Archives for posts with tag: flying geese

Remember all of those little triangles we trimmed off while making our flying geese in the block below?

Well, I got busy and started sewing those little triangles just about as quickly as I was cutting them to create teeny tiny half square triangles (HST). In this technique for HST, you begin with two equal triangles placed face to face, then you sew them down the long side to create a single square. See the brief illustrated tutorial below.

The Follow the Leader quilt block above has 16 flying geese, therefore 32 HST!. So once, I had all of these teeny tiny HST sewn, I started piecing them together into rows. Then sewing the rows together.

Once I finished piecing the tiny postage stamp sized HST together the finished block was a whopping 5″ x 6″!

By no means is this a perfectly pieced block, but really how could it be when the pieces are so tiny and individually pieced from tiny triangles!

But I do love my tiny little HST Postage Stamp quilt block. Maybe I will attach it to the Modern Blocks quilt backing when we complete the quilt a long!

Goodnight all, xo!

Erin Myone

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Recently, I have become quite familiar with a piecing technique called “flying geese”. Flying geese are a common quilting element; they are often seen as an element of traditional and modern quilt blocks, or a repeating element across the entire quilt.

Above is an example of the traditional flying geese, you will notice that it is a geometric isosceles triangle (two sides and two angles are equal). Below is an example of a non-traditional flying geese, in this example the point is made in the same manner as those above, but the diagonals do not extend to the bottom of the colored block to create the triangle. Rather they meet the edge partway down the side and create a pentagram in the shape of a house.

 

Below I will explain how to make the traditional version of the flying geese block.

First, you will need three pieces for each “goose” you plan to make. For the traditional geese, you will want a rectangle where the length is two times the width (L=2W) .  For example, above I have illustrated a 4″x2″ rectangle . You will also need two squares, you will want each side of the squares to be equal to the rectangles width, so in this example the rectangle width was 2″ so each square will be 2″x2″.

Notice the dotted diagonal lines, these will be your stitching lines, and they will also create the short sides of your isosceles triangle (geese). Before you sew, it is wise to mark these diagonal lines on your squares so that you may follow the diagonal, in order to create a straight line. You may mark this line with a ruler and disappearing ink pen, colored pencil, or chalk.

 

Next, you will lay one square over the rectangle at a time, placing them face to face, and aligning the square on one half of your rectangle. Stitch the diagonal line that you have previously marked, with a short length straight stitch. I like to do a whole string of these at a time, before I move on to the next step!

You will now trim your seam allowance to the standard quilting 1/4″, as shown in the images above and below

Repeat these steps with each of your “geese”.

You will then press the pieces, with the seam allowance flattened towards the patterned or darker fabric. In the next image you will see the back and front of your piece thus far.

Here we go again!

Now, you will align the second square with the other end of the rectangle, be careful to align your marked diagonal so that it meets at a point in the center of your rectangle. Again stitch your marked line, trim your seam allowance, and press it towards the darker or patterned fabric.

Above, you will see an image that depicts the back and front of your flying geese. Notice that the point of your patterned fabric is about 1/4″ below the top of the rectangle, this will become the seam allowance when you sew your pieces together.

So there you have it! Your flying geese are ready to be put together into whichever block or quilt you like!

 

As you saw above in my example of a non-traditional flying geese, there are ways that you can modify these steps to change the shape of your pieced block. When modifying you may change the proportions of your length and width between the rectangle and the squares, just remember the length of the diagonal determines the depth of the point. You can easily choose a diagonal length that will stop midway down the side of your patterned piece to create the house like shape you saw in the Quatrefoil block above. Or choose to create a very shallow point by ending the diagonal only 1/4 of the depth of the patterned piece. There are so many ways you can play with the flying geese technique so be sure to try a few modifications and record your findings! Remember, quilting is all about geometry!

Now, if you are like me, you will have saved all of those little corners that you trimmed. In my next post, you will see what I have done with what would be fabric waste to many people. 😉

 

 

Woohoo! With this post I announce that I am all caught up in the And Sew We Craft  Modern Block Quilt a Long!

follow the leader

The first block of the Quilt a Long was this May: Follow the Leader block. This was the fourth and final block I needed to piece in order to get caught up, since I started 3 months late! Above I have shared Amy, at And Sew We Craft‘s, block. Amy has been kind enough to share the tutorial for this month’s block, and has been creating two blocks each month, one in solids and one in prints. I adore her print fabric selection (which is shown in the block above), the Little Apples fabric line by Aneela Hoey, too sweet! Amy also has done an excellent job of documenting her tutorial in photos so there is no possible way to get lost!

Anyway, on to my block! Once again I chose to work with fabrics from the 2013 Rosette fabric line by Juliana Horner for JoAnns Fabric. This line was only released on July 21st, so I am an early adopter of it’s wonderful blend of traditional country motifs with modern influences.  This line is one of four designer lines that JoAnns is producing as part of its Premium Quilts Collection, a wise response to the growing mass of young and modern quilters in the market. For this block, I chose to work with the Posy print in both the Navy and Sweet colorways, as well as, Bouquet Sweet and Ivy Lemon Lime. Below I have shared my handy-dandy fabric key!

This block was one of the more time consuming blocks of the Quilt a Long thus far, so I understand some of the frustration other participants voiced as they completed their blocks in May. For me, however, doing this block fourth made it seem quite manageable after completing the July and August blocks! I really enjoyed putting it together and practicing my Flying Geese. I did make a few mistakes along the way, but my patience seems to be growing as I work on these because I didn’t mind ripping out a few seams and correcting the major issue.

If you’re wondering what the major issue was, well you’ll notice at the center of the block you have each of your four colors represented. This occurs by alternating which color is on the right and left when you combine them into pairs (for example the Lemon Lime Ivy and the Navy Posy are a pair). On my first attempt at completing the block, I accidentally placed them in the same position both times and my finished block had two sets of navy geese in the center. This mistake was large enough I felt the need to rip out many seams to correct it, and then re-piece the block. Other small mistakes include some imperfect point alignment and cutting off the “beaks” of a few of my geese. These are seemingly minor mistakes though and since this project is just for fun I do not feel OCD enough to correct them.

Overall, I am quite happy with my Follow the Leader block. Though I am a little bummed to be caught up in the Quilt a Long, what will I do now?

Actually, I’ve already started working on something new, as suggested by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts on a previous post, teeny tiny half square triangles pieced from the scraps of the Flying Geese technique. This may be my first attempt at working in the Postage Stamp size category!

Also, I completed piecing the top of the Four Seasons table runner, but due to an early misunderstanding it is a littler shorter than desired! So I am brainstorming an attractive and modern way to change that (Photos and explanation to come soon!).

Anywho, on to the rest of the day, dog walks, research, and writing! Hopefully a bike ride or lap swimming too, if weather permits!

Erin Myone