Saturday, May 31, 2014

Paper Piecing Flying Geese Tutorial

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening. . . fill in the correct time of day for your current time of day :) Hey did you notice? I've been doing some cleaning up around here!  I've added some things, taken away some things, generally cleaned the place up a bit.  Why have I been tweaking the looks of my blog instead of blogging or sewing? Well, it needed it and I am taking part in the 2014 New Blogger Blog Hop being wonderfully orchestrated by Beth over at Plum & June!

This will be my first blog hop so I want things to look tidy over here ;) My hop day is June 11th.  Between now and then, there will likely be a few more tweaks to the blog (I cannot tell you how much I am learning from this wonderful group of bloggers!).  Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think! Love it? Hate it? Would like to see ___? Tell me, I can take it and I would really appreciate any thoughts.

OK, on to my Gaggle of Geese. . . quick recap, here is my design:

I ran out of fabric before I even started (this is a common theme on this blog.... sometimes flying by the seat of my pants when quilting bites me in the seat of my pants).  This actually gave me the time try every method of making geese known to man and settle on paper piecing as the method I found most accurate and for this quilt, I want everything spot on.  In my last post, I showed how I made my template and went about cutting the fabric. And of course I shared my biggest fears. . . if you haven't read that post hop over, I spilled my guts about my deepest quilty fears. . . it's ok, I'll wait for you :)

Welcome back (now you know I really am crazy haha) and now on to sewing these little babies together!  I don't think I did anything out of the ordinary for paper piecing. . . but I wouldn't know cuz this is the first project I have ever made using PP.  So here's what I did in pictures :)

Here's my foundation.  When I talked about worrying about whether or not the foundation was copying straight, I realized that I really must have sounded crazy.... The only reason I am concerned is that this unfinished block is 8.5 inches square (as is the width of the paper).  If the copies were not exactly centered, I wouldn't have the correct seam allowance.  I did however measure my quarter inch with my ruler from the sew line and it worked like a charm :)
I lined up the triangle as close to centered as I could get it (this is where a totally opaque paper would be extremely helpful but I didn't have that). And I put a schmoodge of glue on the three corners of the triangle to keep it from moving around.  These are pretty large pieces, they don't really like to stay put. . . and here's my proof:

Yeah, that happened twice . . . I knew third time would not be a charm so I started gluing the fabric to the foundation.  And those floppy wings got a schmoodge of glue in the corner to make them stay put. . .
Put the wing on the left side (yes, I did it backwards but I did them ALL backwards so at least I was consistent grin) sew on the line and then put the right side on and do the same.  I would flip the piece over and see where my wing corner was coming off the paper in relation to the sew line.  I would place the wing as close to a quarter inch from that line as possible.  Reason? I might have had to rip one or two seams (maybe even the same seam more than once, might have uttered some not so nice words at that point) because the wing was not placed down far enough and when it was flipped back it did not cover the paper....
MAJOR TIP COMING HERE!!  I have no idea what this little gadget is, where it came from originally but it is awesome for getting that seam flipped back pretty flat and then there is no problem with pressing the seam and having that annoying little flap of material between the seam and the iron crease. . . these make me crazy!

Here is a side view of this little wonder.  I found it in my junk drawer. . . do you have a junk drawer? Obviously I need to clean mine out more often LOL
After each seam was sewn I would fold back the paper and cut the fabric back to 1/4 inch and then take it to the ironing board to press it :)  Alright, you observant people see that this foundation has already been sewn. . . that might be is because I sewed the geese colors in the wrong positions. . . proving that not only can I not follow patterns, I can't even follow my own! grin
Once the bottom Flying Goose was done, I put the appropriate (ahem) color goose across the top.  It was helpful to feel where that point was to figure out exactly where I wanted to position the goose.  Sew along the line, cut the quarter inch seam, iron and repeat the process above for the wings.
When I sewed the top goose on, I was in awe (no really I was awe struck) at how as long as I stayed on the line and sewed directly across where the two wing seams crossed - those points turned out perfect every time. I did not rip one of those seams! 

After it was all sewn together and ironed, I took it to my cutting table, measured a quarter inch from the sew line and squared these beauties up.  Easy peasy and I was also very surprised - not a lot of waste.  WAAY less waste than the sew the rectangle on to the square and lop the corner off method.

I did sew the 'rows' together.  I was again shocked at how those points lined right up! YAY!  Yes, I did have to rip one or two of those seams but that was only because I wanted them to be as perfect as I could get them.  I might have been a little over zealous ;)  So what does it look like?

