If you are lucky enough to vacation in Geneva, Switzerland, be sure to look up APQS Dealer Elita Sharpe. A self-described “cheeky monkey,” Elita has great fun hosting semi-annual quilt retreats with Patchwork in the Peaks at a beautiful 4-story chalet tucked away in the French Alps.
Elita has been quilting for more thn 20 years, and longarm quilting for a decade. She shares her expertise in mini-classes during the retreat, helps both new and experienced quilters with questions, and even hosts a pop-up store at the chalet so quilters have everything they need to complete their PhD’s (Projects Half Done J)!
Her inspiration for this cute, modern “Scrappy Giant Flying Geese” quilt came about because of a “Honey Bun®” pre-cut bundle. She didn’t have a project to match the honey bun strips, which are pre-cut to 1.5 inches wide (not quite as useful as jelly rolls for many pre-cut patterns.)
Always up for a new adventure, Elita decided to try the technique she’d often seen used with jelly rolls—the Jelly Roll Race—to make a small baby quilt. Because these strips are only 1.5 inches, her quilt top was only about 32.5 x 48 inches. She didn’t really overall look when she finished the piecing, so the top moved to her WIP pile (work in progress pile) for a while.
Eventually, Elita rescued it and decided to play around with what she had in her stash to enhance the strips. She felt that the strips of color were too busy when stitched together, and the quilt needed some quiet space.
Using simple cutting techniques and a quick method for Half-Square Triangles, she paired the strippy blocks with a low-volume print. The layout she chose gave her six large flying geese blocks.
She could have stopped there and had two small baby quilts—a little smaller than the original quilt top but much more interesting! However, Elita wanted a bigger quilt, so she added more of the low-volume fabric but kept the geese going in opposite directions.
The large spaces to the sides of the geese give a lot of lovely space to be creative with quilting, but Elita chose a simple design (Lilac pantograph) to balance the busy fabrics of the flying geese and quilted it with her APQS Millennium. She used 40wt Aurifil thread and Quilters Dream Cotton Select batting.
To set off the negative space around the geese, Elita finished the quilt with a bold red binding—the perfect frame for containing those geese!