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4 best kept secrets to perfecting the flying geese quilt block

 

Yesterday I explained why, you may have so many unfinished quilts and how the PFAFF creative icon helps finish projects. Today’s post explains the 4 best kept secrets to perfecting the flying geese with 4 best features on the creative icon for precision piecing.

 

4 best features on PFAFF creative icon to help you make perfect flying geese
4 best features on PFAFF creative icon to help you make perfect flying geese

 

4 awesome time-saving features on PFAFF creative icon

1. The single hole plate

I already talked about the single hole plate in my post, ‘Why the ¼” seam allowance is precise on the PFAFF creative icon‘. But I must insist that it does help you achieve a better result, faster.

I hardly had to use my seam ripper and wasted less time on each project. And when making flying geese blocks, I often need to work my way into a block through corners… with the creative icon, I have never had a corner falling under my plate and “eaten up” by my machine.

The other great thing about it is that it’s neatly stored in the tray so I don’t have to look for it too long when I need to change my plate. My machine tells me if my stitch choice is not compatible with the plate I’m using. I have also not broken a needle since January since the machine checks if I’m using the right plate for me.

 

The plate can be neatly stored away in the tray.
The plate can be neatly stored away in the tray.

 

2. Feed dog

Moving the fabric is a very important task for a sewing machine as it stitches. A sewing machine uses its feed dog teeth to move the fabric below, but most don’t think that the upper fabric can move too.

This is where the creative icon really comes in handy, it has the integrated dual feed system which means that your top and bottom fabrics are being fed through at the same time, preventing your layers from shifting while sewing and ensuring a precise piecing. It’s also able to measure the tension according to the type of fabrics you’re using and adjust accordingly, so you don’t have to.

3. easiest self-threading needle ever built

A new, fully automatic needle threader on the PFAFF creative icon offers more convenience and ease. The precision afforded by this new feature saves time and keeps your eyes focused on the important stuff: precision piecing.

It’s really easy to use:

  • Place the thread under the hook and pull it between the discs until it “clicks” into place.
  • Pull the thread up to the sewing head thread cutter and cut excess thread by pulling the thread from back to front in the thread cutter.
  • Touch the automatic needle threader button. The presser foot is automatically lowered during the threading sequence and will rise again when threading is finished.

4. the knee lift

Your machine comes with an electronic knee-lifter that allows you to lift the presser foot with your knee.

At first, I thought I’d hate this feature and really missed being able to raise or lower the foot with my hand. But I decided to let go of my old habits and give it a try. I really don’t think I could ever live without the knee-lift anymore. It’s very helpful as it allows you to handle the fabric with your hands while your knee lifts the presser foot to the desired height.

Better yet, you can raise the presser foot to three positions with your knee-lift; pivot height, up, and extra lift position. When moving the presser foot to the extra lift position, the machine drops the feed teeth, this part is really useful when quilting your piece as the batting and backing make it quite thick.

The feed teeth will raise automatically when you start to sew.

4 best kept secrets to perfect flying geese

Now that we have gone through the 4 very useful features on the PFAFF creative icon, let’s see the 4 best kept secrets to perfect flying geese.

  1. Adequate marking, ruler and surface tool
  2. Precision piecing
  3. Good pressing
  4. Accurate trimming
See the cutting instructions for this week’s quilting project in yesterday’s post and find your tags (square A, B, C, etc…). I used the wonderful the Canvas collection from Northcott to make the sample quilt.

 

A B C D E F squares to make the Flying geese
A B C D E F squares to make the Flying geese

 

Take squares D, F and H.

Use the omnigrid trio ruler to mark diagonally in the center, as in the photo below.

Use the omnigrid ruler to mark at ¼” beside the diagonal line, marking a dotted line.

 

Marking precisely marking the HST for a perfect flying geese block.
Marking precisely marking the HST for a perfect flying geese block.

 

Secret 1, accurate marking

For this, I love using the Omnigrid ruler for this part along the Clover blue pen. The ruler is ½” so it’s easy to center it along the corners and mark my ¼” seams along each side. The blue eraser pen allows me to quickly erase any mistakes in my marking.

But there’s one more secret! I place my fabric on sandpaper so that it’s stable and my marking is quite visible in one mark.

The rest of my secrets are in the instructions that follow.

Flying geese for column 4

  • Take 2 C gray small squares and align diagonally on a E red big square.
  • Stitch on the two dotted lines.
  • Cut on the full line.
  • Makes two half red squares.
  • Press open the red triangles on each half square red unit.

 

Step 2 Flying geese
Step 2 Flying geese

 

 

Step 2 B
Step 2 B

 

 

Chain piecing step 2
Chain piecing step 2

 

 

Step 2 final
Step 2 final

 

  • Take a C gray small square and align on the corner of your red half square.
  • Stitch on the two dotted lines beginning on the corner.
  • Cut on full line.
  • Makes two flying geese rectangles.
  • Press open the red triangle on each unit.

 

Step 3 A
Step 3 A

 

 

Step 3 B
Step 3 B

 

 

Step 3: The process
Step 3: The process

 

One big square with four little squares will make four units.

Repeat to make 10 units.

Secret 2, how’s your seam allowance?

