Sunday, December 16, 2012

Geese on a String!

Click HERE for printer friendly version!

I have had an inbox FULL of requests for sizes and details of how I am recreating the fabulous string pieced flying geese quilt I found a couple weeks ago.

My original post can be found HERE.

I know I know I know!  I can’t leave this quilt alone either, and I’ve been madly piecing geese units since bringing it home---

So as my Christmas gift to all of you – I’m presenting this as a “Short Cut” tutorial for just the Flying Geese units.

There are many ways to make the geese, but since I am dealing with a box of strings ---not big hunks and chunks – mine might look a bit different than the quilt that inspired me, but hopefully have the same “make do” feeling.

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I just LOVE everything about this quilt!

There are 6 rows of string pieced geese separated by bars of green – make the bars of green any width you want.  Make the rows of geese as long as you want – this little Short Cut is not a full quilt tutorial, but rather all about the geese – do with them what you will!

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Sewing Strings to foundation paper!

Yes, I do use foundation paper.  These are 5.5” squares – I cut them from some left over pattern pages that were already cut at 8.5” X 5.5” so cutting 5.5” off one end was easy.  You can actually get by with about 5 1/4” – but I wasn’t going to trim down any farther since they’d be trimmed down more in the next step!  Phone book pages work great here.

Set your stitch length VERY small.  Place your first strip right side up on top of the paper – down the center diagonal from corner to corner.  Lay your next strip with right sides together against the first one – if you are using yarn dyed shirt fabrics like me, they are the same front and back so it doesn’t matter! Continue to add strips and scraps to the block to completely cover the paper, pressing after each strip is added.

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Here I am busy covering foundations with strips!

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Cut from Corner to Corner with the Companion Angle ---

I am using the Companion Angle to trim up my geese to size so it’s easy to let one ruler do the job of both the cutting on the diagonal, and the trimming!

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Using the 3 1/2” line down the center of the ruler ((the big 6 will be on the side)) trim the excess fabric away on both sides, and across the top notch. 

Carefully remove papers.  I photographed this with the paper side up because it was easier to photograph the numbers.

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Wing triangles are cut with the Easy Angle ruler from 3-1/2” strips.

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Position the notched edges of the wing triangles so that they will meet with the flat top on the goose triangle as shown.

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Matching edges and the top notches of the right side wing triangles to the right side of the goose triangle, stitch.  I chain piece all the right wing triangles first – chain press the seam outward toward the wing triangle, cut apart…and trim dog ears, then come back and add the left wing triangles.

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Right side wing triangles pressed out and dog ears removed!

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When adding the left wing triangles, the bottom edge, bias edge, and top notch should be even with the edges of your goose triangle. Do you see how the flat spot on the left wing triangle is even with the edge of the unit?  Don’t let it slide down or creep above the edge of the unit. Keep it EVEN!

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Two geese units, ready to fly!

Press this seam outward toward the wing triangle just added and remove dog ears.  Units will measure 3-1/2" X 6-1/2" and finish at 3" X 6" in the quilt.

Make as many geese as you want to get the rows the length you want them to be.

Geese can also be made with crazy crumb piecing --- no paper required..just crumb piece a block big enough to cut two triangles from it as above.  For more info on Crumb Piecing, click HERE!

If you do not have the Companion Angle ruler or the Easy Angle ruler – the math is going to be a bit different.

From paper foundations cut 1 7-1/4” square.  Cut the square with an X yielding 4 goose foundation triangles.  String piece onto the paper triangles, covering them completely.  Trim to size.  You have to string piece triangles instead of squares if you don’t use the ruler -----if you string piece the square first, and then cut it with an X, the strings will not all go the same direction – see what I mean?  If you want them all up and down, cut the paper square into quarters first so you can plan the way the strings will lie.

Wing triangles can be cut from 3 7/8” squares cut once on the diagonal.

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Can you tell which unit is newly made?!  Pretty good match, don’t you think?!

Sew up those scraps and enjoy!

Remember there will be Quilt-Cam this afternoon at 2pm Eastern!  Bring a project and come sew along!


pjbear said...

Thankyou have been admiring this quilt since you showed it to us. I will be making this one soon (need more scraps)

Bobbi said...

Thanks Bonnie, just sat down with my morning coffee and your blog. What a nice present, many thanks, not just for sharing this pattern, but for all that you do throughout the year to keep our quilty minds full of ideas.

cityquilter grace said...

thanks soooo much! can't wait to see yours finished...

Lucy said...

wow. I have to take out these rulers of my closet. Thanks for the inspiration Bonnie!

pdudgeon said...

thanks for this pattern! this is just what i need to take care of my 'leftovers' instead of letting them build up.
Now all i need to do is grab an old Yellow Pages phone book for my foundations, and away i go!

Sandie said...

Thanks Bonnie! Just what I needed- one more thing calling my name! hehe!

Luann said...

Thank-you so very much for this wonderful pattern! I'm printing it as we speak!

My own request is for instructions on your beautiful hexagon quilt.

AJ (The Quilting Pot Podcast) said...

Good morning from Savannah area. Thank you for the mini-tutorial. Still on the quest for a treadle. See you at 2:00.

Bonnie K Hunter said...

Keep Wishing Luann! I may be keeping that one to myself for a while -- perhaps for a future book.

45th Parallel Quilter said...

Wow ... what a generous gift! Actually, YOU are the gift which keeps giving each and every day. Thanks for ALL you do ... sometimes I don't think you realize how far reaching your influence, generosity and grace go. Thank you for YOU!! Linda

Amy Anderson said...

What do you do with the paper on the back of the blocks--pull off, wash out, leave in?

Debbie said...

