Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Possum Magic

Sometimes there are opportunities too good to pass up.

Despite all my intentions to stick with the one quilting bee I know and love (my super awesome girls in my paper piecing bee Wombat Stew), when the idea of a round robin quilt bee was first mentioned on the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop group, my interest piqued. I adore medallion quilts and I have seen all those pictures of the super amazing travelling quilts floating around blog land. If there was one quilt bee I wanted in on, it was a modern round robin. 

Then, some of the girls from Australia and New Zealand got chatting about doing a regional bee (to keep postage and shipping times down) and I was in.

Funnily enough, when we talking about names, Wendy suggested Possums as they are a native animal in Australia and New Zealand. I found humour in that as my other bee features another Australian native, the Wombat. 

For those of you not up with classic Australian picture books, Wombat Stew and Possum Magic are two of the best loved picture books in Australia. As a preschool educator, I know both these books inside out and upside down. So when Jo suggested we name our bee Possum Magic, I was secretly a bit excited that both my bees have that connection. 

And the other Possums have talked about the Magic we'll be creating with our bee, but I also want to mention that in Possum Magic, the possums travel all around Australia - so very appropriate for our travelling quilts!

We have absolute free reign on our centre blocks, but it was a bit high pressure to pick a block worthy of being the centre of a medallion that also set the tone for an entire quilt. I have been drooling over Flying Geese patterns lately, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to try out a complex Flying Geese block. I used this paper piecing pattern called Homeward Bound but I added the border. To make the border I simply cut extra Straight Geese templates and stuck them together into a 10 goose high stack. This brought the block up from 12 inches to 18 inches.

FYI: When following the cutting directions for this pattern, make super sure you're cutting the squares into triangles correctly. I spent the whole time piecing this thinking that the background pieces were very scant and then wondering why I had so many left over.... turns out I cut them on the diagonal twice when I was meant to cut them on the diagonal once. Duh! Go ahead, laugh at me... I am!
I want to stretch myself with this project, so I decided to switch up my colour choices a little. I started with a much larger fabric pull of quite saturated prints. I ditched most of these and pared it down to a few colours when I decided to go for a dark red shot cotton for the background. It was a creative stretch, but I think I pulled it off.

This block literally took hours, but I am so pleased with the end result. I am eagerly sending it over ocean to New Zealand to have the Kiwi contingent work their magic first.

Along with the quilt block I am sending a few scraps (including all those shot cotton hsts I have left over!) from my block. We have decided this is a nice way to build some cohesiveness with the borders to include bits from previous borders.

I've also made a signature block for everyone to sign - or since Apple doesn't approve of the word 'siggy', it's a 'soggy' block.... appropriate given its raining on the east and west coasts of Australia and in New Zealand at the moment. I'm putting together a little tutorial on that.

Linking up with Alyce's Sew Cute Tuesday, which is all about triangles - yeah, I think I nailed that one!!

The other members of Possum Magic are:

Alice of Blossom Quilts and Crafts
Carla of Granny Maud's Girl
Wendy of Wendy's Quilts and More
Jo of Riddle and Whimsy
Rebecca of One Wee Bird
Sharon of Motherdragon's Musings
Serena of Sew Giving


  1. I love it, and I can't wait until it's my turn to add something to it. There's so many different colours to work with in this block. Each one of these quilts is going to be so different, reflecting our different personalities and tastes. Well done on finishing, even if there were some detours along the way.

  2. wow, what an awesome start to a quilt and such a fun bee!!! great job Jane!!

  3. That looks like a brilliant starter block and lots of fun to work with. I don't think my turn is until last, but I am sure everyone else will enjoy adding to it until then.
    I really want to make flying geese for at least one of the swaps. I guess it will depend on which lends itself to them.

  4. Haha!! Alice, we meet again. Just remember, Jane, my name is pronounced "Ah-lease" ;)

  5. Ooh this looks like a fun one to add to! Such interesting colours; they're different to what I would normally use also. Can't wait to get my hands on it!!

  6. Ooooh I can feel the pressure to add something beautiful already 😳......can't wait to get this in my hot little hands Jane!