Taadaa! :: finding formation quilt

I'm really excited to be able to share my finished quilt today! I sewed the last of the binding last night, just as le Tour boys crossed their finish line, and today my sweet friend Michelle and I took the quilt out for a proper 'on location' photoshoot. Of course now I have gorgeous photos but really no idea how to say the things I would like to say about it, except to tell you that I love this quilt so much! So, I'm just going to write, and hope it makes sense!

This quilt is one of my entries for the Canberra Quilters Exhibition so it needed a name (actually, I'm starting to think all quilts should have names). I'm calling it Finding Formation: Synchronised Swimming, since all those blues and greens make me think my geese might be swimming rather than flying.

I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to test sew this pattern for Nightingale Quilts designer Caroline. I had first discovered her patterns when I came across a gorgeous version of her Swift Wreath quilt, and was then lucky enough to win copies of all her patterns in a giveaway. Caroline's patterns are really clearly written, and I would have no hesitation in recommending them to a beginner, or someone who has only worked with squares/rectangles. I have done some half square triangles before but this was my first time sewing flying geese and I think they turned out pretty well. The flying formation pattern includes instructions for both the 'traditional' method of sewing flying geese (where you sew squares on each side of a rectangle) as well as a fabric saving method (where you start with a square and sew 4 geese at a time). I loved working with Caroline and getting a bit of an insight into what pattern designers go through to get their pattern ready.

It might sound weird, but because of this I feel like I had more creative input into this quilt than I have into other quilts I have worked on. One of the things about test sewing an unreleased pattern was that I hadn't seen versions of the pattern sewed up already, so was completely uninfluenced by others' interpretations. It was so much fun to attack a clean line drawing of the quilt with my coloured pencils and plan out just how I wanted it to look - I coloured up several versions before I decided. The finished pattern includes line drawings for each of the three sizes, which you can print out and colour yourself - I love this and wish every pattern had the same!

This was also the first time that I've made a quilt using a fabric 'pull' from my stash - other quilts have either been scrap vomit-y, so completely random, or sewed from precuts of a single range. The palette for this quilt was actually inspired by the block I sewed for my June #moderninstabee partner @poppinspatch - I loved her block so much I just had to make my own quilt from those colours!

This is a quilt that has really made me feel like 'a quilter'. Not only because I felt like I was exercising more 'creativity', but this is the first time I have basted and quilted a quilt (bigger than baby pram-sized) myself (are you noticing a pattern? - this is such a quilt of firsts!). Like I showed in my I Quilt post on Thursday, I went super simple with the quilting - lines approximately a quarter inch either side of some of the seams (my first time doing quilting that wasn't 'in the ditch'), zig-zagging out with the bow-tie shape of the geese.

As an aside, after my post on Thursday I was talking to a friend about how sometimes we just need to be brave and try something, and then it works out. I feel like I should confess here that last weekend when I was a bit nervous about getting started on this, I was totally inspired by another crafty friend I have who seems never to be afraid to try something new or challenging and who makes the most beautiful things (let's just call her @happyspider6 ;-)) - as I basted and quilted every time I thought 'oooh this isn't going to work' I reminded myself that she would have a go, and hers would be awesome. So thanks, lovely =)

I chose to bind in the same print from Kate Spain's Daydream range that I used for those orange geese. You can see the binding is pretty narrow and tight - almost like piping really - I wanted just enough to frame the top and make those orange geese pop a bit. The backing is a simple aqua spot on white - this is one of Spotlight's basics which they sell for about $7 a metre - next time they have a sale I'm stocking up on these because I do love a good spot!

And so that's my quilt. Like I said, I just love it. You can see more Finding Formation quilts on the Nightingale Quilts blog, and there are also versions popping up on Instagram under #findingformationquilt.

The pattern is available in the Nightingale Quilts Craftsy store and Etsy store.
And if the sneak peeks Caroline has been giving us on Instagram are anything to go by, there are more gorgeous patterns on the way soon!

Thanks again so much to Caroline for asking me to be a test sewer, and Michelle for all of the gorgeous photos in this post!










  1. Just beautiful!! You should be proud!

  2. Bron this is a seriously stunning quilt. And you ARE a quilter! In fact you've been one for quite some time! I'm just blown away by your colour selections, especially the orange binding which is just inspired, and your quilting and just everything about this quilt. Caroline has done a fantastic job of the pattern (and seeing yours made me get my own pattern).

    Can't wait to see it in the show! But it will never look as good as it looked down by the lake this morning :)

    1. Thanks so much dude! I'm already busting to finish my next quilt so we can do another photoshoot! My herringbone and your clams in a paddock two weeks from now? Haha xo

  3. Reading this made my heart swell and I felt all gooey. I love that you felt so involved and pushed yourself to learn new things. You have been a BIG help and you should be super duper proud of your quilt. I'm proud!

    1. Thanks Caroline! I'm so glad you like it, and that I was able to help! You really are super talented and I'm already planning which of your patterns to make up next! Xo

  4. I love this quilt! I love your blues and that little pop of orange. ;) SO fun! Lucky you to get to be a tester for Caroline!

  5. This is a great post, it made me appreciate quilting more actually. I mean I know intellectually what an art form it is, but don't often connect emotionally with it. Enough about me, the quilt is gorgeous and I love the orange geese, but just as much I appreciate your writing about this special project.

  6. Such a totally awesome
    Quilt. Had the pleasure of touring the show yesterday with Michelle
    Who told me all about your quilt. Love it so much - especially that burst of orange - I'm going to
    Buy the pattern. Thanks for the inspiration!!!! And congratulations again!!!!


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