Saturday, January 14, 2012

Back in the Sewing Room!

After last autumn's busy season of traveling and teaching (I was home exactly two days in October!), I am happy to get back to my sewing room. I have two large tables where I do a lot of my away-from-the-machine work -- they're now cluttered with bags of fabrics, patterns, notions and books that I have either purchased or been given while I've been gone. Scattered in with some of these bags are fabrics pulled from my stash for consideration in future projects. In other words, quite a mess.

I'm also looking over some of my works in progress and deciding on a hopeful timetable for completion. One of these UFO's is a 56-1/2" square quilt called "Posey Patch" from the April 2011 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. This quilt features nine 16" pieced blocks, four of which are appliqued. I had pieced the four blocks last year and given them to my friend Tiffany Hayes of Needle in a Hayes Stack to work her hand applique magic. Tiffany likes to have a bit of handwork to do in the evening while she is spending time with her family and she does beautiful work.

She gave the blocks back to me months ago and so I put this quilt at the top of my to-sew list. The applique is not exactly like the pattern in the magazine; we changed it up a bit for a more sophisticated look.

I also have a new sewing machine to play with, the Laura Ashley Limited Edition "Isodore" from Brother, so now it's time to shove a stack of "stuff" onto the floor and piece the other five blocks:

The little four-patch in the center combines a green print with a green-on-white polka dot. That is surrounded by a peachy-pink floral ; the corners are a brown/blue/pink butterfly print that is one of the fabrics from a quilt for a cure line by Marcus Brothers. Interspersed among the butterflies are words in script, such as "Hope", "Kisses", "Friends" and "Love".

Next, the pattern called for 20 flying geese to measure 2" x 4" finished. I used the method that takes one large square and four small squares to make 4 units. To make them the size required, one 5-1/4" square of one fabric and four 2-7/8" square of the other were needed.

On each of the smaller squares, a line is drawn from corner to corner to act as a guide for the sewing.

Then two small squares are pinned to one large square, as shown.

I stitched 1/4" on each side of the marked line...

...then used the marked line as a cutting line.

At right, the two resulting pieces after pressing.

I pinned another small square to each of the pieced units and then stitched 1/4" on either side of the marked line.

After cutting on the marked line, pressing and trimming off the notches, I have a pile of little bitty triangles and four flying geese units that measure 2-1/2" x 4-1/2".

When I stitch these to the other block components, the finished size will be 2" x 4".

I first learned this method of sewing flying geese units from Alex Anderson a few years ago and it has become my favorite method for making them. It seems to be easier and more accurate than sewing them one at a time. I even found a ruler that I can consult to determine the sizes of the large square and small squares for various finished sizes of geese. It is called Flying Geese x 4 "No Math" Ruler from Lazy Girl Designs.

After cutting 2-1/2" squares for the corners of the blocks, I stacked them up and was done for the day.


  1. That was a great tutorial on flying geese! You really made it clear and the pictures are great. Thanks, Paula!

  2. Isn't that the best flying geese method??? Did a demo for our little quilt group and they couldn't believe it. Now they all are targeting patterns with flying geese components!!! That machine is quite something. Exciting days ahead.....Hugs,Doreen


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