Saturday, December 08, 2012

Goose on the Loose!

When I got home yesterday I spread the string pieced goose quilt out on the rail of the long arm.  I just had to see it full out!

The fabrics in this quilt, at least the prints-- date to the 1940s and 1950s.  The melon/salmon color may have been a brighter orange at some point ---there are several different weaves of muslin/feed sack that have been dyed with the same dye.  There are such varying textures in the quilt!

There are also a lot of Dan River plaids in this quilt.  Greensboro, NC is not that far from Danville, VA.  Many old quilts in this area share the same Dan River plaids and stripes.  They were a staple here.

The batting has GOT to be wool army blankets.  This thing is heavy, heavy, heavy ----

The backing is flannel – there are a couple of mouse holes on the back that show the blanket inside –it’s drab tan in color.

The quilting is done in a very large Baptist fan in black thread --- the knots are on the TOP of the quilt!

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Can you see the different weaves and textures of the orange triangles?

Two pair on the right have a real “cheese cloth” kind of feed sack feel to them.

The dye has also held differently on each different fabric – some fading over time more than others.

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Full quilt on the machine.

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Love the wonkiness and the hand quilted texture, knots and all!

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Close up of quilting – and seer-sucker!

Some geese are beak-less, some are not!

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Bottom corner.

The quilt is bound in the same flannel that it is backed in.  And this goes to show you that even the best laid plans can still leave you puckers tucked into the binding! LOL!

I can’t imagine how in the world she was able to quilt through a blanket as batting?

Did I mention how HEAVY this quilt is?

I love it.  Love love love it!  I love how some of the geese are more “crumb” oriented than stringy, but some are definitely stringy.  It is ALL Hand pieced ---even the seams that join the lengths of green sashing to get them long enough.

I was asking this on Quilt-Cam last night ---I can’t imagine hand piecing strings –how do you be sure that your work won’t fall apart after you trim your piecing to the size of the goose?  If you are cutting off edges to get it to the right shape, how does hand stitching NOT come undone?  Aren’t you cutting off your knots in the process?  I’d love to see this being done.

Saturday!  Today there is a quilt going under the needle of the long arm.  There is a project I need to start piecing for the North Carolina retreat with Mickey Depre in August.  And I need to start on the Alaska Cruise project as well!

Time to get crackin’!


  1. Please, Bonnie, could you post the size of the geese? I have a 'ton' of scraps and I think this could be a great quilt for their use.

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    1. My mohter used to do this all the time. She sewed them to paper and then trimmed them. I don't ever remember my mama sewing one on the sewing machine. She would sit and piece at night.

  3. Has the info gone out about the August retreat yet? I hope I didn't miss it

    1. I just checked her calendar, this is what it says: "Aug 8-11:
      Retreat at Montreat, NC with Mickey Depre and Me!
      Activities pending, stay tuned!!"

  4. When I see a quilt like this -- I imagine a mama that was sewing for warmth for her family and not for whimsy.

  5. I have one or two old quilts that have the knots showing--one on front and one on back. Was it the thing to do, or was it because they didn't know how sink the knot? Love the quilt. Maybe she cut the pieces to size before making the geese patches.

  6. All the military wool blankets we ever had we always Army green. Bleach never even made them turn other colors when washed in the machine. So it makes me wonder what it could be that is tanish in color and that heavy. Maybe more than one piece of something inside??

  7. another quilt to make. I can never die, just tooooooo much quilting to do..lol Thanks for letting me know about the pineapple quilt..I will soldier on..It is a beautiful quilt.. to heck with customer quilts..lol jk My mystery quilt is coming along.

  8. HI Bonnie
    This is such a fun quilt! Do you know when/how the signups will be handled for the class with Mickey? I just noticed someone else asked that too!!! I am really wanting to get that on my calendar if I can :)

  9. Love that quilt. And I will NOT start another project till some of these cruet tops in progress are done. But if I was going to do something new.... :). Deb

  10. I am relatively new to this area of Virginia. I live close to Danville and I enjoyed reading about Dan River plaids. I sent the link to my sister who is presently in Germany. She is the reason we are here. I am sure I have some of those plaids in my yard sales stash. Thanks so much for sharing all your knowledge.

  11. I have seen instructions for hand piecing that said to back stitch each time you start loading the needle with stitches. Or maybe the quilter sewed her strings and crumbs to a muslin foundation that was already cut to size.
    I'm enjoying Easy Street. I have followed your mysteries before, but this is the first time I have jumped in and decided to sew along!

