ash – Lella Boutique
- Smoke and Rust Main Ash – Lella Boutique
Making the Geese
The pattern calls for making four at a time flying geese – the best way to make them if you have enough fabric! This method consists of sewing 2 corner squares to a large background square. You cut, iron, and then add the remaining corner squares, sew, cut and iron. You get 4 flying geese in a very short amount of time and there is even enough fabric to nicely trim each block. That is where the Bloc Loc ruler comes in.
To keep the blocks organized, I chained piece each group of geese at once – there were five or six groups of fabric that needed to be grouped together. Once a group was complete, I would move on to the next group. This was fast and efficient and kept all my patterns and colors organized and sewed in the correct combinations!
At some point, I also added the half square triangles into the chain piecing mix, also adding the grouping organization to make sure the right colors were sewed together.
The most important factor in the entire quilt process was trimming the blocks. My quilting has improved tenfold when I learned to trim my blocks. Even just trimming off a sliver of fabric has a biggest effect on the finished product.
Anywho, trim those blocks! Trimming the blocks on a rotating mat makes the process a little easier and a lot more fun! I like to pretend I am a DJ turning those disks whenever I have the rotating mats out to play!
Assembling the Quilt Front
Blocks are sewed, blocks are trimmed, now it is time to put the front together! When you initially look at the pattern, it is a bit overwhelming to figure out what pieces go where. But the Alexandra does a great job breaking down what pieces go where. So once I really looked at the pattern, I realized there are 4 row that need to be made.
From there, I broke it down further. I made both row 1 strips. Then row 2, row 3 and finally the middle row. Once all the rows were together, I was then able to sew each row together. It was a rather fast process, and the entire front came together in just a few hours.
Now if only I had remembered to order the fabric backing on time! The quilt is an 80 inch square, piecing a backing was not what I had in mind. So, I ordered a Ruby Star Society Speckled Black Metallic wide back from Fat Quarter Shop. I just ordered It late. Oops!
I reached out to the Longarm League for pantograph suggestions on the quilting design. I was thinking something more modern but wasn’t quite sure what pantograph to use. Ikat was suggested and I went for it!
I went DENSE on this quilt and I kind of love it! Only issue – about halfway through the quilt, the drift life was real. About 2/3rds of the way in the row, the pattern began to drift and go off alignment. No ideal, but definitely a great learning experience. This quilt is just for me, so I am okay with a little imperfection and the quilting still looks fab!
One day I will actually photograph the entire quilt and take good photographs. But for now, this is it!