Hey Quiltketeers, and welcome to Week 4 of the Starling quilt sew along! Is it me or is this sew along flying by? Maybe I've just got aeronautics on the brain because my husband made me watch the new Top Gun movie with him last night and this week we're sewing flying geese! Which, now that I think about it, Goose is a character in Top Gun...woah. It's all connected!!
If you don't know what I'm talking about, that's OK. It's not even a little bit relevant to our Week 4 assignment. What is relevant is page 5 of your Starling pattern. Use that as a reference when making your flying geese. There is also a hyper link to a flying geese tutorial on that page. I've embedded that same video below.
OH! Don't forget to mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 2 @ 2pm Central because I'm going LIVE on Instagram to discuss block assembly. I cover most everything in the videos below, but it will still be nice to catch up. Save your questions for then or pop them in the comments and I'll be sure to cover them.
If you're just popping into this sew along — welcome! You can find all of the posts in the Sew Along tab forever and always. Even if you can't make this quilt during the schedule time listed below, that's OK! Follow along at your own pace whenever it works for you.
However, if you are following along in real time, don't forget to post your progress on Instagram using #StarlingQuiltSA so you can be entered to win prizes each and every month. Skip to the bottom of this post for the sponsor and prize this week.
Starling Quilt Sew Along Schedule
- Week 1, March 31: Gather fabric
Sponsor: Lamb & