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Time to Straighten Up and Fly Right

Time to Straighten Up and Fly Right

I thought I would share the story behind my latest quilt design Straighten Up and Fly Right

This time last year The Next Stitch had only been trading for a few short months and I was shopping like mad in an effort to build the fabric range.  When Melody Miller's Trinket range for Cotton + Steel arrived, I knew I wanted to make a quilt but was having trouble settling on a pattern so I decided to create my own.

Choosing a block

I decided to work with a simple flying geese block in a large size as I didn't want to chop the fabric up too much for the following reasons:

  • The designs are quirky and colours glorious,  but the range itself was a little tricky as the majority of the collection reads as medium value - you know.... not light; not dark but somewhere in the middle.  
  • The scale of the prints also had me scratching my head a bit as the designs were mostly medium to large scale, and sometimes (as with the ones shown below) with a fair bit of variability in value, depending on where you cut the fabric.

melody miller fabric

 My initial plan was to run the geese up and down in vertical rows, making a crib sized quilt and share my favourite way to make flying geese. There are a lot of patterns out there with blocks of different sizes arranged that way and its a really effective way to showcase prints, but I if I was going to go to the effort of making geese and matching those points, I wanted it to be noticeable.

I decided to echo the shape of the flying geese shape over the quilt and added in the teal precipitation print from Rashida Coleman-Hale's Raindrop collection.  

rashida coleman hale raindrop fabric

This print , with its subtle metallic glint, provided strong contrast in both colour and value. This contrast provided definition to the flying geese blocks when used and allowed the vision of my super sized goose to emerge. The high contrast it provided meant that the Trinket fabrics melded together into a lovely textured negative space.

Straighten up and fly right quilt

If you look carefully, there are also four 'ghost geese' hidden among the negative space. I added them in after a poke by Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched fame,  to break up those large areas.  From a distance, while they are much more subtle than the teal, they read as an off white solid  and add another delicate detail.  I have used a low volume Carolyn Friedlander print from the Doe collection.  

Why Straighten up and fly right?

I often struggle to come up with a name for my quilts, but not this time.  I was chain peicing the geese with the ipod on shuffle when Robbie Williams' cover of the swing song Straighten up and fly right  played.  Bingo!  

There was the obvious reference to flying - flying geese etc, but on a more personal level the lyrics rang true as well.  I'd been toying with the idea of starting my own shop for a very long time, and there I was bringing not only  my own design but also my brand new business to life.  

I knew that I had 'straightened up' and had begun to 'fly right'.

The pattern for Straighten up and Fly Right is published in Issue 16 of Make Modern Magazine.   You can purchase your digital copy of this great magazine for only $6.95 

I also have a limited number of kits available which include all of the fabrics for the quilt top and binding.  Check the kit out here

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