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TOPIC: Sawtooth Block

01 Apr 2009 21:28 #33946

Thank you Nancy! This is wonderful - I've sometimes been tempted to make flying geese the traditional way simply because I hated to waste fabric, but this is the best of both worlds - speed and not wasteful.Thanks for sharing :P
Last Edit: by Cre8tvlwyr.
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29 Mar 2009 21:51 #33834

I learned to make my flying geese star points in a Sally Collins class. It's the technique using the rectangle and two squares. They turn out perfect every time. I sew just to the right of the drawn line. The stitching doesn't have to be perfect. Sometimes my stitching ends up a little MORE to the right of the line and not necessarily straight! Just press the piece after stitching to "set" the stitches. There will be three layers of "triangles" and you will trim the middle one leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. Then press the top triangle back matching it evenly with the back triangle. The stitching line doesn't matter--just match the front and back triangles. I leave the back triangle in the block so it will always be accurate. I don't know if this is Ritzy's method--I had trouble trying to find her tutorial. Everyone has to find a method that works for them, but I hope this helps somebody on the Forum. Judy in Torrance
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28 Mar 2009 20:11 #33819

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Well, in the meantime, look what I found! http://www.patchpieces.com/FlyingGeese.pdf It's an easy technique that avoids both the center seam and the waste.

Hi Nancy, I have been trying to make good flying geese also, wanting to lose that center seam. I tried the above method, and also the method of sewing squares on the rectangle cut the size of the flying goose unit. My problem is that even when I mark the line, I curve the sewing line and the units bow out toward the background fabric.

This even happens when I sew half square triangles.

So I went to what I call the Eleanor Burns method, using a 3-1/2 inch square of background fabric and a 5 inch square of points fabric. It's in all her books, and when I googled it lots of links came up. Here's the first one:

http://stitchesandditches.blogspot.com/2007/02/eleanor-burns-quilt-in-day-flying-geese.html

I made a sample, and I marked the seam lines carefully, making sure that they were square to each other, and pressed carefully. Used the square-in-a square ruler to trim off the excess on the long side where the points come together in the center. since that ruler has very fine lines. Then trimmed the rest of the unit. They look good, with no bowing!! Yeah!! I'll try the next batch of sawtooth stars with geese made this way.

Gee, by the time we're all done with this quilt our sewing skills will be awesome!

Kathy
:D
Last Edit: by kathyst2.
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01 Mar 2009 04:29 #32900

I have to admit I wanted to know I had enough background fabric for all the saw tooth stars so have made a start on all 72 blocks!! It's given me a head start on March. Pinwheels next.
Last Edit: by libertyjsy.
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22 Feb 2009 11:54 #32701

Thanks for the link, Nancy. I tried out this method last night and using the 3 1/4" and 1 7/8" squares with my needle moved over, they came out great but did need to be trimmed a little. I'm going to make more today and not do as scant of a 1/4" seam as last night. I cut a lot of background squares so now all I have to do is cut the main fabric and I can chain away.

Thanks again for the suggestion.

Sandy in Phoenix
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22 Feb 2009 11:10 #32696

  • NancyinSTL
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My photo is now posted. Although I finished late yesterday, I didn't photograph my February entry until this morning--to get better lighting.

Another advantage of the technique that I used for the sawtooth blocks is that it lends itself very well to chain piecing which helps save even more time. I really liked making these blocks and didn't want to stop at just eight.

I started experiencing problems with the tension on my sewing machine while using the smaller stitch length. So, the tension on some of the seams on my sawtooth blocks are a little loose. :( I avoided sewing over pins, so I don't think that caused the problem. More likely, it's a problem with my bobbin. Lately, my bobbin winder has been somewhat tempermental.
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21 Feb 2009 14:05 #32671

Thank you, Nancy. I'll have to give this a try. Marge
Last Edit: by quiltinggrandma.
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21 Feb 2009 13:19 #32670

Thank you Nancy, great way to do these. Nina
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Patchpieces "Flying Geese" Technique 21 Feb 2009 12:17 #32668

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This technique is easy and worked wonderfully. I strongly recommend it. Since it doesn't require the center seam, this technique produces prettier flying geese using less fabric.

Per the instructions in this technique, you'll need to cut one large square of your background fabric at 3 1/4" and four smaller squares of your star point fabric at 1 7/8" to get the four finished size (2" width x 1" height) flying geese for one sawtooth block. Using a scant 1/4" seam allowance, these measurements will leave just a sliver extra for squaring (or should I say rectangling??) up the flying geese to the unfinished size (2 1/2" x 1 1/2").

I just finished my first two sawtooth blocks and they turned out nearly perfect. With my first attempt, my seam allowances were a little too scant. However, I was able to square the flying geese up just fine. You will want to square them up before you stitch them to the other block pieces.

I did not starch my fabrics, but it's probably best to starch when working with such small pieces. I'll post photos later today, after I get all eight of the sawtooth blocks completed.
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21 Feb 2009 04:57 #32649

This looks great, Nancy. Let us know how it works out. I might redo my 1st 8 if this is as good as it looks. Marge
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21 Feb 2009 03:51 #32646

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Great technique! Thanks for sharing the links, Nancy!
I would like to recommend that if you use this for the BOM, you might want to cut your pieces just a tiny bit oversized, and trim down so you are sure that the units are exactly 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" for the saw tooth stars so the stars will finish the right size.


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
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20 Feb 2009 20:34 #32629

  • NancyinSTL
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Thanks so much Marge (a.k.a quiltinggrandma)! I was searching the videos and couldn't find it. I was seriously considering using Ricky's technique too, but also had a concern about the extra fabric bulk and waste. Well, in the meantime, look what I found! http://www.patchpieces.com/FlyingGeese.pdf It's an easy technique that avoids both the center seam and the waste.

By the way, here's another place where I found this same technique explained with a "No Math" ruler tool to make cutting your pieces even easier. http://lifesaquilt.blogspot.com/2006/09/my-favorite-flying-geese-technique_24.html I don't think I need the tool, but it might be great for the mathematically challenged.

I'm going to try this out and will let you know if I decide to use it for my BOM quilt. I'll save Ricky's technique for another project where I'd like the 3D effect.
Last Edit: by NancyinSTL.
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20 Feb 2009 18:40 #32624

Nancy, you can find Ricky's video of the flying geese technique in the Daily Blog on January 14, 2009. I used it to make my sawtooth star blocks and will continue to use it for the rest. It was fast and accurate. The only aspect that bothers me a little is the extra layers of fabric because it means there are three layers in the center triangle instead of just one. However, I feel the speed and accuracy make up for that. Marge
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20 Feb 2009 12:41 #32610

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Great tutorial Ritzy! I like to idea of minimizing seams.

Ricky Tims recently gave a tutorial on an even simpler way of making flying geese by sewing a rectangle into the seam between two squares. I'm searching for it to get the correct measurements. Has anyone tried this method with this BOM? If so, I'd like to hear your comments on this technique for this project.
Last Edit: by NancyinSTL.
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