My second secret is I make sure to check the seam allowance as this is essential in making perfect flying geese blocks. Your seam really needs to be a scant ¼”.

I love the Ominigrid 1″ ruler as it has the ¼” yellow line and the 3/16″ black line. You simply need to ensure that your stitch is in between the two lines. If it’s on the yellow line or more, your block will not work.

 

Checking your seam allowance is crucial for perfect flying geese.
Checking your seam allowance is crucial for perfect flying geese.

 

Flying geese for column 2

  • Take 2 H beige small squares and align diagonally on a E red big square.
  • Stitch on the two dotted lines.
  • Cut on the full line.
  • Makes two half red squares.
  • Press open the red triangles on each half square gray unit.
  • Take a H beige small square and align on the corner of your red half square.
  • Stitch on the two dotted lines beginning on the corner.
  • Cut on full line.
  • Makes two flying geese rectangles.
  • Press open the beige triangle on each unit.
  • One big square with four little squares will make four units.
  • Repeat to make 10 units.

 

Secret 3: Good pressing
Secret 3: Good pressing

 

Secret 3, a good pressing

Usually, this is when most will say to use a fancy iron. I’m quite the opposite and will tell you to ensure that you have a hard surface to iron on. This will allow you to press the seams so that they lay flat.

Flying geese for column 3

  • Take 2 F red small squares and align diagonally on a big G beige square.
  • Stitch on the two dotted lines.
  • Cut on the full line.
  • Makes two half beige squares.
  • Press open the red triangles on each half square beige unit.
  • Take a F red small square and align on the corner of your beige half square.
  • Stitch on the two dotted lines beginning on the corner.
  • Cut on full line.
  • Makes two flying geese rectangles.
  • Press open the red triangle on each unit.
  • One big square with four little square will make four units.
  • Repeat to make 20 units

Flying geese for column 1

  • Take 2 F red small squares and align diagonally on a C gray big square.
  • Stitch on the two dotted lines.
  • Cut on the full line.
  • Makes two half gray squares.
  • Press open the red triangles on each half square gray unit.
  • Take 2 F red small squares and align diagonally on a C gray big square.
  • Stitch on the two dotted lines.
  • Cut on the full line.
  • Makes two half gray squares.
  • Press open the red triangles on each half square gray unit.
  • Take a F red small square and align on the corner of your gray half square.
  • Stitch on the two dotted lines beginning on the corner.
  • Cut on full line.
  • Makes two flying geese rectangles.
  • Press open the red triangle on each unit.

 

It's simpler if you chain piece all your flying geese.
It’s simpler if you chain piece all your flying geese.

 

One big square with four little squares will make four units.

Repeat to make 10 units.

 

You should now have 40 flying geese.
You should now have 40 flying geese.

 

Secret 4, measuring and squaring off the flying geese block

Don’t just cut the ears off the seams to finish your flying geese.

Take a small square ruler, I love the Omnigrip 6½” square ruler for this part, and double check your alignments before cutting off the extra fabrics.

Now all of the flying geese should measure 2½” x 4½”.

Have you ever wondered how to align your ruler when resizing your flying geese?

Here’s my secret:

Align the point of the inside triangle so that it is precise ¼” away from the edge and at 2¼” in the middle of your rectangle.

Then look at all your edges to ensure that the rectangle is measuring 2½” x 4½” and cut off any excess fabric.

 

Precision trimming a flying geese block
Precision trimming a flying geese block

 

I’m hoping these 4 best-kept secrets to perfect flying geese, and using PFAFF creative icon’s 4 great features for precision piecing help you perfect your flying geese. Follow along tomorrow to see what else we can do with flying geese blocks and PFAFF creative icon.

 

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Top 5 reasons why your quilts don’t get finished and how to move forward

Go to part 3: 3 essential tools for your quilting studio you might not have thought of

 

Married with three young boys, Claire Haillot shares her passion for quilting among her neighbors in the United States and Canada as well as her cousins in France. Claire has been active in the quilting industry since 2004. At first, she opened a quilt shop and started to teach, write how-to guides and translate patterns and product information into French for American companies. In 2006, she started her own line of patterns and later began publishing patterns and articles in Canadian, European and American magazines. You might have seen some of her work in Quilter’s World, Pratique du Patchwork or Canadian Quilter. She decided to close her brick & mortar quilt shop in 2016 to be able to concentrate more on teaching, writing and creating. She collaborated with PlumEasy patterns to launch the Dancing Diamonds and Gem bag patterns. Claire has also won a few awards for her work: • Juror’s choice at the Salon 2012 for her quilt Thomas goes fishing • Second Place in Vermont Quilt Festival of 2014 for her quilt Bienvenue • Second Place in Salon 2016 for her Lone Star quilt, and • Second Place in Vermont Quilt Festival 2016 for her quilt Remembering Sotchi. Her quilt Remembering Sotchi will be part of the Special Exhibit "A Celebration of Color" at the Quilt Festival in Chicago and Houston in 2018.

2 Comments

  1. Quilting Tangent

    I like tip 4 the best how to trim up.

    • Thank you!
      I have to agree 🙂
      It truly helped me understand how to keep them well aligned.

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