November 13, 2007

Opening Day

Roman I see that Nicole posted on her blog today about Opening Day using the Roman Holiday fabrics.  This is another project that we agreed to work on together, so I will post my progress as well.  I got a good head start on my blocks at my quilt retreat.

There will be 36 of these center stars, surrounded by a gazillion flying geese and assorted half-square triangles and squares.  I have a favorite method for making accurate flying geese that differs from Nicole's, and I also just discovered I could take even more shortcuts, so I thought I would share my method.

I use the Eleanor Burns Flying Geese ruler, which is available in 2 sizes.  For this project, to make the 2x4 inch finished sized geese, you will need the large ruler.  Carrie Nelson provides alternate cutting directions if you are using this ruler to make your geese.

Geese1 For each 4 geese, you need one square that is 7" and one that is 5-1/2".  There are instructions, measurements and good diagrams provided with the Flying Geese Ruler.  You will lay the 2 squares right sides together, centering the smaller square on top of the larger square.  The directions tell you to mark diagonally from corner to corner a line that you will sew 1/4 inch on either side of, and then cut on the line.  I discovered I could just put the squares together and cut diagonally, and then sew my 1/4" seam on each triangle, eliminating the extra step of marking.

Geese2 After sewing, press these pieces and you will have two uneven looking half-square triangles.

Geese3 Next, you are going to take these 2 squares and put them right sides together, with the light corner of one against the dark corner of the other.  The seams will not match up, but this is what you want, I promise!  The directions will tell you to mark from corner to corner diagonally and sew 1/4" on either side of the marking.  But again, I skip the marking step and go ahead and cut diagonally through the pieces and then sew my 1/4" seam.

Geese4It will look like this before you sew the seams.

Geese5 After pressing these, you will have 2 units that look like this.  Can you see the geese?

Geese6 Next, lay down the handy-dandy Flying Geese Ruler with the triangle-shaped marking on top of your seam lines, trim with your rotary cutter and voila!  You have 4 matching Flying Geese!  Easy Peasy!


  1. Very cool technique! I had better get started or you will be leaving me in the dust. I have done nothing but admire my nicely cut out squares in their little zip lock bags.

  2. First of all, the quilt is lovely! I am a huge fan of star shapes in quilts. Secondly, thank you so much for the tutorial! I need all the help I can get, thank you very much!

  3. Way to go, head start huh. LOL

  4. This quilt is really going to be pretty. I like the pattern you and Nicole are using. Your blocks really look good. I have the Eleanor Burns rulers, but just can't bring myself to try them. You make it seem so easy, I may have to bite the bullet and see what happens.

  5. Thanks for posting this tutorial - I am always looking for new ways to make these blocks. I think I avoid blocks that I can't quick piece.

  6. I have to admit I mark and then sew and cut. I'm always worried about stretching the edges. But I'm chicken like that.

  7. Ooooh -- love those Roman Holiday fabrics -- it's going to be another stunner!