This week we’ll work on round two – the section highlighted below:
We won’t worry yet about the border in between the center star and this round – we’ll get to that when we put everything together at the end. We’ll deal with the corner blocks of this round next week.
This will be the round that takes the most work and is most time-consuming. The rest of the quilt will be pretty quick-n-simple compared to this round – but even so, we only need to learn one thing this week: flying geese. Flying geese are absolutely NOT difficult, but they are easy to get a little wonky, especially in the final pressing stage. Why not try one or two on some scraps before working with your Christmas fabrics?
What You’ll Need
– all of your 6.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles (40 green)
– all of your 3.5″ squares (80 low volume)
Making The Pieces
Making flying geese is not dissimilar to making half square triangles, which we did last week, except that you will add two low volume triangles to each green rectangle, resulting in a green triangle that is set into the rectangle – see above if that sounds like goobletygook. I really suggest you read through this week’s instructions before you start, because there’s another thing going on at the same time and I don’t want it to be confusing!
First you’ll need to prepare your pieces, just like last week. On each 3.5″ low volume square, mark a diagonal line from one corner to another:
If you were just making flying geese and nothing more, you’d stop there and sew. But we’re going to multi-task and make some more half square triangles from these same pieces, which we’ll use later. On 12 of your low volume squares, mark a second line, a half-inch away from the first:
Pair a low volume square with a green rectangle, and place them right sides together, square aligned at one end with the diagonal as shown:
(My apologies for the time travel – yes, this rectangle is already sewn! I forgot to get a photo of the square placement before everything was sewn! Ignore the stitching and just note the way the marked diagonal lines are arranged.)
Now we’ll sew along the first, corner-to-corner, diagonal – this is the normal flying geese line (i.e., if you weren’t multi-tasking, this would be your only sewing line). Unlike the HSTs last week, for flying geese you sew right on the line – nearly. We actually want to sew just a touch outside the line, which will help us get a neater shape in the end.
Can you see how my needle is hitting the fabric a teensy bit outside the line?
We can chain piece these, same as last week – just be careful to stay just a tiny touch outside that line on each block. Ignore your second marked lines for the moment.
When you’re done with all 40 rectangles, clip them apart (assuming you chain pieced) and gather those with a second marked line. Now sew through those 12 again, right on the second marked line (no need to be outside it this time):
Note: For the Merry Medallion quilt, you only need to mark / sew this second line on 12 pieces, which will give you, in a moment, 12 small half square triangles. OR you could go ahead and do this on all of them and end up with a whole stack of spare HSTs for another project! The fabric that gets trimmed in the next step will go to waste otherwise, so you might want to consider taking the time to mark and sew all of your low volume squares with the second line!
Now we can trim all 40 rectangles. Use your sharp scissors or rotary cutter to cut right between the two lines, if you have them – or 1/4″ outside the line, if you don’t.
Press seams toward the darker side. This is important: flying geese can go wonky very easily during the pressing state and we won’t trim them later, so take your time to press them very carefully. I actually lightly finger press the seam first, then just place my iron (with steam) right on the seam and hold for a moment. Resist the urge to tug on that low volume corner or move your iron around. You’ll get the hang of it after a few, and that’s why I recommend making a scrap goose or two first, just to play with the pressing method that results in the neatest geese for you.
Now you have a half-completed flying geese block and a small half square triangle:
(Actually, there’s no need to press or trim the HSTs now – just set them aside and we’ll come back to them next week.)
To complete the flying geese, simply repeat the same again on the other side, pairing the remaining 3.5″ low volume squares with the half-completed geese:
And sew in just the same way as before! Again, very carefully press to the dark side. You should end up with 40 flying geese, each measuring 6.5″ x 3.5″. And also 12 (or more) unpressed / untrimmed half square triangles, set aside for later.
Round 2 / Flying Geese Assembly
Now we’ll sew our geese into four strips, each ten geese long. Arrange your geese in a way that makes you happy (please pardon my weird-time-of-day photo – I gotta sew at night sometimes!):
And then sew them into four long strips, with all the geese pointing in the same direction. Be careful with your seam allowances or you’ll cut the tip off of your geese! Press seams towards the greens.
When finished, your four strips should each measure 6.5″ wide and 30.5″ long.
Considering that’s the hardest week, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Next week, we’ll make round 3, which will come together even faster!