Tutorial Tuesday: Picture Perfect Flying Geese

One of the first things I notice, when looking at a quilt, is the ends/points of the triangles (if there are triangles in the quilt).  I am my own worse critic and have been known to rip out stitches a time or six before I am satisfied with the points on my flying geese.

My 1/4″ seam allowance is checked three and four times before, during and after I am working on a quilt project.  I make sure to measure twice, cut once.  Even with all of that, I still find that I occasionally cut off points of triangles.

Then I had a revelation.  What can be done to keep from cutting off my triangle points?



This concept isn’t that difficult to understand although it will change the finished size of your blocks and quilt just a tad.

ADD 1/4″ to the strip you are sewing your top square to.  For example, with the tutorial below, the original size of my strip called for a 4 1/4″ x 8″ strip.  Instead, I cut the strip 4 1/2″ x 8″.  Follow the tutorial below to see how perfect your triangle points can be.

Fabric Requirements:

  • ONE (1) 8″ square focus fabric
  • FOUR (4) 4 1/4″ squares triangle/points fabric
  • FOUR (4) 4 1/2″ x 8″ strips flying geese strips
  • FOUR (4) 4 1/2″ squares block cornerstones



ONE (1) 8″ square


FOUR (4) 4 1/4″ squares


Draw a diagonal like, corner-to-corner, on the BACK side of the 4 1/4″ squares


Line up the 4 1/4″ squares to the top corner of the 4 1/2″ x 8″ strips and sew ON the line you drew.


Cut off the corner of the flying geese block, 1/4″ inch FROM the sewing line.


Press your seam toward the 4 1/4″ square.


Repeat the process to sew the second 4 1/4″ square to the opposite side of the 4 1/2″ x 8″ square.


Trim off the corner fabric 1/4″ FROM the sewing line.


Press toward the second corner.


Using TWO (2) of the flying geese blocks, sew the 4 1/2″ cornerstones to the ends of both of your flying geese.


With the remaining flying geese, sew them to the right and left sides of the 8″ square.  Press toward the center fabric.


Pin and sew the top and bottom (the strips with the cornerstones) flying geese strips to the center section of the blocks.


That’s all there is to it!  Now go forth and create Picture Perfect Flying Geese!


Share and Enjoy!

    Tutorial Tuesday: Machine Embroidered & Quilted Mug Rug


    I am having a blast with my new embroidery/sewing machine!  It’s been sitting in its box since I received it because I didn’t have room to set it up until I moved to my quilt studio.  For my first project, I made an embroidered and quilted mug rug…then thought of all sorts of people I wanted to make one for.  I might even make them for imaginary people, it’s that much fun!

    Ahem.  On with the show….errr, tutorial!


    • Fabric for embroidery
    • Stabilizer for embroidery
    • Scrap fabric for borders, backing & binding
    • Batting



    Cut the fabric and stabilizer for the embroidery about 2″ wider than your embroidery hoop.


    Insert your fabric and stabilizer into your embroidery hoop, pulling the fabric so that it does not have any puckers or wrinkles on it.  Secure it in the hoop and tighten the hoop so the fabric does not move around.


    Set your hoop up in your embroidery machine and choose an embroidery pattern.  Then, let the embroidery machine do all the embroidery work for you!


    Once your embroidery machine is finished, remove your fabric and stabilizer from the hoop and press flat.


    Square up your embroidery and trim the excess fabric away.


    Using fabric scraps, cut the left and right borders to your embroidery to whatever size you’d like to make your mug rug (adding in your seam allowances).


    Sew the left and right borders to your embroidered center.


    Press your left and right borders toward the scrap fabric.


    Repeat the same process with the top and bottom borders.


    Press and lightly starch the finished mug rug top.


    Create your quilt sandwich with your embroidered top, batting and backing.


    Securely pin your quilt sandwich.


    Machine quilt your mug rug in whatever pattern you prefer.


    Trim your mug rug so that the top, batting and backing are all the same size.


    Prepare your binding and bind your mug rug.


    Congratulations!  Now you have a lovely mug rug to use or gift to someone!


    Share and Enjoy!

