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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Modern Flying Geese (part 1)

I love the flying geese block. I especially love them when they're modern. 
Take a look at these great examples:

by Laurel Krynock of Sing All You Want
by Laurel Krynock of Sing All You Want (used with permission )

"Flying Dutchman" by Cath at Wombat Quilts (used with permission )

 by Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations (used with permission )

Try searching Pinterest for "modern flying geese" or check out my board for more examples:



My fascination with modern flying geese caused me to look at the ways they can be constructed. I never expected to find NINE methods. Who would have guessed? So, being the investigator that I am, I set out to find my favorite method. Here is the summary of my results:

Methods
  1. Traditional method:  find directions on Quilter's Cache here.
    pros: no wasted fabric, not confusing to sew
    cons: blocks are sewn together on the stretchy bias grain which can be problematic
  2. Five Squares, No Waste Method: find directions on Block a Day here.
    pros: no wasted fabric, no sewing on cut bias edges
    cons: gives 4 identical blocks which you might not want, steps are not intuitive, blocks may not end up perfectly sized
  3. Two Squares Method: find directions on Connecting Threads here.
    pros: very little wasted fabric, allows for blocks to be trimmed to exact size after sewing
    cons: gives 4 identical blocks which you might not want, steps are not intuitive
  4. Traditional Foundation Paper Piecing: find a video by Connecting Threads here
    pros: perfect results, can use any combination of fabrics, multiple blocks are constructed and sewn together simultaneously
    cons: can be confusing for some people, sewing paper dulls your needle fast, picking off the paper afterwards is tedious, wastes a lot of fabric unless you are a genius
  5. Foundation Piecing on Fabric or Stabilizer: find directions on Connecting Threads here
    pros: no paper to tear off
    cons: foundation stretches and shifts which eliminates precision, still wastes as much fabric as piecing on paper does but without the precise results
  6. Paperless Paper Piecing / Glue basting: (created by Sharon Schamber & Cristy Fincher, see here.)
    pros: perfect results like traditional foundation paper piecing, but no paper to tear off & less wasted fabric
    cons: a lot of steps, may be confusing for some people, more time consuming than traditional foundation paper piecing, I had a hard time getting the first few pieces attached
  7. No Tear, Freezer Paper Piecing: find a tutorial on Scrapendipity here.
    pros:  perfect results, no paper to tear off, can use any combination of fabrics, multiple blocks are constructed and sewn together simultaneously
    cons: can be confusing for some people, some fabric waste
  8. Stitch 'n Flip: find directions on Connecting Threads here.
    pros: easy to understand,  no sewing on cut bias edges, can use any combination of fabrics
    cons: blocks are constructed just one at a time, some fabric waste
  9. One-Seam Method: find a tutorial from Quiddity Quilts here.
    pros: fun and easy to sew, creates a dimensional goose
    cons: creates a dimensional goose that should be top stitched, wastes some fabric
So what method would I use? Here are my choices:
  • If I can use 4 of the same geese, I would definitely use the two squares method.  It produces good results with little waste
  • If my geese need to be different, and I don't want to waste much fabric, I would use the stitch 'n flip method
  • If my geese need to be different, and fabric waste is not a concern, I would use the no-tear freezer paper piecing method. 
I've created the following cutting chart for making 4 identical 4" x 8" finished flying geese blocks using two colors of fabric only. 

 Click here for PDF version for printing
Click here for PDF version for printing
Here are some sample block ideas using 2-5 fabrics each:

Click here for printable image
I hope you are enjoying modern flying geese quilts as much as I am! Enjoy!