Thursday, March 1, 2018

Hive 2 March Tutorial - Trail of Geese

Hello Hive 2!  My name is Jennifer, and this is my third year in the Stash Bee.  I tossed around a few different ideas for my block for this year, but kept coming back to the block from my first year.  I've had these blocks from my time as Queen of Hive 8 in 2016 staring out from my wall for a while, as I've rearranged them, added and removed potential sashing or borders, and I've come to a conclusion:  I need more.  So we'll be doing some paper pieced geese, with some modifications from last time to add a bit more variety and options for the final quilt.

We will be using the Geese Trails templates from Piece and Press.  Daniel Rouse, the author of Piece and Press, asked that we use the tag #trailofgeese on Instagram so he can follow along.  He uses 6 squares for a 12x18 finished block, we will just use 4, for a 12x12 finished block.  If you are new to paper piecing, I love this tutorial from Fresh Lemons Quilts.  I also wrote a more detailed tutorial the first time around.  If you prefer to use the freezer paper method or a different paper piecing method, that's fine too -- you paper piece how works best for you.

The templates have two pages - each a mirror image of the other. You will need to print 2-4 total pages.  Which combination you use is up to you.  Four of the same will give you geese in a circle, or you can play with other arrangements to send your geese on a different path. Please feel free to use only 2 or 3 templates, replacing the other quadrant(s) with a solid square of your back ground fabric., but do at least 2 quadrants of the geese!

When printing, please make sure you do not have "fit to page" selected.  Each square should measure 6 inches.  Also, these templates do not have seam allowance lines drawn for the edges - please add them.  With the seam allowances added, each square should measure 6 1/2 inches. I prefer to draw the seam allowance lines on, and then trim about a quarter inch beyond that before sewing.  Then I trim down to the seam allowance line before joining the templates together.

On to our fabric selection.  For the background pieces (marked on the templates as 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9), please use a solid blue or grey - any shade is fine, so just choose one that makes your geese stand out.  Please use the same fabric for all of your background pieces.

For your geese, we'll get creative.  I'd like your geese to transition from one thing to another. Maybe they start light  and get darker:

Maybe they start as blue and end up green:

Maybe they have small polka dots that grow to big dots:

Maybe they want to go through all the colors of the rainbow:

These are just examples -  let your imagination run wild.  Prints, solids, and batiks are all fine.  If you are nervous about paper piecing, choosing all solids is a good way to start, because then there is no wrong side/right side to worry about when piecing.  I would prefer each goose to be a different fabric, but if you need to repeat some, that is fine.

I know many people cut their fabrics to match the template shapes (remember to include seam allowances!), but I find I am more confident of my piecing when I use larger rectangles.  Again, you do what works for you.  The bigger the pieces you cut, the more wiggle room you'll have, but it also creates more scraps/waste.  I cut pieces in the following rough sizes (if you are doing only 2-3 quadrants of the geese, you will need to add a 6 1/2 square for each blank quadrant, and make fewer geese and background pieces):

Geese x 12 (#1, 4, 7):  2 1/2 x 4

Background x 4 of each of the following cuts:

  • #2 - 4 x 3
  • #3 - 3 1/2 x 1
  • #5 - 5 x 4
  • #6 - 4 x 1 1/2
  • #8 - 3 1/2 x 7 1/2
  • #9 - 2 x 4

After you've made each quadrant, place the four templates right side up.  If one or two geese got out of order during sewing, no worries.  Channel your inner Bob Ross and believe that there are no mistakes, only happy accidents. A few wayward geese will make for a more interesting quilt anyway.

Join the quadrants up to make the final square.  Please remove the paper from the seam allowance on the side that you are pressing down.  (If you like to press the seams open, please remove it from both sides.)

Feel free to leave the paper on when you mail.

I can't wait to see the what you choose for your geese!

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