      Tutorial Tuesday: “Strip Tease” Table Runner Pattern & Tutorial


      “Strip Tease” Table Runner Finished Size: 17″ x 34 1/2″

      Items Needed:

      • 5/8 yard Focus Fabric
      • 1/4 yard Bleached (white) muslin
      • 1/4 yard Unbleached (ecru) muslin
      • FOUR (4) Dark Blue 2 1/2″ squares
      • FOUR (4) Medium Blue 2 1/2″ squares


      Quilt Therapy Instructions:

      • Cutting:
        • Focus Fabric:  Cut NINE (9) 2 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ strips
        • Bleached (white) muslin:  Cut FOUR (4) 2 1/2″ x 20″ strips
        • Unbleached (ecru) muslin:  Cut FOUR (4) 2 1/2″ x 20″ strips
        • Focus Fabric:  Cut TWO (2) 2″ x WOF strips for Binding
        • Backing Fabric:  Your choice of fabric color – 18″ x 37″
        • Quilt Batting:  18″ x 37″
      • Sew the Dark Blue 2 1/2″ squares to both ends of the Bleached (white) muslin.
      • Sew the Medium Blue Blue 2 1/2″ squares to both ends of the Unbleached (ecru) muslin.
      • Lay out all of your strips.  The Focus Fabric strips are the anchors for this table runner, they belong on both ends of the table runner as well as in-between the tonal strips.
      • Use your own creativity to decide where your Blue 2 1/2″ squares should be placed – remember the tonal aspect so be sure your placement is one Bleached (white) muslin strip set and then one Unbleached (ecru) muslin strip set.  From there, the placement is completely up to you.  Once you decide where you want each Bleached (white) muslin/Dark Blue strip and each Unbleached (ecru) muslin strip, cut the excess fabric from the strip.  The final length of the strip needs to equal 16 1/2″.  NOTE:  I left my tonal/blue strips just a bit longer than required so I could square everything up after sewing the table runner top together.
      • Now it is time to sew your strips together.  Begin with sewing one Focus Fabric strip to one of your tonal/blue strips.  The biggest thing you need to worry about, when sewing your strips together, is to always sew your strips in opposite directions.  This will make sure your strips remain straight without a curve in the finished product.  One good way to remember which direction you sewed your strips in is to place a pin at the end of each set of fabric strips, indicating which direction you started sewing from.  Press the strips in the direction of the Focus Fabric:


      • After sewing the first group of single strips into double strips, now it’s time to sew the double strips together (remember to sew from the opposite direction as the first seams were sewn):


      • All of the strips of fabric strips should now be sewn together.  Be sure to place the extra Focus Fabric strip to the end of your table runner on whichever tonal strip you is at the end.
      • Square up your table runner.  Make sure the fabric on both sides are the same length.



      • Table runner top all sewn, squared up and pressed:


      • Sew the binding strips together.  There will be at least 1/2 of a strip of Focus Fabric left from the cutting requirements above.  That is needed for the binding so cut the width down to 2″.  Then sew the two full and one partial 2″ binding strips together:


      • Make your quilt sandwich with the table runner top, batting & backing.  Pin into place to secure all three layers.


      • Quilt as desired:


      • Final step is to square up your table runner so that the batting & backing are the same size as the table runner top and then add your binding.  This table runner’s binding is 1/4″ on the front, whip-stitched on the back.  Enjoy!


      Share and Enjoy!

        Tutorial Tuesday: Mug Rug with Embellishments


        Items Needed:

        • Scrap fabric for front & back of your mug rug as well as the binding
        • Scrap batting
        • Embellishments of your choice.  In this case, I used an old miniature crocheted flower doily and a 4″ square of fabric



        Choose the fabric and embellishments you want to use for your mug rug.  This mug rug is 7″ high x 10″ wide.  The front of this mug rug is a single scrap of fabric.  The back of the mug rug will be scrappy fabrics, leftovers from a charm pack (5″ squares).


        Piece together the back of your mug rug.  I sew two 5″ squares together and repeat for the second set of squares.


        This is the result of the charm squares sewn together.  It is a square but I need to adjust it so that it is the same (or a tad larger) than the fabric for the front of the mug rug.

        I cut off 2 1/2″ from one end of the pieced backing fabrics.


        Pin the 2 1/2″ strip to the end of the scrappy backing.


