Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Measure Twice - Cut 80....Twice

The other night I couldn't sleep, so I decided that I would cut the red and white strips for the next border on a UFO Christmas quilt that I've been working on.  I'm working without a net because I don't have my book (more on that in a later post).  I looked at a photo of the quilt on line.  The blocks are 6 inches finished so I needed 2 units per block.  That means each one would be 3 1/2" cut before sewing to finish at 3".  So I cut my 3 1/2" strips and then cut the half square triangles using my Easy Angle ruler.  That way I would be all ready to sew the next morning.  And I did.  I sewed off and on all the next day.  I not only sewed the 80 half square triangles that I needed, but I'd cut 20 extra so I sewed a total of 100 half square triangles thinking maybe I could use the extras in the backing.  

Then I looked at the quilt photo again and noticed that the border isn't half square triangles, but it is 3 1/2" flying geese units.  Well at least I got the 3 1/2" measurement right even if I did sew 100 of the wrong thing.  

So I'm going to do a Flying Geese Tutorial using the connector corner method.  (I think if you click on the photos, you can see what I typed next to each unit.

In case you can't read the typing there, the first photo shows a pencil line drawn diagonally on the back side of the square.  That insures accuracy and makes a perfect unit if you sew on the line.  The second photo shows a square with a diagonal crease pressed in it.  It is a little harder to stay on the line, but it is a little faster than drawing the line on each square.  Then there is the third method (which is what I usually use).  Do you remember the late Mary Ellen Hopkins?  Whenever she would be on Simply Quilts on HGTV, I would tape her so that I could watch it over and over.  She's probably best known for the book,  It's OK If You Sit On My Quilt.  She also taught me about using connector corners to make flying geese.  She said to start sewing and aim for the opposite corner and swing wide toward the outside.  So that's what I do.  After doing 80 of these, accuracy improves quite a bit!

After I sew the first corner on all my units, I cut out the part of the white square toward the outside corner (photo below).

Then I press toward the corner (photo below).  Then I sew the second square on, trim out the corner of the white square and press.  The reason I trim is to reduce the bulk whenever quilting.  It's also fine to leave it in the quilt.  If you are a hand quilter, you will want to cut out the excess.  Also, if you are making a quilt with a lot of seams, it is best to cut out that extra fabric to reduce the overall weight of the quilt.  I don't cut the red rectangle, because I know that it is cut 3 1/2" X 2" so in theory it is accurate. 

 I usually turn the unit to the back and trim the white that overhangs either with scissors or a rotary cutter.  

This gives you a 1/4" seam allowance at the top so that when the unit is sewn into your quilt, you won't lose the red point.  To make a 3 inch FINISHED flying geese unit, I cut the red rectangle 3 1/2" X 2".  The white squares are cut at 2".  

So it's back to the sewing machine to finish the right unit.  I'll put the 100 half square triangles away until I come up with an idea to use them.  

This wasn't the post that I planned for today.   Sorry to be so wordy!!!!  I've finished more six pointed stars that I'll post next time.  

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.


  1. loved Mary Ellen Hopkins sense of humor! you sure did a lot of cutting!

  2. Oh my LuAnn!! So much work! I don't think I would have started over with the Flying Geese. I probably would have tried to fit the HST in the border somehow and call it "My Own Little Inspiration" or something that hint towards the fact that it was intentionally done that way LOL! But brownie points to you for sticking thru it. Bravo!

  3. I'm too lazy to start over. I would probably sew two HSTs together and call it a flying geese unit. In fact--I know I have done that on occasion. : )

  4. Oh NO!!!
    That totally sounds like something I'd do! Nice that HST's can be used in so many ways though, at least it is a goof that can still be something wonderful!

  5. Oh, I can totally see me doing that! And I probably would have tried to use the hst's instead of making the flying geese at that point. At least you've got a great start on another project!!

  6. Been there, done that :). I know you will find a great home for those one day.

  7. It sounds like you made the best of a tricky situation without the book/pattern to consult. I'll look forward to reading that part of the story.
    I would have said (or thought) some nasty words in your situation, and then I would have sewn HST together to look like flying geese. But now you have HST all ready for a future project. Smart gal!

  8. Sounds like a mistake that I would make. Although I'm just lazy ... I mean creative enough to try to find a way to make the HSTs work. ;-)

  9. I make my flying geese like that too! thanks for the tutorial always good to refresh your memory on it though. sorry about the hst but I see a cute little quilt in your future so it isn't all that bad is it?

  10. Thank you for the tute! I am sure it was a bit frustrating to make all of those hsts when you really needed flying geese. The good news is you are on your way to creating a new quilt. ;-)

  11. Love how you tell like it is! Nice tutorial.

  12. I know I have done this exact thing. You definitely made the best out of a bad situation. But after the winter we just had, I would run away from anything Christmas/winter related! :)


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