Wednesday 12 June 2013

Making Waves with The Patchsmith

Whales Mini Quilt – 9½” square
Ellison Lane have a Mini Quilt Challenge going on and I thought I would join in.  I have not entered an item in a competition before so when this little quiltie challenge turned up, urging me to try something new, it seemed appropriate.
The ‘new’ could be a pattern, a technique, a fabric, thread or colour.  I thought I would try a new pattern – my Whales Mug Rug pattern. 
But it didn’t seem enough of a ‘new’ as I am often making new patterns (over 50 of them in the last nine months!)  so I decided to incorporate a new technique. 
The new technique I decided to try was the 3D Flying Geese block. 
I love the flying geese block and I usually make them by sewing corner triangles onto a rectangle. However, the 3D flying geese block requires only one seam and because of this, it is really easy to match up the geese without sewing off the point.  There is a very good You Tube tutorial  showing how to make them but here is a basic run-through of the process for those who prefer a paper copy (click on the title for a PDF print out): 

(makes one goose measuring 2½” x 1½” raw/2” x 1” sewn in)

Cut one goose rectangle measuring 2½” x 1½”.
Cut two background squares measuring 1½”. 
Fold the goose rectangle in half with wrong sides together.  Finger press (do not press with an iron). 

You will now layer the goose between the two background squares as follows:

Lay one background square right side facing up.  Lay the folded goose rectangle on top with the raw edges lined up with the top of the background square as shown. 

Note the folded goose block is slightly shorter than the background square so you should have ¼” excess background square showing at the bottom. 

Next place the other background square on top of the goose, right side facing down so that it overlaps the bottom background square completely. 
In effect, you have a goose sandwich!

You stitch the unit together down one side of the sandwich as shown. 
Open up the sandwich so that the goose lies evenly on the front of the two background squares and press. 
Hey presto – one flying goose (measuring 2½” x 1½”). 

You can batch make a whole gaggle of flying geese using this method and when you come to stitch them together you will be able to see clearly where the tip of the goose is as it is lying between the seams (you will see what I mean when you come to do it).

So there you have it.  You can make the geese any size you like – fat, thin, long, short.  Play around and have fun.  But here are some measurements to get you started:
Goose            Cutting Sizes

2” x 1”             Cut one 2½” x 1½” goose block and two 1½” background squares

4” x 2”             Cut one 4½” x 2½” goose block and two 2½” background squares

5” x 2½”          Cut one 5½” x 3” goose block and two 3” background squares 

6” x 3”             Cut one 6½” x 3½” goose block and two 3½” background squares
Wish me luck in the competition.......                                         


  1. Good luck, another lovely pattern.

  2. love the whales and must try your flying geese technique! :)

  3. Good luck at the competition! I love seeing all the lovely minis that everyone has made! :)

    1. They are amazing. So much creativity and so much skill. I like having learned a new skill in the process too. It's all good fun.

  4. Oh Good Luck in the competition!
    I just love your original pattern and the fabrics you have used!!
    And this tutorial is fabulous!
    I am going to try it when I have to make geese... I think it will give me a much more consistent size!

    Your whales swimming along in the ocean make me feel so free and happy!
    Well done!!


  5. So cute, love the whales!

  6. Awe another really cute pattern. I was part of the mug rug swap that the Quilting Gallery did using your patterns. I look at your owls and birdies every morning. Good Luck.

  7. Wow! Love the tut:o) I can see where that will work! I've not had a chance to make any with your tutorial but I made a flying geese block for a sampler quilt recently. I can sooo see this working! Thanks and good luck with the competition. Sarah

  8. That is just a fun and happy little quilt right there. I hope you win!

  9. Such a cool new flying goose technique - I have to try it! You mini is brilliant and so creative. My favorite part is the waves - fabulous color and great prints!

  10. As always, you are like a breath of fresh air - Your blogs are so inviting and cheery - I just love what you did with this combo!! I wish I could purchase every one of your patterns.

  11. this is a really fun mini quilt :-)

  12. This is so totally cute! I love whales! Love everything about this little quilt!

  13. Replies
    1. Thank you Karen, it has pride of place on my workroom wall.