Possum Magic: Round 7

We are finally at the end of our year of Possum Magic, and I have just added the last borders to Jane’s quilt top.

I say borders, plural, for a reason. This border is a joint effort and includes both Serena’s and my contributions. Ages ago, we met over coffee, and if I remember rightly, the decision process went something along the lines of me chanting, ‘Geese, geese, geese!’ and Serena (of Sew Giving) coming up with all the other ideas. The tiny squares that repeated elements of Alice’s earlier border: Serena. The rounded corners: Serena. With all the other sharp angles, she wanted to introduce a softer line. When I tried to steer her towards orange and green backgrounds, she pulled me back to the plum.

Serena really wanted to sew tiny squares as a border, and we agreed that she would sew squares to sandwich either side of my geese. I went off to do some maths and sketch our plan, and then we waited until we could meet up again with a tape measure for the final calculations and draft. We had plans for a sewing bee or two. However, in the end, I did all the sewing to free up Serena so she could sew an angel border for one of our fellow possums who is unwell and has had to step down. Serena gets credit as the brains of the operation; I was the brawn.

Flying geese patchwork quilt border

Serena was the brains behind the rounded corners, but I drew the pattern.

Here is a quick summary of what happened before it came to us:

Round robin patchwork quilt top that features a lot of flying geese

Jane’s quilt top is now done, unless she decides to add more.

What I particularly like about this quilt is the colour. It is one of those projects that you use words like aubergine, plum, lime and chartreuse to describe. No simple, red, blue and yellow adequately captures it. I pulled out every fabric in my stash and those Serena had given me and held each up to see if it worked. I was trying to include a lot of variety. If a fabric I had in my stash had already been used by another possum, I put some more in to tie in with the earlier appearances. Some Tula Pink and other fabrics I received from Caroline of Lal in Socal were perfect. (Thanks, Caroline!)

Jane started her quilt using a shot cotton as the background. Rebecca continued that with the green shot cotton, and so later borders also used it. Jo and I were lucky enough to be able to colour match each other’s and Jane’s centre. It was my first time quilting with this shot cotton. Part of me loves its soft texture and the effect of the weave. Part of me dislikes how it frays, refuses to stick to my design wall and spreads fluff like nobody’s business.

The quilt top we started with measured an even 60 inches square, which left us 59½ inches of quilt to work with. This prime number plus fraction would not add up, and we realised that, for our plan to work, we would have to either trim off a bit of Jo’s border or add a spacer border to bring it up to 60½ inches square (cut size). I used a strip of lime green to create the narrow spacer border, and I think it works in the whole.

Flying geese patchwork quilt border

This border has 180 flying geese. Was I counting? You bet!

I foundation paper pieced all of the geese. All 180 of them. I now have an even greater appreciation for the efforts my friends went to to sew my local round robin quilt’s flying geese border and what Rebecca achieved when she sewed her dazed and confused geese border on Serena’s quilt.

We thought about paper piecing the tiny squares too, but I decided to strip piece them, except for the ones that are part of the rounded corners. Strip piecing saved an extra mess of torn paper, but it is not as accurate. Each tiny square was just a poofteenth off, and this meant that these borders had to be ever so slightly eased back in. There are 548 little squares, so the poofteenths add up. When sewing the strips that made up the borders, I marked every one at 6-inch intervals to keep them from going out of alignment.

Flying geese patchwork quilt border

I hope Jane likes geese!

After all this, my sewing room is a humongous mess. There are bits of torn paper from paper piecing, plum-coloured fluff/dust over everything and threads all over the carpet. The bits of paper and fluff have escaped out into the corridor. I think I have a big cleaning job next on my to-do list.

My last Possum Magic border is done, and I am sad to see it end. It has been such fun. What will I do with my time now?

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34 thoughts on “Possum Magic: Round 7

      • I think it works perfectly. It’s enough color and geese and variation that it works with the inner portion and gives a nice contrast to the negative space, but not so much that overwelms.

  1. Wonderful ideas, Serena, wonderful ideas and execution, CarlaThat is an amazing feat of goose-herding, and only you could have done it. The rest of us would have run screaming. Now, while you’re on an accuracy roll, how about a bit of Dear Jane…? After you’ve vacuumed the carpet, of course.

    • I am the little goose girl … or maybe not. I seem to lack a talking horse. Did you grow up reading Grimm fairy tales?
      Ah, yes, Dear Jane. There has been a noticeable lack of action on that. Now that my bee blocks and borders and wedding presents are up-to-date, I am running out of excuses to procrastinate.

      • Grimms’ Fairy Tales, definitely. I loved how dark they were. You don’t get the ugly sisters cutting off bits of their feet to make the glass slipper fit in the Disney version, do you?
        Dear Jane will wait patiently a bit longer, but you have to start sometime!

      • Is that the one with the fabulously evil Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother? I must make a point of watching it. I do hate it when they sanitise things so. Children love darkness, evil and horror!

  2. I can’t imagine paper piecing 180 flying geese! Nice quilt though. I like it has round corners for a change

  3. Cthis quilt is absolutely stunning. You and Serena make a fabulous team. What to do with all of your free time? Why, come and visit me, of course!

  4. Can we conveniently say the post office lost this, and it showed up at my house? Do you think Jane will mind? 😀 This is absolutely stunning!!! And an incredible amount of work, Carla! And kudos to Serena for the rounded corner idea – that just pushes it right over the top of perfection. And I don’t even like aubergine (or any shade of purple really). Wow. Just Wow. Jane is a very, very lucky lady.

    • The shot cotton background is a dark red, from red and black strands woven together.

      I hear you on purple, Sarah. I have about half a dozen purple fabrics in my stash. I am not sure of the exact number, but I know I can pick them all up easily in one hand. I have them mostly for other people’s projects.

  5. How did I miss this?? It looks fantastic. So many geese and tiny squares, and those rounded edges! – amazing. You and Serena have both done a great job on Jane’s quilt and I’m sure she will love it. Maybe we need to check in in another year to make sure that they are all quilted and bound?

  6. “poofteenths” – love it … every time I read your blog I broaden my vocabulary! Thank you very much for all your sewing and calculations on this border, your efforts exceeded the vision 🙂

  7. Serena mentioned you had posted this to me; and I hadn’t seen it either. I don’t think it showed up in my feed at all. Silly, feed.

    It came out so great! I think it works perfectly you used the same shot cotton as my border… maybe I can pass off that it’s all my border?! 😉

    I think the little stop border between mine and the little squares worked out well, it brings those long lines from Sharon’s border back out to play.

    • I am so behind reading my Bloglovin feed that anything could be in there. I know the feeling.

      I am happy with the stop border too. The only thing I might do differently with hindsight – now I see the photos – is add more turquoise like Sharon’s border, but it passed Serena’s inspection and is finally in the post to Jane.

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