Time Flies

Inspiration always comes in the craziest of ways.  Several months ago I started the Modern Medallion quilt along, written and hosted by Crystal at Two Little Aussie Birds.  Unfortunately, I got distracted, and it is still sitting perched, frozen in time, on my design wall.  It waits patiently, and reminds me that I should finish what I have started before moving on.  But we don’t need to talk about that today.

2014-06-18 09.43.42

It still looks like this. Fabulous, but not finished. Ahem.

You see those wonky flying gees up there?  Yeah, so, they got me.  I got to thinking about how they looked like they were jockeying for position, pushing to the front of the line.  Kinda made me think about sibling rivalry.  Which made me think of my crazy family.  Which made me think of my grandma and her 9 children.  Which made me think of the kitchen door frame at Grandma’s house that recorded the growth of her children, grandchildren, and maybe even a few of her great-grandchildren.

And there it was.  An idea.  Flying Geese.  A growth chart for this grandma.  And so “Time Flies” was born.  And I painted my studio door red, just because it looks SO good.


This was my prototype, and the one that now hangs in my studio. I liked it, but the fabrics weren’t quite right, and the numbers were not dark enough. So, on to the next idea…

I wanted a growth chart for my own grandchildren, one that no matter where I lived, it could go with me, unlike the door frame that is in a house that my grandma not longer lives in.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Even though there were a few things about the prototype that didn’t turn out the way I wanted, I actually like it quite a lot for sentimental reasons.  Not only did Grandma have a growth chart in the kitchen, but Grandpa actually wallpapered one of the back bedrooms with comic strips.  And to me, that’s what the flying geese border on my original Time Flies looks like- comic strips.

While I love it for those reasons, it still didn’t have the umpf I had hoped for.  So, back to the fabric drawer, and this is what popped out…


Nice, huh?  Wanna make one?  The pattern is below, and click here for a kit.

Time Flies
14″x64″ finished
1/4″ seams

Please read entire pattern before beginning!  It really will help you to see what the method is behind the madness.

Geese- (24) 5 3/4″ squares (2/3 yd total if using all the same fabrics for geese)
Sky- (96) 3 1/8″ squares (3/4 yd yd total if using all the same fabrics for sky)
Center- 3/4 yd 45″ wide canvas, OR 1/4 YD 60″ wide, but be careful that you have at least 58 1/2″ usable fabric
Binding- 3/8 yd
Backing- 1 yd for a pieced back, 1 7/8 yd for a continuous back
Batting cut to fit


1.  Construct 96 over-sized geese using the method shown below.  This method will create 4 geese at a time which will be trimmed down to wonky perfection.

2014-06-16 09.20.01

Step 1- Line up (2) 3 1/8″ squares as shown on top of (1) 5 3/4″ square. Pin squares in place. Step 2- Draw a line from point to point over the small squares as shown. Step 3- Sew a 1/4″ seam on either side of the drawn line. Remove pins.

2014-06-16 09.20.31

Step 4- Cut along drawn line.

2014-06-16 09.21.55

Step 5- Press seams toward smaller triangles, creating two heart shapes.

2014-06-16 09.24.58

Step 6- Align a 3 1/8″ square on each of the hearts as shown. Step 7- Draw a line from the point in the valley of the heart to the point at the bottom of the heart on the small square. Step 8- Pin in place. Step 9- Sew 1/4″ seam on either side of the drawn line on both units.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2014-06-16 09.27.03

Step 11- Press geese open with seams toward the small triangles as shown.

2.  Trim each flying geese unit to 2″x3 1/2″.  Do not worry about cutting off beaks or wings as this is what makes them wonky.

IMG_66083.  Prepare the center of the growth chart by cutting the piece of canvas to 8″x58 1/2″ and zigzag or serge stitching the raw edges.

4.  Beginning 1/4″ from one of the short ends of the canvas, use a Frixion pen to mark 1″ intervals along the left long side of the fabric as shown.  Using the same pen, number each interval beginning with 24 and ending with 79.  Be sure to leave a minimum of 1/4″ seam allowance along the left side of the text.

IMG_66795.  Using a perle cotton thread, embroider the numbers using your handwritten text as a guide.  When stitching is complete, iron over your work to remove the Frixion marks.

IMG_72616.  Lay out geese in your desired color pattern with geese arranged as if flying around the center of the growth chart.  You should have 41 geese facing up on the left side, 7 geese facing right on the top, 41 geese pointing down on the right, and 7 geese pointing left on the bottom.  ****If you are using a specific color arrangement for your geese, it is very important that you pay close attention to what order your geese are in, and that they are flying in the correct direction.

7.  Sew together 39 of the 41 geese for each of the two long sides.  Sew geese together two units at a time.  In other words, sew one goose to another goose, beak to tail, 19 times.  You will have 1 goose left over of the 39.  Press with seams towards the tails.  Now sew a set of two geese to another set of two geese, 9 times.  In addition to the 1 goose leftover from the first round, you will have 1 two goose unit left over.  Sew the 1 goose unit to the two goose unit.  Press with seams towards the tails.  Continue this process until you have a straight line of 39 geese.  ****Do not sew geese together continuously by adding one goose at a time to a long line of geese.  By the time you get to the bottom, you will have issues with is being straight.

IMG_66778.  Sew together the 7 side facing geese units for the top and bottom of the growth chart.  Use the same method described above.  You should have (2) strips of 39 geese, (2) strips of 7 geese, and (4) single geese.

9.  Sew the remaining single geese into (2) two geese units.  Press with seams toward the tails.

10.  For this step, you need 1 each of the 2 geese units and 7 geese units, keeping them in correct color arrangement.  With the 7 geese unit pointing right, sew the correct 2 geese unit to the right end of the unit with the 2 geese pointing down.  This makes the top border.  For the bottom border, with the 7 geese unit pointing left, sew the correct 2 geese unit to the left end of the unit with the 2 geese pointing up.

IMG_725711.  With the geese pointing up, sew the correct 39 geese unit to the left of the center canvas piece.  With the geese pointing down, sew the correct 39 geese unit to the right of the center.  With the geese pointing right, sew the correct 9 geese unit to the top of the center.  With the geese pointing left, sew the correct 9 geese unit to the bottom of the center.

12.  Layer and quilt as desired.  Finish with a 2 1/2″ binding.

13.  Find someone to teach me how to write a pattern using graphics. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s