In my last post I talked about progress on my Modern Medallion project, which is constructed in what I would call a round robin formation. Essentially, instead of making blocks that are then arranged in a pleasing order and sewn together, a center is created first and borders added until the desired size is reached. One of the borders of the Modern Medallion is made of a formation of wonky flying geese.
I already talked about how I made these flying geese in the other post, so why am I revisiting this now? Education. The more you know, the better you do, and I know I am grateful for all I have been taught. It makes me want to share what I know because knowledge is power, and I believe we are made to be powerful.
Options . . .
In my collection of rulers I have three that are designed for flying geese. All three of the rulers use a method that creates 4 geese at once. Two of the three are by the same designer and work the same way, they just make different sized geese, so I actually only have two different tools. To many of you, that may still seem a little extreme, because how many different ways do you need to make flying geese? Actually, I find that having both is pretty handy, and I want to share with you why.
Both tools make 4 geese by beginning with one large square, which becomes the four “geese”, and four small squares, which becomes the background. With this method, the four geese are always the same fabric, but the background can vary as desired. (If you use four small squares of the same fabric, the backgrounds will all be the same, if you use different fabrics for the small squares, the backgrounds will be different.
Above is the ruler that I used to make my flying geese for the Modern Medallion, “Flying Geese x 4” by Lazy Girl Designs. The geese I needed for the pattern were not a standard size, and I wanted mine to be a little crazy anyway, so I made the geese larger than needed by following the directions on the ruler and then trimmed them to the desired size. You can see more about how I did this by clicking here.
What I like about this ruler is that you don’t have to really do much math. The ruler has a sort of template printed on it as pictured below-
Simply select one of the 12 desired finished sizes (the size the geese will be when sewn into a quilt top), then find the coordinating letter for the large and small squares on the ruler. Using the ruler as a template, cut out 1 large square for every 4 small squares, then follow the instructions on the booklet that comes with the ruler for proper layout, sewing and cutting. The advantage to this ruler is scraps. You can easily cut squares from scraps using the ruler as a template, rather than strip cutting copious amounts of the same fabrics. Technically, you don’t need the ruler to cut the right size squares, but it is VERY handy when dealing with scraps.
Here’s honesty in quilting and blogging. I have always stunk at using this ruler. Until I made wonky, crazy, ornery geese with it. I finally figured out why I couldn’t get accuracy. Are you familiar with the term “scant 1/4″? Well, when you use this ruler, get unfamiliar with it. Quick. The cuts are precise, and the 1/4″ seam used to sew them together needs to be as well, or it just won’t come out to the correct size. It’s just that simple.
So, what if you are okay with cutting strips for your geese and backgrounds (so you don’t need the template), and maybe you’re 1/4” seam allowance isn’t quite 100% accurate? What then? How about these babies-
The “Wing Clipper” and “Wing Clipper II” are by Deb Tucker of Studio 180. If you want more info about this designer and how to order products, click here. The “Wing Clipper” and “Wing Clipper II” use the same technique as “Flying Geese x 4” in that 4 flying geese are created at once using one large square and four small squares. But that’s where the similarities end. Between these rulers, there are 19 sizes of flying geese that can be made. Rather than using the ruler as a template for cutting the squares needed to make the geese, the measurement requirements for the large and small geese are given in a chart in the booklet that accompanies the rulers. While some of the finished sizes of geese created by these rulers are the same as the ones created by “Flying Geese x 4”, the size of the large and small squares is not the same. The “Wing Clipper” rulers give directions for cutting larger than necessary squares so that when the 4 flying geese units are created, they can be trimmed to accurate sizes. The rulers themselves have markings to line up the angles on the geese so that trimming is accurate, and you are left with perfect flying geese and a pile of goose droppings. (I hope you giggled. It made me giggle.)
So, if your 1/4″ seam has a tendency to be a little skinny or a little chubby, the “Wing Clipper” rulers can still help you to make accurate flying geese.
In Conclusion . . .
This feels like the longest blog post ever. Probably because I’ve been trying to write it between driving missionaries around town, getting my girls ready for Youth Conference, going to a funeral, getting shopping done and preparing to teach a class tomorrow. But alas, it was all worth it if you feel like you learned a little something. So, please do leave a comment and let me know if this was helpful! (Please be honest, but also be kind. Thank you.)