Monday, June 28, 2010

Flying Geese Tutorial

**This tutorial contains chain piecing techniques to make multiple blocks.**

This tutorial will teach you how to make one Flying Geese block. By sewing two extra seams, you will end up with one Flying Geese block and two Half Square Triangle blocks. This allows you to use every bit of your fabric, and can provide enough blocks for a border or 2nd project. :cD

You will need two contrasting fabrics. In this case, I have cream geese with green and red backgrounds.

Cutting instructions
For each 2”x 4” finished block, cut:
• One 2.5”x 4.5” rectangle – this will become your “goose”
• Two 2.5” squares – background fabric
1. On the wrong sides of the two squares, draw a diagonal line down the center of the square from corner to corner. I personally don’t recommend using fabric with a directional pattern for the squares; however, IF you are using fabric with a directional pattern, take care to make sure your fabric will be oriented correctly in the finished block.

2. Measure a ½” from the diagonal line, and draw another line parallel to it on one side. These lines will be stitching lines.
3. Layer one square right sides together with a rectangle. Make sure the second line on the square is pointing towards the outside corner.
4. Stitch on the line (or just to the outer edge so you have a scant ¼” seam). If you are making multiple blocks, prep another square and rectangle and put them right behind the sewn unit so you are continuously piecing geese. You will end up with the goose/geese ¼ of the way done.
5. If you are sewing multiple blocks, cut each block apart and stack with the squares on opposite ends. It makes the next step easier.

6. Next, sew along the second line you drew on the square. You will have two seams ½” apart. To chain piece, continuously feed the units through your machine, but this time alternate the units so they fit closely together. Your chain will look a little like a braid (see picture). Once again, cut any chained blocks apart afterwards.
7. It’s pressing time! I’m not sure about you, but I like to press. (I’m weird, I know.) Press your blocks to set the seams, then carefully cut between the two seams you’ve sewn. This will give you one of your half square triangles. Press the remaining corner out and away from the center. You have half a goose!
8. Repeat steps 3-7 to make the other side of your goose. You should have one flying geese unit and two HSTs (or many geese and HSTs if you’re chain piecing).

Happy Geese Sewing!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Punch of Piccadilly

This is my current leader-ender project.  It all started with the Piccadilly fabric (by Pamela Mostek for Clothworks) – I saw the fat quarter medley in Keepsake Quilting and had to have it, mostly for the big yellow floral.  It was my absolute favorite fabric of all time for a while, and is still up there (I even bought extra yardage to make into a toddler dress one day).  I needed something to do with the fat quarters, and I thought it would make a bright and fun baby girl’s quilt.  So into EQ6 I went.  The design is simple; I wanted to showcase the big yellow floral but didn’t like a couple of the other fabrics, and I needed to stay within my yardage limits.  I actually did have to buy more fabric but managed to find it on sale.  Each color is a different Piccadilly fabric.
 The quilt is an alternating four-patch and sixteen-patch design.  Blocks are 9” finished, and the quilt should measure 36”x 45”.  I've had it all cut out for a while, but needed to work on other projects, and then after lurking on Bonnie Hunter’s site for a bit, I decided there was no better time than the present to start a leader-ender project.  I have been piecing the four-patches while working on Farm Gal’s Folly.  They are just about half done!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I had a post all prepped and ready to go, only to open my email and realize . . . I forgot to attach it.  

*Smacks palm on forehead*

Oh well, guess that just means I need to go do some sewing . . .

We'll try again tomorrow.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sorry for the Absence . . .

It's been busy around here.  We had our son's christening on the weekend of the 6th, last weekend we were watching my sister graduate high school and visiting friends on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and this weekend we traveled to see the in-laws.  I have managed to do some sewing along the way, usually beginning around 10pm, which means I've been staying up late.  Makes it hard to get up in the morning (my son thinks 5:30am is a good wake-up call).

I've been working on more flying geese, with a baby quilt coming along as a leader-ender project.  I'm almost finished sewing the larger baby quilt blocks just from using them as placeholders.

Today I cut into my new fabric:
Moda's Freebird by Momo - Eggs in Grass(?) and Geranium.  Yum!
 Yes, more geese.  It's what I do these days.  Interesting enough, I'm not tired of them yet, and I tend to be a flit-ter (I get bored easily).  Here are the pretty 2.5" strips before they got cut into squares.
I'm still not done cutting them, but I've made progress.

Today I also counted all the squares and geese I have and updated the spreadsheet (yes, I'm an Excel geek).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Not Much Sewing Going On

around here.  I haven't sewn since I finished the Huskers blanket for Sis last Friday night.  It's just been too busy, first with her party, my son's baptism and picnic, then DH and I got a nasty tummy bug, and then working and attending to some other life business has left me beat at the end of the day.  And it's not just sewing, neither of us has exercised this week at all (that's not helping in baby weight loss department).  Tonight we are weeding the garden, cleaning, and packing for our weekend trip.  I'm hoping to sew at least a couple of seams tonight for some much needed stress relief before our busy day tomorrow.  I'm thinking I need to pack one of my cross-stitch kits for the car ride.  I haven't done that in a while.

Okay, off to get started, but here's a picture of some uneven four-patches I made from scraps of the play apron a few weeks ago.  This might lead to something . . . someday . . . when I have free time . . . ?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Huskers Blanket

Little Sis is graduating high school next weekend (she's 8 years younger than me).  I can't believe she's all grown up already.  She's going to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for college and majoring in Medieval-Renaissance History with a minor in Music.  Nebraska is a far ways from Virginia, but I know she's excited.
For her present, I made her a UN fleece blanket.  I purchased the Huskers fleece online and bought the black fleece at JoAnn's.  This wasn't the original plan, but I had a brain fart and only ordered one yard of Huskers fleece (36" is not big enough for a throw).  So after many ideas, I settled on alternating strips.

I measured 1/2" from each edge of the black fleece and pinned generously (seriously, you need to use about a million more pins than you think so the seam allowance stays at your measured 1/2"), then pinned the red fleece on top, butting up to the pinning (so each seam is overlapped by 1/2").  Then I used a twin needle and top-stitched each seam.  It was my first time using a twin needle; I llluuurrrvvveee it!  I'm going to have to find more projects to sew with a twin needle! 
 After all the strips were together, I finished the edge with my trusty J-foot and a decorative edging stitch.  To use the J-foot, I have to set my stitch length to 0.8, and the stinking blanket ended up being way bigger than I thought, so it took forever.  I had Old Faithful going pedal to the metal, and by the end she definitely needed a big cool-down.  She's such a trooper.

Yeah, that's a full bed that "throw" is laid out on.  At least Sis will be warm during those cold winters!

(One thing I didn't do that would've made it even more crisp- rotary cut the strips to get a nice sharp edge.  I did okay with scissors, but rotary cutting would have made everything just a touch better.)


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