Here is a fun block to make that can teach
you a few things.
When you look at the block, what is the
first quilting shape that you notice?
The biggest block, the red apple, is the
Little squares have been put at each corner, sewn, and then folded back.
Next look for the
Flying Geese. It is
in the upper left hand corner. There is a matching size rectangle on the right
The stem of the apple is made from two very
small rectangles, sewn together. The background fabric is on the top, the
the darker stem right underneath.
construction is really quite easy. You can see the small squares pinned to the
larger square ready to be sewn. The flying geese, and matching rectangle
are pictured, along with the two pieces for the top middle.
As with all piecing, you do the small
pieces first, then attach them to the larger pieces.
Some people do horizontal rows first, and
then vertical rows. Others do it the opposite way. It doesn't
matter, as long as you are careful that you seam allowances nest when possible.
This Challenge Block is going to teach you
more about the Flying Geese
The Flying Geese Block is always
twice as wide as it is tall. There are many ways to make this block.
Again, we are going to deal with the single rectangles and squares method.
When you add you small squares to the
rectangle, they must be large enough that when they "cross" (after you sew them
on one at a time), so that you will be left with a 1/4 inch seam allowance from the
point of the geese to the edge of the fabric.
How do you know what size to make the
squares and rectangles?
There are a couple "standard sizes" you
will see a lot- but I want you to learn how the sizes are determined.
Let's say you want your Flying Geese to
finish at 1 1/2 x 3 inches. When I say "finish", it means that this is the
size it will be when sewn to other fabric.
You are going to need a 1/4 inch
seam on every side. So the 1 1/2 inches becomes 2 inches, and the 3 inches
becomes 3 1/2 inches.
You are now looking at making a "raw"
2 x 3 1/2 inch geese. The term "raw" meaning this is what the block will
measure when you have completed it.
So you cut the large rectangle (the base
for the small squares) at 2 x 3 1/2
Now this is the important part.
You cut the small squares the size of the height, or small measurement of the
rectangle; 2 inches in
Since the width of the rectangle is 3 1/2
inches, when you attach the 2-inch squares, you are attaching 2 plus 2, or
4 inches of fabric. That is an extra 1/2 inch, or 1/4 inch from each square.
This extra fabric is what you give you the
seam allowance from the point to the edge of the fabric. Always
press the first square that you sew on the diagonal back before you add the
You will learn when making the Flying
Geese, that if you do not perfectly align the small square to the large corner,
when you fold back the small square, it will not lay exactly on the back. The
corners may not meet, or they will come up short.
happens, either your line does not go exactly from corner to corner on the small
squares, your fabric has
slipped under the presser foot, or you have not sewn on the drawn line.
This block will be used over and over, so
practice until you can do it perfectly. Use pins, go slow. Here are the
measurements for the one on the left.
The Geese was made with to
finish at 2x4 inches, so you cut one rectangle 2 1/2 by 4 1/2
The small squares to add to the
rectangle to make the geese were cut at 2 1/2 inches.
You cut a matching size
rectangle for the upper right ( 4 1/2 inches). The stem and
upper strip were cut 1 1/2 inch wide, with 2 inches of height for
the stem, and 1 inch for the background.
When you sew all the top pieces
together, it should measure 9 1/2 inches wide. So you cut a
big square 9 1/2 inches, and then add the smaller squares. I
used 3-inch squares to make the snowball apple shape.
When finished, the top point of
the geese and the left point should have a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
This is a big block. Try
making it with a smaller geese (1 1/2 x 3). You should now be
able to figure out how to scale it down.
Just do the top first, and then
you can measure for the big block to match underneath. Once
you have made this block, you will see how easy it is to scale down.
It is a good learning exercise.