The Flying Geese Quilt

The Flying Geese Quilt                  And the Lessons of the Geese

In 2002 when I first opened up the quilt shop, Carol came to visit me and told me how much she wanted to get back to quilting now that she had a little more time.  It wasn’t long after we learned Carol was ill and probably would not be getting that chance to quilt again when a special quilt came into the shop.  We call this, The Flying Geese Quilt, as quilters know the significance of the flying geese block and the story behind it. 

In the fall when you see Geese heading south for the winter flying along in the "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way. 

It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.  Quite similar to people who are part of a community and share a common vision to get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the trust of one another and lift each other up along the way. 

Whenever a Goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go through it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the power of the flock.  If we have as much sense as a Goose, we will stay in formation and share information with those who are headed the same way that we are going. 

When the lead Goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another Goose takes over.  It pays to share the journey and take turns doing hard jobs. 

The Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed.  Words of support and inspiration help energize those on the front line, helping them to keep pace in spite of the day-to-day pressures and fatigue. It is important that our honking be encouraging. Otherwise it's just - well honking! 

Finally, when a Goose gets sick or is wounded by a gunshot and falls out, two Geese fall out of the formation and follow the injured one down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out with another formation to catch up with their group.  When one of us is down, it's up to the others to stand by us in our time of trouble. If we have the sense of Carol, we will stand by each other when things get rough. We will stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. 

We gave this Flying Geese quilt to Carol when we learned of her challenges in hopes of providing some comfort and support to her and her family and to lend the support of the geese in V formation. Susan Webster, Gathering Fabric Quilt Shop