Sometime this fall I discovered Nancy Purvis, of Owensolivia, because I kept seeing references to her book, accompanied by these fantastic quilts. Quilts that inspired me, many that were wholly fresh, and the interpretations I was seeing on Instagram by other quilters were often even more compelling. The patterns are from her 2015 book Quilting From Every Angle, and the pattern for this, the Concordia Quilt, is included in the book.
Let me be clear, I would like to make at least four quilts from this book, which is saying something in the oversaturated market of quilt books these days; but this one was first on my list, and the true "must-do." First, I had never paper-pieced more than a block or two for fun and to learn, and I try to make each of my quilts intentional and skills-based now, each one presenting a tougher challenge or new approach or skill, so this one appealed to me. But also, the greyscale and those long, low geese really got me, and the crisp, satisfying lines happening everywhere.
- Essex Yarn Dyed Linen - Graphite | Background
- Essex Yarn Dyed Linen - Steel | Accent stripes
- Kona - Snow | Geese
- Cherrywood fabrics hand-dyed - Onyx | Wing tips
I picked up the Graphite yarn dyed linen on our recent vacation in Portland, at Cool Cottons, because I was swooning over their entire collection of the Essex yarn dyed linens (I am late to the party, but I am obsessed with the texture these fabrics bring to my quilts). I didn't realize until I came home and starting stitching up geese that this color is unavailable in all my regular fabric shops, including online. So I ordered more directly from Cool Cottons; hurray for excellent local quilt shops with fast shipping across the country!
The Onyx is beautifully hand-dyed in Brainerd, MN (the town where the film Fargo takes place, where Marge Gunderson lives), giving it the softness that most black fabric lacks. I purchased this particular yardage last year this month at QuiltCon 2015 in Austin, so that's special too.
The recipients are our wonderful friends, who recently became parents; Darcy and I have been in a monthly book club together with a couple other girls for three years now, which we started during the three months I worked at the same company as her. Darcy is a graphic designer by trade, so I had to make sure it was something she could like and appreciate, based on her aesthetic.
I only got more excited about this design and my decisions the farther along it came. I modified the pattern in some places, removing a double-cross of line on top and bottom, because I wanted the flightpath lines to be simplified and stand on their own, and also honestly, because those pieces looked too small for the gain I saw them bringing to the overall quilt. I do not regret the choice. I therefore modified the lengths and heights of the tiny stripes you see, and also went with a few less geese in the groups for a bit of irregularity, like exists often in a pack of birds.
My favorite part of this design is the negative space between each touching wingspan, thought those tiny, steely stripes are a close contender. Really, I love the moment overall and am very jealous that this now belongs to sweet little Colin (who acted a most behaved model in these pictures, in his little coordinating onsie).
As an aside, today, February 7, was Colin's due date. He came about ten days early, but this quilt's due date remained the 7th, and it arrived right on time. A due-day gift, shall we say?