  12. I wasn't able to watch last night, but I LOVE those string pieced geese--so neat!! Just fired off a copy of Part Three, but am still cutting Part One--Oh ho the Holidays do interrupt!! Julierose

  13. my Granny always taught me to take three stitches, one backstitch,,,she hand sewed (or crocheted) all my Barbie clothes,using scrappy strings and crumbs (who could afford the expensive store bought wardrobe?) and she knew my little-girl hands would pull hard to get those stiff arms in the sleeves,,she called it "secure stitching",,,so in my head i still chant,,"stitch, stitch, stitch, back",,,just like "knit one perl two",,,and now i'm teaching my granddaughters the same method. hope this is a little hint at answering yor question?

    1. Granny Lyn, thanks so much for sharing this! I instinctively made frequent backstitches when I have hand pieced, and now will be more systematic.... Plus will think of your owm grandmother. How wonderful that through the internet, I am able to learn from the words of a stranger's grandmother uttered oh so many years ago. Thanks for sharing her wisdom... My own grandchildren will profit from her words.
      Most Happy Holidays to you & yours!

  14. The whole quilt is fun, but I esp. love the last photo of the bottom corner. Blue gingham, lemon yellow, and two aqua prints, all with accents of red. Those scream vintage Americana, summer in the town square park around the bandstand, county fair... LOVE!

  15. The only hand piecing I have ever done has either been English (hexies) or paper piecing. Did some log cabins in the truck last spring while we travelled - they were fun and very easy. Not sure about the string piecing and cutting - I, too, would be worried about it all staying together.

  16. If you decide to go with solid salmon I'm sure you'll find something in your travels...but just in case you can't...I'm sure we can hook you up!

  17. Bonnie I love seeing the antique quilts you dig up! Its funny to see this old string geese quilt in those peach and soft green colours because right now in garments for summer in Australia we are seeing a lot of those two colours along with lemon and lavendar and pinks.
    I enjoy the quirkiness of the colour combinations these women used to throw together into their quilts, thanks for sharing the photos of the old quilts you have.

  18. Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous quilt. I so don't need a new project, but I have a feeling this one is definitely in my future!


  19. Hi Bonnie - just watched Sunday Quiltcam, and it's done and the email telling me it is on hasn't come in yet.?? I don't understand this cyber stuff at all! But I do know to check and see if it's on by going to your site, so I don't miss it! On the evening ones, I usually just watch, or some little hand project, but for the afternoon, that's my sewing time, so it was on in the computer room on the big screen, but then I put it on the laptop and it went with me to the sewing machine, then the ironing area, back to the sewing machine til I almost have the third step of the mystery done, just need the big triangles sewn on now. Then will get back to the Sandy log cabins almost finished and ready to send out. So much fun to watch and sew along with you - funny, we had that menu last night! So many things you talk about are just the things I do too! I already had several machines, including two FWs - but ebay just sold me another, a white one this time, couldn't resist, then my good friend wanted one, so bid on one for her (she doesn't do computers) and got it yesterday for a good price. Now I just have to let go of the others I was bidding on, just in case! You always talk about Singer 15 "clones" - I have an original 15 - my first machine, which my hubby got for me when I wanted to learn to sew - he couldn't have picked a better machine in 1959 - I still sew on it, altho I also have two Berninas that I love. Don't forget the old treadle (don't use it, just wanted it!) and a hand crank, for those bad winter days here when electricity is out for long time.
    Maybe I should be banned from ebay, too! Oh yes, another friend also got her FW when I clued her in to one that was a good buy! So my work is done here, right? See you sewing later, Carol in Arkansas

  20. Wonderful flying geese quilt - so glad it's found a new home with you.

  21. I made my first flying geese block last November. It didn't look too bad. I'd like to make a quilt like the one you have eventually. Now if I'd just get more productive. ;o)


  22. So glad I finally learned how to make the flying geese from Bonnie via Easy Street instructions. (Haven't done Easy Street, but read instructions and made a practice flying goose block.) Now I am going to do the scrappy/stringy flying geese. Love this old quilt! How neat that by rescuing this beautiful quilt and posting it here, you have allowed the original maker from long ago to inspire so many of us around the world! Bet she couldn't have dreamed the wide audience her quilt/work would one day have.

  23. This is a perfect example of how therapeutic sewing is! She was making a quilt for warmth but she also enjoyed the heck out of all that piecing! I'm sure of it. By the way, my dad was in the Navy and all of his blankets were tan.


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