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I love all things sewing!  It's all about the creative journey.  All my blog posts are letters to my sewing alter-ego - Lola!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Alternate Universe of Flying Geese

Dear Lola,
Flying Geese - I can honestly say, I was trying to avoid them.  The only geese in my personal experience are the Canadian kind.  They honk noisily, leave deposits in the most inopportune locations and stand in the road aimlessly whenever I am in a hurry to get somewhere.  My feisty grandmother used to tell me to go slow, follow the rules of the road and if no one is looking – run them over – there are too many of them!  It was one of those things grandmothers say to us that produces a nervous giggle.

Flying Geese of the sewing kind are legendary.  I have never heard a sister sewist lovingly refer to Flying Geese as a personal favorite.  I’m sure they are out there – quilters who enjoy constructing them, but I have never met one.  When Nancy, the leader of our Michael Miller Weekend Block of the Month group at Wish Upon A Quilt introduced this month’s block – her first words were, “This month’s block did not go together as quickly as last months block.  It was more difficult to cut and yes, it does contain 8 flying geese units.”  My heart sank immediately.

Could I survive in the alternate universe of Flying Geese?

The parallels between the two types of geese are glaring.  The honking (cussing) had begun, the nasty deposits (rejected and misshapen units) ensued and there I was standing in the road aimlessly going nowhere!  Help, someone please run me over!

I tuned my senses into this month’s set of directions.  I can read, ergo, I can win against these ghastly geese.  I read and re-read my instructions.  I constructed the blocks that were easy.  Saving the geese units for last – I had nothing standing in my way of success except 8 Flying Geese.  Believe me when I say – I was the underdog in this battle!

I measured twice, cut once, sewed a precise seam and still was not able to get my “Geese Unit” to match the unit in the instructions.  The clean smooth lines in the illustration were impossible for me to duplicate.  8 failed attempts ensued and I decided – to give up.  By the way, the giving up part was a good idea – it was midnight and I could no longer see straight, let alone sew straight!

I vowed to return in the morning with my “Geese Face” on – ready to take on these 2½ x  4½ inch beasties and their  2½ x  2½ inch minions.   The following morning after a hefty intake of coffee, I methodically approached my geese.  Sewing, trimming, pressing, and sewing in the same precise order.  My units still did not match the illustration, but I was confident I had followed the directions perfectly.  I began sewing my rows together and voila – my block was complete.

I had to laugh out loud though.  All the rejected geese units – lying discarded in my scrap bin – had been fine!  The difference in how my units looked versus the illustration – was the seam allowance!  The illustration shows an individual geese unit – as though it was already sewn into the row.  The honking (or cussing) that I had been doing – was for naught!

In hindsight, I was afraid of how to handle Flying Geese for no good reason.  As grandma had told me: Going slow, following the rules of the road and running right over them when no one is looking – is still good advice!  And by the way - it’s okay to giggle nervously!

Hugs and stitches
Sew Sleepless