Sunday, July 29, 2012

I swooned this morning & had a light bulb moment!

The Merrium-Webster Dictionary defines "Swoon" as:
Verb- a: faint b: to become enraptured <swooning with joy>
Noun - a: a partial or total loss of consciousness b: a state of bewilderment or ecstasy 
2 a state of suspended animation 

Many of us in the quilting community know "Swoon," "Swooning," "Swooned" to mean either the pattern created by Camile Roskelley or the act of piecing the pattern created by Camile Roskelley. It's the pattern I used to create the blocks below (sorry, don't have a completed top picture even though it's waiting to jump onto the quilting frame).

If you don't know who Ms. Roskelley is, please take a moment to check her out. She's got a good eye and has designed several lines of fabric along with creating a few great patterns that are easy to understand and work through.  (This post didn't start out as an endorsement but clearly, I've become a fan.) Her shop is called Thimble Blossoms.

I'm making another Swoon top and while working on this block this morning I had a light bulb moment. 

The pattern calls for flying geese units and the method used creates left over triangles after trimming.  In the quilt top above, I took all those triangles and made square units then put them together as pinwheel units.  I sewed each of the already cut triangles together to make the square. That's what most of us would do, I think, right?     

Today I realized I could save myself a little bit of the headache. Why not sew the triangles together at the same time I'm piecing the flying geese units?

So here's what happened. I put the triangles up to the machine to sew.  

Then I looked at the flying geese unit I had sitting on the table and saw it.  Instead of trimming the excess fabric off, I could draw a second line to sew over and then trim. The end result means I have a pieced square unit from the two triangles already.  Much, much easier to chain piece this way rather than try to piece the triangles.

After sewing the square to the rectangle as called for in the pattern (fyi, the pattern has you cut 2 squares to sew onto a rectangle & then you trim along the diagonal), draw a second line (toward the corner, not the center) 1/2" away from the sewn line. (Be sure it's 1/2" because then you have a quarter inch seam allowance once you cut.)

Alternatively, you can do what I did which is when I drew the line to sew over onto the square that was going to make the  flying geese unit (that's the diagonal corner to corner line you see below), I then drew the second line. 

I lined the squares up properly with the second, shorter line to the outside of the unit.

WRONG (short line to the center): 

CORRECT (short line to the outside):

Sew the larger diagonal line first.

Then sew the shorter diagonal.

Once both lines were sewn on, cut 1/4" from each line (this should be right on the middle of both sewn lines).

When the flying geese unit is finished, there are now 2 square units, as well.  

I can pinwheel these.

Then again, perhaps I will use them to create different blocks. Doesn't this look like a whole goose flying with the color placement?

Or these, which might be made part of the sashing strips?  

I don't know, I'll have to play more but I love that something which is so simple, seems like such a great breakthrough for me. I feel like a creative genious although I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one who thought of this. I just feel like I am.



Ellen said...

I think its brilliant! Chain piecing seems to make things go quicker & the extra hst's can make a great border or companion project. Woo hoo! I just ordered Swoon & can't wait to get started. Thanks for going step by step with this!

Valerie said...

This is great! I haven't started my Swoon yet, although I have had the pattern for close to a year and it's high on my 2012 quilt list. I appreciate the tip before I get started!

krista said...

neat idea! i've never made a swoon block but if i ever do, i'll definitely be doing this. great tip!

Chris {frecklemama} said...

Ever since I read this, I began trying it. LIGHTBULB! Thank you so much! It's one of those "why didn't I think about that" tips.

Debbie said...

It IS a great idea - and how I managed to have hst to make my "Spiraled". Nice pics to share the technique!

Raechel said...

Awesome! I am getting ready to make a swoon quilt for my mom and was thinking of all those triangles that go to waste making the flying geese!