This Autumn I had the pleasure of joining Rachel of Stitched in Color for the Geesey Geesey Sew-Along. Her Geesey Quilt pattern is a brilliant exploration of colour and I spent quite a while debating what sort of look to create and what fabrics to use. Over time I have been collecting black and white prints and ultimately thought it would be an interesting choice for the pattern.

Thinking about what to pair it with, my inner 80's child was screaming PASTELS! Thankfully I had quite a few of those too. My first inclination was to use the pastel solid fabric for the 'geese' and the monochrome prints for the background. A comment on an instagram post made me reconsider, @ingesews kindly wrote about using "pastels for the seasonal colours of the skies". I made some test blocks - always a good idea! - and realised prints as geese would work so much better and the pastel colours could be used in such a way that I could create a sort of sunset effect.

I got to work planning out my quilt, some rough colouring of the layout diagram on the pattern, laying out the fabrics in the position I wanted them, lots of night sewing photographs like the one below to track my attempts at organising the prints!

And then lots and lots of cutting! I was happy to put my Creative Grids Flying Geese Ruler to good work, of course there are templates in the pattern should you need them but having this type of ruler makes quick work of cutting and eliminates some dog ears too.

I love the process of laying out blocks, it's when you really see the pattern emerge and allows you to play around with positioning if need be. I think I may have moved one or two blocks but Rachel's pattern is so well thought out and she guides you really well through every step. She encourages you to explore colour and gives so many great tips. There are two colour levels in the pattern so it is perfect for beginners or more experienced quilters who are eager to explore colour and value.

The pattern also focuses on movement and the monochrome prints really work well in this dynamic layout. As I was piecing I tried to balance the dark and lighters prints but was really more focused on the pastels, creating a blocky gradient from green to yellow, to orange, to pink, to purple to grey. From the green grass to the grey Manchester sky!  

I am thrilled with this quilt top. The colours are so soft yet the prints keep it bold and modern. There are some great text 'geese' in there too, courtesy of the fabulous Book Panel, First of Infinity by Kumiko Fujita. I've also got favourite prints by Lucy Engels and Karen Lewis in there too. Fabric my mum brought me back from Colorado and pastels I've amassed over the years from different projects.

It is special. As all quilt tops (and quilts) are. There is a lot to be said for a pattern that is fun to create, that helps you consider and learn, and results in a beautiful quilt top. I encourage you to take a look at the Geesey Quilt Pattern and also check out this post, where I review Rachel's book The Quilter's Field Guide to Color and do an exercise in Context

Growing and learning are such a crucial part of my experience as a quilter and if you are anything like me, curious and passionate, you will get great value from Rachel's patterns and works. I had many aha! moments in the process of following this pattern and have grown in my ability too. There were so many stunning quilts coming together during the Geesey Geesey sew-along - click to see other versions. A huge thank you to Rachel for creating her wonderful pattern, always inspiring and enlivening me and for inviting me to co-host the sew-along.