Medallion Quilt Along – Border 3b – Zig Zag Flying Geese

August 1, 2008 § 7 Comments

The quilt seems to be growing at lightening speed, zigging here and zagging there. Okay. Bad joke, eh? It does seem to be growing exponentially, though. It won’t be long till we’re to the half-way mark.

There are at least a couple of different methods that will create a zig zag pattern. I chose this one for the simplicity of it, to reduce the number of bias edges and to eliminate any need for special rulers or tools. We may try one of the other methods in a future border.

From what I’ve heard so far, you who are beginner quilters are having fun, learning a lot and gaining confidence. Yay, I’m so glad. So, I think it might be good to explore different construction methods when we come to similar borders again. Let me know if you feel strongly one way or the other.

The basic stats:

Flying Geese blocks – finished size 1 1/2″ x 3″. Sew 2 together to make a zig zig (3″ x 3″).
Border – finished width 3″.
Quilt width after this border – 30 1/2″ square.

1. From light fabrics, cut (32) – 2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles and (64) – 2″ x 2″ squares. From dark fabrics, cut (32) – 2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles and (64) – 2″ x 2″ squares.

2. Mark the diagonal in all of the small 2″ squares. With right sides together, place a 2″ square in one corner of a 2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangle and sew on the diagonal pencil line.

If you are fainting dead away at thought of marking all 128 two-inch squares, you may wish to go looking for this tool at your local quilt shop. It is my method of choice instead of pencil marking each square. A few squares to mark with a pencil – no problem. But 128? It feels a wee bit daunting. But, by all means, you DO NOT have to go buy this tool if you don’t want to. The good old method of marking the diagonal with a pencil is a perfectly fine method.

This piece of plastic that you see under my flying geese block is The Angler 2. It has 45 degree angles marked on it as well as the center where the needle stitches and 1/4″ seam allowances. Read more about using it at Quilter’s Review and go to Pam Bono’s web site (the creator of The Angler 2) to watch a video on how to install it (tape it to your sewing machine bed) and how to sew a flying geese block. This little piece of plastic, in my humble opinion, does make it easier to sew all these blocks.

3. Trim away the corner to a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seam open. On this border, I pressed a lot of seams open to try and reduce the bulk.

4. With right sides together, place another 2″ square in the opposite corner of the 2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangle. Be sure that you are sewing the diagonal from the top of the point from the other square to the bottom corner. Or else you will end up with a funny little block not looking like a flying geese at all!

You should now have 32 light and 32 dark flying geese blocks.

This is what I love about chain piecing. You just keep sewing, and sewing, and pretty soon you have a huge pile of blocks strung behind your sewing machine. I turn on my radio and just hum along on my sewing machine until all the blocks are sewn. Chain piecing has a sort of calming effect on me, probably much like what hand piecer’s feel as they load up their needle with teeny tiny stitches. Satisfied sigh. Ah.

5. For each side, arrange 8 dark blocks in a row and 8 light blocks in a row to create the zig zag effect.

6. To sew this border together, I first started by sewing 1 dark block and 1 light block together to create 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ square. Then, alternate pressing one block’s seam up and one block’s seam down. Sew together all 8 blocks in a border. Pressing the seams in opposite directions like this helps to make the matching of the seams a little bit easier. I always put a pin right on the seam to keep it in place until I have sewn the matching seams. Press these seams open as well.

7. For the corner blocks cut (4) 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ squares from a darker fabric and (16) 2″ x 2″ squares from a lighter fabric.

These blocks are the fabulous, reliable Square-in-a-Square, again. Refer back to Border 1 for a refresher on how to piece these blocks.

8. Sew the side borders on first. Then sew the Square in a Square blocks to each end of the top and bottom borders. Sew the top and bottom borders to your quilt. You should now have a quilt that measures 30 1/2″ x 30 1/2″.

And… the quilting guts. I almost forgot.

Now… go out and celebrate! Because, you have just complete about 30% of the borders. Although, this may not be a fair calculation considering that each border keeps getting bigger and bigger. But still, it’s a fabulous accomplishment! And I’ve seen some of your work on Flickr and it’s awesome!

Have an amazing weekend.

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