Today was all about my sampler quilt again. I currently have only 2 blocks left to complete before it can all be pieced together. The two blocks that are left consist of a block with reverse appliqué and a flying geese block using foundation/paper piecing! Now, this flying geese block was the one that has had me most concerned ever since I started this quilt. It just all looked too complicated. Today though, I decided to give it a go with only a copy of the template to guide me…no safety net here people!
So this is what my teacher’s block looks like….
The reason I felt confident I could tackle this on my own was that a few weeks ago I went to a 2 day workshop which was part of Quilt Escape run by The Cottage Quiltworks. The workshop was run by Sue Ross and it was a great introduction for me to foundation/paper piecing. Over the two days I learnt the Irish Plaid block and the Pickle Dish, and both of these blocks are now the beginnings of two separate quilts…but more on that later.
Sue was a great teacher and she made what seems to be a counterintuitive technique make sense very quickly. After two days of working with her, my confidence with machine quilting has soared. Which brings me to today!
The Flying Geese block for the beginner sampler quilt has been the bane of a few of the other student’s experiences. Hence my hesitation. It was Heather (teacher in my beginner’s class) that encouraged me to give it a go as homework. She gave me the template and pretty much said “you’ll be fine, just make sure you don’t scrimp on the scraps for each of the sections”. So today I decided to attempt it.
First I picked the fabrics. As you can see from Heather’s version, there is a background fabric, and then 12 different fabrics for the geese. This is the template showing you the different sizes and shapes of the various scraps. You need four of these to complete the block.
The great thing about foundation piecing, is once you get your head around the ‘back to front” way of doing things, it’s really easy. It probably took me just on an hour to complete my first section.
It wasn’t until I finished this first section that I started to worry whether I would have enough of the background fabric to complete the whole block! I soldiered on with the second block….BTW, no unpicking necessary in any of the first 2 sections (quietly proud of myself!).
Once the 2nd section was finished…I knew I was in trouble. There were too many long skinny scraps needed of the background fabric than I could get out of what was left. A Plan B was needed! So, I decided to use a plain white and a plain cream fabric for the background in the remaining two sections. It will mean the block won’t be exactly like Heather’s…but once again, it’s my personal touch to the quilt! And, this is the beauty of quilting anyway…there aren’t really any hard and fast rules and you make it work!
So here it is, my first ever Flying Geese block (excuse the pic though…I obviously had the shakes from pure excitement!). Completed all on my own, with only one real hitch, and I only needed the unpicker twice! Not bad I say 🙂