I started piecing these geese as soon as I saw the quilt. I love it. Turns out I had way more scraps than I thought. I don't suppose you know exactly what that color is that you used for the wings. I don't have anything even close that I like.

Bonnie said...

Bonnie thanks so much for the Christmas present. You are to good for us. I can't wait for April 2014 when you come to my guild in Williamsburg. You and your family have a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday.

Bonnie T. in Virginia

Bonnie said...

I am in the scraps I (WAS) saving for dog beds. Oh well a girl needs to start a new quilt on a rainy Sunday in Va.

Bonnie T. from Virginia

Luann said...

Perfectly understandable! If you put the instructions in a book, I'm going to make one!

Marianne cas said...

Add another one to the list! I love it, I can use smaller pieces, and justify keeping them to my family! I can't wait to get started. Oh, so many projects, not enough time:)! I hope you have a great day. Marianne from Florida

Myrna said...

Ohhhh...my bucket list just keeps growing. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us. I'm also curious about the color of your wings. Merry Christmas!

Luann said...

I fully understand!!! I'd still like to make one, either way. You had a way of making me drool! LOL!!

Luann said...

Cell phones are wonderful, to a point! I'm sorry I posted twice! I'm not all the techno intelligent.

SubeeSews said...

Thank you so very much for this lovely Christmas present to us!!
We sure are a lucky group of quilters!
And making Flying Geese with the two EZ Angle rulers is so addicting.
They make the end product perfect!!!
Looking forward to watching you on Sunday afternoon.

Mary H said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm really addicted to string piecing, and I'm thinking of all sorts of things I can do with this!

Sharon Douglas said...

I have a plethora of plaids but haven't found something I wanted to put them in yet until now. Thanks as usual for the inspiration!

Sharon Douglas said...

Hi, Amy--
You didn't ask me but as an avid paper piecer, my advice is to pull it off carefully. I had always used regular cheap paper to piece on until I read about how Bonnie uses the phone book pages. That paper lets go easily--just remember, pull carefully so as not to undo your stitching.
And trust me, adding water will make it come off easier sometimes, BUT WHAT A MESS LOL!

Janet said...

Thank you!! Can't wait to give this a try.

andifar said...

Love it. Thank you, Miss Bonnie. You are so good to your fans.

Aileen said...

Thank you Bonnie. Will save directions for future. I have quite a few Bonnie projects in the making! LOL

Leeanne said...

Thanks Bonnie & Merry Christmas to you!

Julierose said...

Thank you so much for the strippy geese tutorial; this is going into my 2013 binder along with "Easy Street" and the "Vomit" quilt (from "I'm A Ginger Monkey" site as the 3 quilts I will plan to make this coming year. I have been very scattered in choosing quilts this past year--sooo, I am setting these as MUST DOS--I LOVE them all. Have a very Wonderful Holiday--Julierose

Elaine M said...

Thanks Bonnie for all you do. I have 2 stacks of string blocks. Think I will take the 7 1/2", slice in half and make this quilt with over sized geese. I'm saving the other stack for Wild Child. Have a Wonderful Christmas with your family!

Kevin the Quilter said...

How generous of you to provide a mini tutorial for this quilt. Another wonderful way to use scraps! Merry Christmas!

scrappy101 said...


The pattern is fabulous and you are such a giving person. Thank you for all you do for us. Wishing you the best for you and your family. Merry Christmas

Teresa H in Indiana said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this fun & homey pattern. I would love to make this and try my hand at your free-form Baptist fans (in big stitches with black thread). Another project for 2013!

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Thank you, Bonnie, for such a lovely Christmas present. I think I will be making some of these geese using the 5.5" paper squares and some using triangle papers. On the latter I will be able to use leftover bits of strings that are too short for other uses.

Merry Christmas, Bonnie!


Tami C said...

You picked a great fabric for your goose and looked like just like an original goose! Great Job! Thanks so much for the instructions for reproducing the quilt!

Patchwork Penguin said...

So for some reason the feed isn't working on my end.... I guess that the internet gods are not smiling on me. Have fun!

Dorothy Matheson said...

Hi from a very gray day in Texas.
I am printing out the Easy Street but sewing on Pineapple blocks as that quilt is screaming at me to be finished. I made 60 blocks at 8 inches and it just said that was not big enough. I had a friend that gave me a lovely bag of scraps already cut at 1 1/2 inches left over from her quilt. It made a good start as I already had plenty of 2 1/2 inch squares.
So Easy Street just has to wait. No problem in seeing the finished product for me. I always read the end of a book too.

sandra said...

This would be good for a 15 minutes of play type thing. Wonder if I would use up all my scraps if I did it EVERY day in 2013??? Maybe a challenge for myself.(And I should buy the book)

Bev said...

But, Dorothy, do you read everything in between or skip to the end??? LOL-I also love to go all the way through a book and don't like to peak-only once in a while! Aren't Bonnie's quilt well worth the wait for the ending??? I am waiting for the big reveal on Easy Street! (of course, we can't sneak a peek there, darn!)

Bev said...

Bonnie, Wow, you sure matched that sky color! got it nailed almost perfectly! Thank you for taking the time to put this into words so we can remember better if we aren't able to play along right now. You are a wonderfully caring person and your husband is one blessed man (of course, you are equally blessed to have him!) God bless you and your family this Christmas and always!

nancy hutchison said...


qltmom9 said...

That was SO NICE of you.~ Thank you.


Saska said...

I agree with Sue! Flying goosies make so much more sense now...and I asked for the larger EZ angle ruler for Christmas, I only had the small one! Oh, the ideas you give us.

You made the comment once that flying geese give a quilt movement...so, does string blocks make them wiggle??