While working on my 2nd Quilt of Valor, I needed to make 1/4 square triangles that ended up at 4 inch finished. It has been a long time since I made these, so I decided to Google it and ended up with Bonnie Hunter again.
She showed how to use her Essential Triangle Tool and, once again, the blocks were quickly made!! (My first foray with the Essential Triangle Tool was here)
When you make them the old-fashioned way, you have to start with a square that is 1.25 inches larger than what you want the finished size to be. In my case that would have meant that I needed squares that were 5.25 inches and I don’t have many of those already cut in my scraps.
Instead, I could use the ruler with 2.5 inch strips and I have BUNCHES of those!!!!
The first step was to cut/find two strips 2.5 inches wide……
….place them right sides together and start cutting, matching the edge up to the 2.5 inch mark and letting the little green triangle hang off of the strip…..
Cut as many sets as you need…..
Now to the machine, sewing from the point to the blocked-off edge…..
Press them open……
…and finally sew the pairs together to make the squares…..
The final step is to trim those pesky corners and they are ready to go.
Once again, I was amazed at how accurate these patches were and how well they fit with the other square and 1/2 square triangles blocks that made up the quilt.
Yes, I should have known that Bonnie wouldn’t send me astray!! And of course, I am talking about Bonnie Hunter of www.Quiltville.com. If you have never heard of her work, you really should check her out. She is the queen of scrap quilts and is one of the most prolific quilters that I have ever seen. I often get tired just reading about everything she does on her blog.
Several years ago she put out a ruler called the “Essential Triangle Tool”. As the name implies, it was designed for cutting out triangles. Specifically, it was to be used with strips and without having to worry about that pesky 7/8ths inch that you are supposed to add.
When you look at it, it looks a little strange with all of those green triangles on each corner and several different sets of marking lines…..
I had purchased it last year but just had not felt up to giving it a try. I think that I was concerned about having to sew along bias edges that had been previously cut. This technique had been tried by me over the years but had never resulted in accurate blocks. Probably “user error”!!
There are several steps to creating a Flying Geese design using this tool. The first step is to cut a strip of the “goose” fabric that is the same width as your finished square, plus 1/2 inch. In my case, the finished block was 2.5″ tall so my strip needed to be 3 inches…..
Now, you line the ruler up on the edge of the strip, noticing that the little green triangle hangs off of the top of the strip…..
After making the two cuts to finish this piece, you rotate the ruler by 180 degrees so that the next piece can be cut, alternating back and forth until you have the required number of geese…..
Next, the wings of the geese blocks need to be cut. Amazingly, you use this exact same ruler to cut these pieces. These strips need to be the same width….3 inches in my case. The most important thing to remember when setting up these strips is that the RIGHT SIDES NEED TO BE FACING!!! This is very important since you need mirror pieces to complete the Goose…..
After you get a straight cut on one end of the fabric pair, you line up the ruler with the green triangle hanging off of the top edge and the line on the 2.5 marker……
Make the cut and grasp the fabric strip and move it to the right to get it out of the way…….
Flip the ruler around and make the next cut…..
Once everything is cut you can lay out the three pieces to form the goose…..
Now to the machine!!!! Starting on the right side, match up the fabric edges…..
…….and sew from the blunt end to the pointy end…..
Bonnie has even designed these blocks so that they nest up against one another for chain piecing…..
At this point, she suggests finger pressing the right side before continuing. I understand her concern about having an open bias edge on the other side of the goose, but I found that it was much easier to use my small iron and CAREFULLY press the side seam before continuing.
Next, you line up the left side and sew it in place, this time starting at the point……
The result was a PERFECT Flying Geese block!!! The final step was to trim off the “dog-ears”…..
….and it was ready to go.
I made 72 of these for my current Quilt of Valor and they were all perfect, there was NO fabric wastage and, once I got going, they were really fast to do.
I did use my 1/4 inch guide foot for the piecing which also helped with accuracy.
As I said…..I should have known that Bonnie would have the BEST way of doing this!!!!!