Tuesday, August 13, 2013

About Flying Geese and HSTs - a tip for Tuesday

Flying Geese

I have long loved quilts with lots of flying geese but I am (was) terrible at making them. They end up too small and wonky.

So on my list for this summer break was to learn to make them better. The other night, I started my journey and put my progress up on instagram. I tried different things. Many folks have provided ideas and suggestions, you can read them here, just click on the pictures of different flying geese.

Flying Geese

I skipped the method where you cut the triangles and sew those bias cut edges together as I knew it would not work well for me and I hate cutting little triangles. So for both blue examples, above,  I tried the method, where you put two squares on a rectangle, draw a line corner to corner on the triangle and then trim and press. There are many tutorials, the Quilter's Cache one - which I used to refresh - is here.

They are too small and the edges are not aligned well. Some of that can be fixed when you join the geese together, but not all of it.

Flying Geese

Then I tried the "no waste method" (again, I used the Quilter's Cache tutorial here but there are many more available). Again, they look good but are not really perfect, even after trimming - both the orange picture above and the one following are the "no waste" method.

Flying Geese

So I googled flying geese and also caught up a bit with my blog reading. Last week, Rita at Red Pepper Quilts did an excellent post about the Bloc Loc ruler for flying geese here. I went to the Bloc Loc website and they have videos (go here to watch (the hst video is at the top, the flying geese video is down the page a bit, both these videos are truly worth the time, I'll wait) and a lot of rulers.

Other folks mentioned the Quilt in a Day Ruler, so I watched a video about it too by the Missouri Star Quilt Co. - go here. This ruler uses a unique system of building your geese and you get 4 geese for each set of fabrics.

Flying Geese

And then yesterday I went to the local quilt shops here and at one I found both Bloc Loc Rulers - both flying geese and half square triangles - and Quilt in a Day Rulers. I bought both the sizes they had of the flying geese Bloc Loc Rulers and the smaller size Quilt in a Day Ruler, as together they give me a lot of size options.

Flying Geese

Here is the result from the Bloc Loc Flying Geese ruler. The geese are perfectly sized because you make them 1/4" larger than you need and trim with the ruler. The ruler has a groove in it so that it hugs the sides of the goose and does not slip about, so trimming is fast and easy. I love it.

Flying Geese

Here are the geese I made in one hour using the Quilt in a Day Ruler - 28 of them. Since I knew this method had a number of steps, I decided to make a bunch at once so I could chain piece them. This ruler was harder to hold - I need to get that grippy stuff to put on it - but it also really makes the process simple and accurate. This is also an excellent method and ruler.

Half Square Triangles


And now the bonus. This morning I tried out the Bloc Loc HST ruler. This ruler is fantastic!

I make a lot of hsts and always cringe about the trimming. It is tricky to keep a regular ruler lined up on the seam, and trim. This Bloc Loc ruler holds itself on the seam so your trimming is accurate and fast.

So my tip for Tuesday is that sometimes there is a point in investing in the fancy rulers. I am ordering more.

I know you can get the Bloc Loc rulers  at Sew Lux Fabrics. The Fat Quarter Shop and Sew Sisters have the Quilt in a Day rulers, which I expect are easier to find as they appear to have been around longer. You can also check for them at many of your local quilt shops and several other on line shops too. You can also order Bloc Loc rulers directly from the company too.

Two last things, none of the folks mentioned in this post asked me to write it or offered me products or other benefits for doing so.  I do recommend both these flying geese rulers, depending on your preference of making method, and I wholeheartedly adore the hst ruler.

Second, I am going to be making more flying geese, you might have noticed that these experimental pieces are all from the bundle of Lush Uptown fabrics that arrived last week. It is my hope to make a bunch more of different sizes, add a variety of neutrals and have a quilt. I may try a few more methods too as I go, I will keep you posted.

Best,

Leanne

42 comments:

  1. Glad you found what works for you! I just prefer avoiding the little buggers altogether ;o)

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  2. Excellent unsponsored opinions. Thank you. Off to read more about the Rita one!

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  3. Thanks for the info where to purchase these rulers! I have watched closely on IG as you tried and tested your way to the perfect flying geese block! I really want to make an entire quilt of flying geese and these would be perfect! Don't expect I will be able to find them anywhere in a LQS in this corner of the world!

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  4. So useful to hear this, thanks for all the information. now I wish I had paid more attention to the bloc a loc stand at festiva of quilts at the weekend!

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  5. Very interesting to read Leanne, thank you

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  6. Yay I must try my QAYG Flying Geese rulers now! I bought them after making some disastrous mutant geese, but my goose confidence was sufficiently destroyed by the experience that I never got them out - they are still in their packaging. Now I see they work well I think I will get them out and make some thoroughbred geese!

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  7. Great geese L, and brilliant tips too! Jxo

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  8. Thanks for the great review. I make a lot of hst but always get frustrated because they aren't "perfect". I've seen reviews for the Bloc Loc and I think I'm going to just bite the bullet (cost-wise) and get them.

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  9. Thanks for all your "exploring". This is really good information.

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  10. fantastic post, Leanne. Thanks for sharing, your geese look amazing.

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  11. So great Leanne to get your take on technique and those rulers. There are so many rulers for so many blocks it is good to get the real scoop.

