Monday, September 28, 2009

Shakespeare In The Park and Flying Geese!

Ever since I first saw a Shakespeare In The Park [SITP] quilt I have been longing to make one.
It’s a combination of two different blocks that make it appear quite complicated and the directions describe very unusual methods so it can seem rather daunting.
I have been collecting black, white and red fabrics that would be perfect for such a quilt.
Just recently an offshoot group formed from Stashbusters to make SITP so I jumped in and joined. The group has a couple of “leaders’” who have already made SITP - they will be assigning us one step a week to work through this rather complex process, as shown in Judy Martin’s “The Creative Pattern Book”.

This is Week 1, and the task is to make Flying Geese [FG] blocks.
Here are some of mine.
Every time I make these blocks I revisit four or five different methods I know of for their construction, and each time I return to the following method mostly because it is fast and produces four FG blocks at a time.
It requires one large square of one color and four small squares of a different color for each set of four FG blocks, but here’s the deal- you will need to know the finished width and height of your FG in order to cut the fabric.
One important fact to keep in mind is that FG blocks are always twice as wide as they are tall [in order for the "geese" triangles to have a 90 degree angle] so if your measurements do not reflect that there is something awry!
The large sq. will be cut width of finished block plus 1.25”.
The four small squares will be cut the height of the finished block plus 7/8”.
For my SITP I need FG that are 3” wide and 1.5” high finished [twice as wide as they are high, remember].
Therefore my large square will be 4.25” [3+1.25] and the four small squares will be 2 3/8” each [1.5+7/8].

For example, one large B and W square and four small red ones. Draw diagonal lines corner to corner on the back of each of the four small [red] blocks as below.
Place the large square rt.side up and take two of the small squares, placing one in the left top and one in the bottom rt. hand corners of the large block, as below, with fabric rt. sides together. Don’t worry that they will overlap a bit in the middle.

Now for a little sewing!
Stitch a scant ¼” seam on either side of the line. It is very important to have an accurate ¼” seam [either with a special foot or actual lines drawn on either side of the cutting line]. One or two threads width can make the difference between accuracy and inaccuracy, to trim or not to trim! I hate to trim but I do it when necessary because I want my blocks to go together neatly and my quilt to lay flat and square.
Cut apart on the line you drew between the two stitching lines .
Press seams flat towards the small triangles. You will have two of these units, set one aside while you complete the other. The first time I encountered this method my brain just could not make the jump from this odd looking shape to two FG blocks but it can happen, have faith!
Lay one of the remaining small squares in the corner of the large triangle as shown.
Stitch a scant quarter inch seam either side of the line you drew as above.
Now cut apart on the drawn line and press, then trim the tags. You may need to trim off a sliver to make your block the correct size depending on how accurate your seaming is.
Repeat with the remaining unit and small square and you will have four perfect Flying Geese!


Cheryl Willis said...

Great tutorial- if you promise to tut each part of the process, I will promise to add this to my TO-DO list.
every time I swear I don't like something, someone has to do it in a quilt I like. (I personally never have liked the snail block-yuck)
I do the geese like you do except I 'iron' my small sqs on the diag. it goes so much quicker! (yes I do them in sets of four)
great fabric you are using- will make a beautiful quilt. cw

Reddirt Woman said...

Love the black, white and red combo... and I've got to start trying some of these tuts!

I'm getting the bug so bad!


Dena said...

Great tutorial for making Flying Geese blocks. I love your fabric selections. I'm not familiar with this quilt design. I'm going to have to do a Google search to see it.

Miri said...

Great technique...that's a totally new way to me to do Flying Geese! Brilliant! Thanks for the great instructions!

Love the fabrics...I'm with Dena-I don't know that quilt pattern.

Elaine Adair said...

This is one of my favorite methods of making a LOT of flying geese. I also like Eleanor Burns method for precision. Great tutorial. 8-))