Tuesday, 18 February 2014

U3A Block 5b: quick pieced flying geese

1. The "goose" is basically a quarter square triangle.
The units in this block finish at 3" by 6" so we add
1.25" inches and cut a 7.25" square. For the 3"
HST's we cut four 3 7/8" squares and a diagonal
pencil line across.
This clever method of making four flying geese units at once was devised by UK quiltmaker, Pauline Adams, building on the work of previous problem solvers such as Ernest Haight and  Barbara Johannah in the US.
2. place two squares on opposite corners of the large
square lining up the pencil lines. Sew a quarter inch
seam on both sides of the drawn line.

3. Cut along the drawn line.

4. Press out the triangles to form this heart shape.

5. Place the remaining squares in the corners with the
line going from the corner to the centre of the
"heart". Sew on either side of the drawn line.

6. Cut along the drawn lines.

7. Press triangles out to form 4 flying geese  units.

8. Four 3.5" (3" finished) are needed to complete the block.

Before I knew you.

I often think that people must have watched second world war documentaries and cried "That's me!" In a way today this happened; my husband was watching yet another WW2 documentary when his father briefly materialised on screen in the uniform of a MP corporal. The film was made in 1944 and the details correspond with my father-in-law's service record. He had been a career soldier for 19 years and it was not long after leaving the army he was called up again to be part of the BEF. Wounded, He was taken off the beach at Dunkirk and met my mother in law who nursed him in hospital. My husband was born in 1943, an only child. Seeing my father in law here is strangely moving.

Monday, 17 February 2014

U3A Block 5b: the Square in a square unit

Block 5b

For this block I wanted to fussy cut the centre picture so it would be the right way up. I drew out a 6" square and drafted the square in a square shape. I measured it and it came to 4.25" inches to which I added 1/2 " seam allowance and cut a 4.75" square plastc see through template. I placed this on the fabric taking care to centre the picture and drew round the template with pencil and cut it out.
Instead of cutting two 3 7/8 squares for the HST's I added some leeway and cut 4" ones instead and then cut these in half. I added triangles to opposite sides of the square in a square taking care with the bias edges, then repeated. Once pressed I trimmed the unit to 6.5" (to finish at 6"). I made sure the 3.25" line passed through the centre points.
Drafting the square in a square

Placing the plastic template over the picture. This is called
"fussy cutting"

Adding the triangles to opposite sides.

Trimming to 6.5" square

Finished unit

Thursday, 13 February 2014

U3A Block 5a Stage Three: sewing

Foundation piecing often confuses people because you draw on one side of the foundation material and place your fabric on the reverse then turn over again to sew on the drawn line.
However the usual principles apply such as lining up fabrics right sides together and trying to keep grain lines consistent.
Whilst the method has disadvantages in the extra steps of preparing foundations and reversing them and using extra fabric, it does help even experienced sewers to be very accurate, even when sewing more complex patterns once the preserve of experts.
1. Place patch One on the
REVERSE of foundation and
pin. Turn over and on drawn
side, check that you have
enough seam allowance.

2. Place patch Two right
sides rogether but then turn over
 and sew ALONG THE
Flip up
and press.

3. Add a second HST in the
same way.
4. Now you probably have too much
seam allowance so  turn back the
foundation and trim back the seam
to 1/4".

5. Trimming gives you a nice neat line on which to
 line up the second goose, right sides together.
Turn over and sew along the drawn horizontal line.

6. Now add the remaining HST's as before.
Trim the units to 6.5" square making sure the 3.25"
passes trough the central points.
Arrange and sew the four units together to form the
block above though you may want to rotate them
the other way as I've reversed the fabric
placement here.

U3A Block 5a Stage 2 Fabric cutting

The next stage is cutting out your fabric. As these are set shapes, quarter square triangles and half square triangles, you can simply estmate the size needed and cut them out remembering that for foundation piecing you need to allow extra. The first piece to go down should be just marginally bigger than usual but the ones you flip need to be generously cut.
So for 6" flying geese I would cut a 7.5" square instead of a 7.25 and cut it twice across diagonally  whereas for the 3"  half square triangles I should cut a 4.25" square and cut it in half diagonally instead of the usual 3 and seven eighths size. Alternatively you could use templates and add generous seam allowances. I made mine from freezer paper as these can be ironed on leaving a good space inbetween for seam allowances.
Note that I still paid attention to grain line.

Freezer paper templates ironed on and ready to cut round with added seam

Cut pieces: you will need four of each colour of flying geese and
sixteen  half square triangles.

U3A Block 5a Stage 1: Drafting and drawing

Dutchman's Puzzle using two colours

5a is the Dutchman's puzzle block which can be made in just two fabrics but to add interest and create a pinwheel within the design I have used three. I drew the block onto graph paper and then traced the four identical flying geese units onto Mothercare nappy liners. The units will finish at 6" square and the block at 12" square, (6.5" and 12.5" unfinished).
Paper foundations could also be used but will be torn out later whereas the nappy liners can stay in place.
If I wanted to have a brown pinwheel I would have arranged the units so that they rotated the  other way . . .

Block drawn onto graph paper with mistake
crossed out.

Foundation unit and traced unit on nappy liner; I used pencil for tracing.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Sewing Day

Several of us met up at Lower Hardres to have lunch, layout projects and sew.
Here is Valerie's magnificent quilt top, her version of the first Quilt Show BOM and all with fabric from her stash.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Quick Work

Judy sent me a picture of the completed top of the quilt we worked on on Saturday. It turned out great!
Dragonflies Group Mystery Quilt, fabrics by Moda

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Mystery Day

today with Dragonflies quilt group making a mystery quilt from beautiful Moda fabrics supplied by Judy and eating a super shared lunch. A good day.
Showing how the units combine

Laying out rows

Friday, 7 February 2014

Busy day

This afternoon the two remaining Bonnie Quilters came to my house and we worked on our own projects. Mavis is handquilting a quilt for a granddaughter.
Mavis' quilt

Monday, 3 February 2014

U3A day

The beginners worked on blocks today but they too along with other members of the group (and me) having been working on an improvisational mystery pattern devised by Cathy Northcutt and set for us by Margaret. Much fun was had with arrangements and next time it's sandwiching!