Meet guest blogger and quilt designer Karin Janssen-Potter. Karin’s Patriotic Star wall quilt is featured in the June/July 2015 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts.
To make the Patriotic Star banner, I began with a typical Square in a Square Block. The light fabric center square was cut at 5 1/2”, and the squares for the corner patches at 3”.
Next, I created 4 Flying Geese to finish the star. Flying Geese units are common, but getting them perfectly squared up is always a challenge. And then there are wasted triangles…all those left over triangles. We feel guilty throwing them away, don’t we?
Using the no-waste method for making your flying geese is not only fast, it makes 4 units at a time, and it does so with no wasted fabric!! You can use this method on any size Flying Geese. The question I hear most frequently is: How do I alter my block pieces when a pattern calls for the traditional stitch-and-flip method of assembly? How do I know what size to cut my fabric squares?
The answer is simple and works every time!! So here is the secret formula to perfect flying geese every time with no wasted fabric!!
Start with the fabric for the larger center triangles of the units. You need one light square, the size of the finished width you desire the Flying Geese unit to be plus 1 1/4″. In the Patriotic Star the Flying Geese unit measures 5” finished. 5″ + 1 1/4″ = 6 1/4″ square of the light fabric. One square will yield 4 flying geese units.
Now the dark fabric. You will need 4 dark squares that are the height of the finished unit, plus 7/8″. Our finished height is 2 1/2″, so 2 1/2″ + 7/8″ = 3 3/8″ squares. Cut 4 dark squares to yield 4 flying geese units.
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of two dark squares. Lay the two dark squares right sides together, on opposite corners of the large light square. The dark squares will overlap slightly in the middle. Sew a scant 1/4″ on each side of the marked diagonal.
Cut on the marked line and you’ll have two triangle units.
Press the seams on each of the two triangle units to the darker fabric.
Add another small square to the corner of each larger triangle, again right sides together. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the dark small squares, and then sew a scant 1/4″ on each side of the marked lines.
Cut apart on the marked line again. Repeat this step with the other triangle pieces. You can see the Flying Geese peeking out!!
Press the all the seams to the darker fabric and you’ll have 4 finished Flying Geese units.
Before I sew the units together, I like to take the time to trim off any tails sticking out on the edges. I find that when I take the time do this extra step, it eliminates any bumps created in the seam when the needle hits the bulky area. Eliminating this bulk creates a smoother seam. This is also a good time to remeasure and square up your unit. Sewing with scant 1/4” seams give you a little extra area for squaring up.
I used the entire width of my fabric to create the stripes on the banner. I sewed 2 1/2” strips by the width of fabric, alternating 3 red with 2 cream. I then squared up and cut off the selvages. I wanted my stripes to be as long as possible. Don’t have room for a really long banner? You can cut your striped section to any length you desire!
A kit of fabrics for quilt top, binding, and backing plus the cute star quilt hanger is available while supplies last for $45.75 ppd. (WI residents, $43.75 ppd.) from Sew ‘n Save of Racine, 3701 Durand Ave., Racine, WI 53405; 262-554-6445; email@example.com; sewnsaveofracine.com.
Thanks, Karin! If you don’t already have a copy of our June/July issue, you can order print and digital magazines in our online shop. The Patriotic Star quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download. The pattern includes step-by-step photos and instructions for making a hanging sleeve for your wall quilt!