Great Grandmother's Geese - Modern Quilt from Vintage Fabrics

Vintage fabrics Flying Geese Made Modern

Great Grandmother's Geese

40'' x 48''

Days away from delivering her second baby a friend popped by my house. Part of her nesting was clearing out things from home. I was the lucky recipient of a stack of vintage fabrics once belonging to her grandmother. Now vintage fabrics aren't generally my thing. No doubt, they are pretty, but that doesn't mean I want to sew with them. Something changed a week later. I got the right idea and the fabrics began to talk to me.

As is my style, however, I started the quilt without a plan. I cut all these squares to make HSTs. I was going to just sew them together randomly. But this wasn't about making a Values quilt, I wanted some order and repetition. Without thinking it through I screwed up. Soon I realized that what I envisioned was not going to happen with the process I started. I very nearly lost the time and maybe the fabric to impulsive cutting. So I regrouped, cut my squares into triangles, and got very deliberate with placement. Of course it would have been better to cut the geese shape from the beginning, but so be it. The overall effect is the same.

Vintage Fabrics Made Modern

The vintage fabrics were a bit of a challenge to work with. First off, I should have washed them. They were all clean, but one had that distinct old smell (mothballs) every time the iron hit it. The weight and stiffness of each fabric varied too. So I took my time, made sure not to pull or stretch any of them, and gave the quilt a lovely soak once I finished it all.

The yellow fabrics are all modern, with one classic Denyse Schmidt pink floral also making an appearance in the blocks (Just when I needed a few more blocks cut I temporarily misplaced the vintage fabrics in a studio tidy-up). 

Putting the top together required some patience and attentiveness. One row at a time. But I did it without messing up. Phew.

This is a baby quilt I hope will get used and loved, so I didn't stress about anything too fancy for the quilting. Texture and ease won out. Simple straight lines so the graphic design stands out. In case you were wondering, I used the magical Aurifil 2600, the dove grey. The quilt is pieced with it too, actually. 

On the binding I uncovered another old Denyse Schmidt print, this one from a Joann's release years ago. It was the perfect sweet touch. Because Denyse is so inspired by vintage textiles it works so well.

Denyse Schmidt Quilt Binding

Now I get to hand the quilt back to my friend. It is a thrill to give these old fabrics new life, especially when there is a family connection like this. A handmade legacy.