        Then sew that 2 1/2″ strip to the end of the scrappy backing.


        Now the front and back fabrics are ready for the next step.


        A 5″ square of fabric was too large for the front of my mug rug so I cut it down to a 4″ square.


        It’s time to add the embellishments!  I begin with sewing the little crocheted flower to the front fabric.  First, pin it in place.


          I really want this mini doily to stay in place through usage and washings so I ran a stitch all the way around the center of the doily as well as all around the edge of the doily.


        Then pin and sew the scrappy square to the top fabric.  Raw edge applique is my specialty so I just ran a single stitch, 1/4″ from the edge, all the way around the scrappy square.  The quilting will further adhere the scrappy square to the mug rug.


        The top of my mug rug is ready!  Now it’s time to make your quilt sandwich using the top and bottom fabrics with a piece of scrappy batting in the center.


        Quilt as desired.  In this case, I used a maroon thread on the top and a black thread in my bobbin.  Because my top fabric was a plaid fabric, I made it easy on myself and just followed the lines of the fabric with my quilt stitches.  I did not quilt over the doily but I did quilt over the scrappy square.


        After quilting, trim your mug rug of any excess fabric or batting and then square it up.


        Now it’s time for the binding.  I did not have a 2″ x WOF strip available (remember – this is scrappy), so I sewed two strips together to make my binding.  To do this, with right sides together, place the top strip at a 90 degree angle to the bottom strip.  Then, draw a diagonal line from the beginning of the top strip across to the corner of the edge of the bottom strip.


        Pin and sew the two binding pieces together on the line you drew.


        Cut the corner off of the binding strips, 1/4″ from the line you drew and sewed.


        I chose to press the seam open.  This project is so small that by pressing the seam in a single direction, it would have made for a lumpy spot on the edge of the mug rug.


        Now, sew the binding on the front of your mug rug, making sure to miter the corners.  Finally, whip-stitch the binding to the back of your mug rug.  Congrats, you’re done!


        Share and Enjoy!

          Tutorial Tuesday: Sew N’Slash “LOVE Letters” Table Runner

          This is a super-simple, no-pattern-necessary tutorial on creating and piecing ABCs out of quilt fabric, the Sew N’Slash™ way.



          • TWO (2) fat quarters
          • 1/2 yard backing fabric


          These are the two fat quarters I chose.


          All of my letters will have at least one piece of fabric in them that is 1 1/2″ (finished) wide.  I begin by envisioning my finished letters.  I will use the green fabric as two of the letters and the red fabric for the other two letters in the word LOVE.


          Cutting out the two parts to the letter L.  This is a creative project.  There is no wrong way to make letters – it’s up to your creative mind!  I don’t even have a size for my letters determined – they will be the size they end up being and then I will piece them together.


          Now it’s time to cut out the background fabric for my L.


          Sew and press them together.


          Let the sewing begin!


          The letter itself is done, now it’s time to Sew N’Slash™ the rest of the border fabric for the L.  To get started, I eyeball the length and/or width to add to the letter blocks.  Once the fabric is sewn on, I slash it to whatever size I want.


          The L is completed!


          Using the same no-pattern Sew N’Slash™ method, I begin putting the V together


          Here, I visualize putting my V together just as you would using the paper-piece method of quilting – except without the paper.  It’s all in my head!  LOL


          This is the V before I slash it.


          The first slash is cutting everything away that is to the right of my seam line.


          Then it’s time to slash the two ends so they are straight.


          I *never* throw away the scraps that are created when I Sew N’Slash™ unless the pieces are too small to use elsewhere.  You never know when you are going to need a portion of the scraps to fill in a spot.  I will complete a Sew N’Slash™ project and then throw away any unusable scraps or sort the usable ones into bins.


          My V is ready!


          Continue with the same process except now I change my fabrics around – the red will become the letters and the green will become the background.


          My O is ready!  Where it looks like I’ve spent a lot of time measuring and cutting and sewing, I’ve completed this letter in less than 10 minutes, using my Sew N’Slash™ method.  I just square everything up at the end so all of my letter blocks can be sewn together.


          This is the completed “LOVE Letters”, sewn together and squared up.


          And this is the completed table runner!  Go forth and Sew N’Slash™!

          Share and Enjoy!