Spiral Geese Mini Quilt


My latest finish is my spiral of geese mini quilt for Fab Little Quilt Swap.  It measures 20″x 20″ and consists of 50 paper-pieced flying geese on a reverse appliqued background.


I quilted it on my Juki using both my walking foot and free-motion foot.  The fabrics are all from my stash and the background is Kona White.

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Can you see the tiny, embroidered triangles in the middle?  Those were hand-sewn with pearl cotton.

I can talk a bit later about how I came up with my idea, (once my partner receives the mini) but for now, I’ll write a bit about how I developed the pattern.  It is very low-tech here at my house.  I have photoshop, but not a quilt design program.

photo-86 copy

Here is my first little drawing I did in my Moleskine sketch pad.


Then I scanned it into photoshop and colored it in (I was too lazy to get up and grab my kids markers).


Then it was time to make my pattern.  I googled “spiral” and found this one.  I printed it out about 18″ inches wide and then I hand drew the pattern onto it. The geese were 4 different sized templates that I drafted and traced around.  It’s pretty messy and my daughter even drew on the paper while I was working on it.


Next, I made a clean tracing of the pattern in ink, numbering each goose and marking where I would cut my sections.  I kept this one intact and photocopied it, so I had a pattern to paper-piece on.


This was my sample coming together.  It was pieced in 8 sections.


The sample being appliqued.  I machine sewed most of the curves and then appliqued the curviest parts.  I made the rainbow mini 20% smaller than the original, so I decided to applique the entire background.


My rainbow geese before they were appliqued to the background.


The background is basted on in this photo.  I decided to do reverse appliqué, since it would be bulky to try to turn the seam allowances on the geese.   You could probably just machine stitch it down at this point, and it’ll blend in with the quilting.  I hand-stitched it with a slip stitch.

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This is going to be a difficult little quilt to part with, but I do love participating in swaps.  My partners always inspire me to try something new, that I never would have thought of without them.

40 thoughts on “Spiral Geese Mini Quilt

  1. this is just an amazing little quilt – I love your post and how you explained step by step – I think its even more amazing now 🙂 can’t wait to see who your very lucky partner is !

  2. This is really something else! Thank you for sharing your process of drafting your pattern, I’m quite intrigued and inspired by this post.

  3. This creative and beautiful quilt is amazing. You have a great ability to come up with fresh ideas and turn them into attractive quilts. Your machine quilting is equally fab!

  4. You know I am completely crazy about this mini. I am ready to baste mine and will let you know how it goes. I’m kind of nervous, but your instructions are so clear, I can’t wait. Mine is for a swap too and i really want to challenge myself to make something fab for my partner.

  5. Truly amazing, Janice–you are! Thanks for explaining your process on this beauty. Makes me really stand in awe of you–more than ever! 🙂

  6. I absolutely love this. Do you think that I could humbly ask for someone to make a p_d_f of this? I wish I knew how to do that. This is really really gorgeous

  7. WOW!!! are you going to do this as a pattern? I would love to buy one if you are. Just awesome and the quilting is breathtaking. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I agree with RoseMary I cant draw for the life of me wish there was a pattern
    I just adore flying geese and never thought you could actually do this with them thankyou for showing us

  9. I love this. Thanks for showing us how you can make something. Your friend will love it, I would!

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