I had a lot of fun making this first block.  Surprisingly, the biggest challenge for me was following the cutting instructions.  I think everything I made in 2017 was freestyle, making it up as I went along.  The result today is that I cut the BG2 too big (don’t do this, it messes up the flying geese!), cut 2 of the BG2 (7.25″)  and extra of the 3 7/8 squares, not enough of the 3.5″ corner squares, and cut the 4.5 x 1.5 BG2 strips too narrow.  But, hey!  Once I got that all sorted, it went together like clockwork.

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First of all, I LOVE the fabrics I picked out.  I have a huge stack of batik fabrics leftover from other projects (or just acquired because they were too pretty to leave at the store).  I decided to do a kind of scrappy batik, with a light gray BG2 and black BG1.  The other thing I decided?  After 6 years of cranking out — and giving away — 3+ quilts a year, this quilt will be for me!

20180123_181637.jpg I hate flying geese.  No, really, I do.  They almost NEVER work for me, and I’m forever trimming them to the point that I, well, lose the points.  But I took my time with these, took the time to watch a couple of youtube videos on “no-waste flying geese”.  I drew a diagonal line on each of the FF2 squares, then pinned two of them to the 7.25 BG2.  I used a 1/4″ foot to sew on either side of the diagonal line.  I cut along the diagonal line, then pressed the “wings” back.  When it comes to pressing, I decided to spray with Best Press every time I pressed a seam.  This gave the fabric a little more stability.  With all the bias cuts, this also helped with unwanted stretching, keeping things in line.

20180123_183726.jpgMeanwhile, back to the flying geese.  I took another FF2, placed it on the BG2 corner of the heart shape, pinned it in place, and sewed 1/4″ on either side of the line, cut, pressed, et voila!  I had flying geese!  The only other thing I did was trim off all the dog ears.20180123_191824.jpg

The next bit went quickly.  I sewed the short strips to the top and bottom of the FF3, pressed toward FF3, then sewed the long strips to the opposite sides.  The little blocks didn’t need squaring up and they cooperated and came out at 4.5″ each.  I flipped them over and drew diagonal lines on the back of each one.

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I pinned the FF3 block right sides together with AC7, sewed 1/4″ on either side of the diagonal line, cut it apart, and pressed to the dark side.

Now for the squaring up.  The blocks measured about 4.25.  To square them up, I used a 4.5″ square ruler, placed the 3.75 mark along the left and bottom sides, trimmed away the overage on the right and top sides.  Then I rotated the block halfway around, lined up the 3.5″ marks along the bottom and left sides, and trimmed 20180123_193912-e1516775424138.jpgaway the overage on the right and top sides.  They looked so cute!  and confirmed for me the light gray was the way to go.

 

 

 

 

20180123_194856.jpgArranging them in a 4-patch with AC7 in the center.  I lined up the edge, held it in place with a pin, then stitched both pairs.  When I pressed them, I laid them on the ironing board so they were oriented exactly the same, then pressed the top half back.  When I was done, and put the two halves together, the seams nested together nicely.

Once that was done, the rest of the block went together20180123_200124.jpg lickety split!  I sewed the 3.5″ FF2 blocks to the left and right of the top and bottom flying geese, pressing the seams to the outside.  Then I sewed the left and right flying geese to the center block, pressing the seams to the inside.  When I sewed the top to the bottom, the seams nested together, minimizing bulk.   The pen in the picture to the right is pointing to where the seams are pressed opposite directions.

 

To keep the points on the center of the block, I made sure to sew the seam where the vertical and diagonal lines on the point of the center block cross.  This is kind of hard to explain, so look at the center edge of your center block.  See where the stitch lines cross?  Just sew across that intersection — or a little above it — and you won’t lose your points.

By taking my time, using pins, pressing carefully with Best Press, and doing my best to have a scant 1/4″ seam, I managed to produce a block that needed very little squaring up.  And I love the way it looks!

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