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  12. Great post! I have the Fons & porter geese ruler but at smaller sizes it can still be frustratingly inaccurate. I like the no waste method, but I might have to try the bloc loc. thanks for the info.

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  13. Thanks for the tip-off Leanne - I saw Rita's post about the Bloc Loc rulers and they seemed like a great idea. My problem is that I want all the sizes and then it gets pretty expensive - I guess I will have to be restrained and just pick one or two (to start with at least)! Can you believe I have never made flying geese before, but I can imagine they are tricky to get just right. I'm also a HST fan and I got my worst quilting injury from trimming them - too much pressure on the ruler for too long meant a very sore hand and wrist for several weeks. I now sit down to trim because it means I can't put so much pressure on my hand that I hurt it - definitely slows things down though.

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  14. Thanks for sharing you experiences, Leanne. I value your opinion. Looking forward to seeing your geese all in a row!

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  15. Excellent review post Leanne! I will have to see if I can find these locally - I'm planning a flying geese quilt for the near future.

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  16. I wish I had seen this post before the FOQ last weekend. Flying geese rulers were on my shopping list but I got sidetracked by the divine Kaffe Fasset and his fabrics I will just shop,from my iPad. Many thanks for taking the time to give us the benefit of your research

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  17. I so enjoyed this post, Leanne! I too am not a FG pro, so I avoid them as much as possible. Watching you go through this has been great b/c I rarely think of specialty rulers as a solution. Great post, Leanne!

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  18. I have not been in love with making geese though I love the look! Maybe I should invest in a few rulers!

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  19. I have a fancy flying geese ruler, I need to get it off of the ground! ;)

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  20. Oh this is very interesting as I hate trimming HSTs so I will have to have a little look around and see if I can get one locally.

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  21. I have the flying geese ruler and do you know what I've never used it!! I got given it in a giveaway so after your rave review I must figure it out.
    And looks like I need one of those hst rulers. I HATE trimming hst!!!!

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  22. Thanks for the info, Leanne. I have always tended to shy away from rulers other than the bare necessities but this makes me rethink my reasons.

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  23. Gorgeous Report, Leanne. I think I should try those rulers too. Thanks!

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  24. I LOVE flying geese and HST's but agree about sizing issues and that damn trimming! Like Susan I've always thought rulers other than the basics were a bit gimmicky - I think I at least need one of the HST ones!

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  25. The stretchy bandaid type tape at the drug store is what Bonnie Hunter recommends for ruler slippage. It works. I didn't get the transparent kind, but I think I might get some more and change it out. I can't remember the name, but if you go to her blog and check the top buttons, you can get the tip using it. It works.

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  26. I just bought the Bloc-Loc HST ruler and it doesn't disappoint! For once something really does what it says it will! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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  27. This is great, Leanne! Thanks for the summary!!

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  28. GREAT post, Leanne! I struggle and struggle with HSTs and have read (and tried) just about anything I could find. I have the Quilt in a Day rulers, but haven't tried them yet. This post gives me hope and confidence. I think I will give them a try and if I don't just LOVE them, try the Bloc Loc. It's so very nice to know that I have not been in alone!

    Blessings,
    Celia

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  29. Thanks for all of that information Leanne - it is great when another quilter talks about their trials and the things they use to overcome them. It's always good to hear about product from an honest view point and not a sales pitch. Think I need to order some more rulers now.

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  30. Great post! I have both the Bloc Loc and Quilt in a Day Geese rulers as well. And you can't help but love the Bloc Loc HST too! Thanks for linking up our shop! :-)

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  31. Such a great post, thank you for sharing!

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  32. Wonderful, thank you so much for all of the information and links.

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  33. Great post Leanne. Just curious about the Bloc Loc for HST. I know they are meant to use with seams pressed to one side. What happens if the seams are pressed open? I just finished a quilt where it worked best to press seams open because it was too bulky otherwise. Had lots and lots of HST to trim and the Bloc Loc would have been nice but I figured it wouldn't work in this case. What do you think?

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  34. Thanks for the review of the different rulers, Leanne. It was very helpful!

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  35. I love flying geese but most of my long lines of geese have been hand pieced so there's been no issue with alignment and size. I've read good things about the 'fit to be...geese' rulers (Open Gate Quilts, I think) but have never heard of the bloc loc rulers - they look fabulous!

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  36. P.S. I've just had a quick search and can't seem to find them for sale in the UK - I hope they are available soon!

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  37. I just bought Open Gate Quilts fit to be geese and fit to be square rulers. Amazing accuracy. They use the make it bigger and trim it down method too. So more time consuming but more perfect too. I really like flying geese and hst so I thought it was worth the money coz I will use them all the time.

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  38. That was a lot of experimenting! I am a big fan of HSTs and any triangle - and rulers! Thanks for sharing the information, off to shop!

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  39. Thanks for sharing your experience - I followed a bit on Instagram but it is nice to have this summary post. I've always been hesitant to buy special use rulers, but you, and others, are beginning to change my thinking :)

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  40. thanks for doing this research. I might need to invest in that HST ruler.

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  41. Did you ever try the wing clipper by Deb Tucker. You might want to try it out. Go to Studio180design.net

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