TADA! :) The paper is still on, except for the paper between the row seams.

I did change the colors around a little.  Do you see the difference between the top and the design picture?

Check out those points! ;) Look mom, I can sew on a line!! :) LOVE the accuracy PP provides!

This picture is a little more true to the colors.  Cannot wait to get this baby put together so I can take it outside and take pictures :)
So you might ask, "Judy, why don't you have the rest of it sewn together?" Well, because ummm yeah I didn't buy enough of the background fabric. . . I used the measurements from the other design. . . so again . . . I am waiting for fabric.  I called 15 quilt shops within a 60 mile radius of my house.  All of them were listed on the New Beginnings web site as carriers of New Beginnings fabrics. . . None, not ONE of them, carried the Modern Solids!! SO what's a girl to do? I'll tell you what she does, she gets on the phone and rings up Pink Chalk Fabrics (that's where I got all of the other fabric) and asked them a couple of questions as I thought I might have an idea for that negative space (more on that later), asked for recommendations on matching Aurifil threads for quilting and asked very nicely if there was any possibility that the order could go out that day (this was yesterday).  Within 15 minutes of placing my order online - I had shipping confirmation!! How is that for service with a big old smile on my face!! I will have the fabric on Monday!  Stay tuned - I can't run out of fabric for this anymore because after that background fabric is sewn on this baby is ready to be sandwiched and quilted.  And oh the plans I have for the quilting!! :)  BTW I am in no way affiliated with Pink Chalk Fabrics.  I am just one happy camper customer!

Linking up with Show Off Saturday, Design Wall Monday and Anything Goes Mondays being hosted by Karen over at The Quilt Yarn.  If you are here from one of the linky parties, welcome!  If you haven't been, go check them out and be inspired!

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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  1. Hopping over from Show Off Saturday Linky Party, Great post.. I love it.. Hop over to my blog I have a giveaway..

  2. What an awesome design, I love it!!

  3. This is going to be another great quilt! Love your blocks. Running out of fabric? Story of my life! Can't wait to see this quilted!

  4. I LOVE your geese design! Your gadget looks similar to the 'Purple Thang'. The tip on your little gadget is more sharp, and looks better for pressing.

  5. Wow! Your points look practically perfect. :) I love the look of your blog. The text is easier to read, but you still kept some of the gray and purple. Have you thought about widening your sidebar now that there is only one?

  6. Those points look great! Thanks for sharing the good, bad, and ugly that it took to get them that way. I'm glad to hear you say there was little waste; now I'm even more likely to try PP flying geese in the future. I've got to get on this glue bandwagon too. I haven't ever used it, but it looks helpful.

  7. Your posts are so much easier to read now; huge improvement! I love your narrative on your piecing - it is looking fantastic! And hooray for awesome quilt shops that come to our rescue!

  8. Great post, Judy! I (sigh) need to join up, if it's not too late, to the New Quilt Blog thingie...I really like the new font too! What is it? I love mine but sometimes the punctuation smooshes together...not good. So glad all the effort has paid off for these geese. I see stars too, and pinwheels...did you plan that? Love the way your eye plays over the sections.

  9. I like the new blog updates and I am so glad you got paper piecing to work for you!

  10. Where have you been all my blogging life? You will be hearing from again. I am following every which way possible! Love this post and may give this a try in the very near future.

  11. Lol.... I am totally with you on the never buying enough fabric thing! I bought that fuschia background to my last project in 4 separate lots! I love your flying geese tutorial, I have had all sorts of trouble with them in the past but I will have to pin this and come back to it next time I need to sew some!

  12. Hi...your blocks look great, but I must admit, I had a closer look at your blog, as your introduction spoke directly to me...I so need to clean up. I started a while ago and then stopped...still needs heaps more work. I like your look, neat and clean. Also like the picture in the banner...I have tried this but mine just look 'bla'. I think I am not doing something right there. Anyway, thanks for popping over to Anything Goes Mondays on my blog. Always nice to discover new blogs.

  13. Look at that! Your design is becoming reality! Well done!

  14. I really like the detail you share about what you're doing, your problems, and how you resolve them. Thanks for the tip about the little gadget you use to press your seams. I don't have one and have never seen one but it seems like there may be other similar gadgets that would work. I'll have to do a scout around for something similar (but not in a junk drawer because I don't have one).


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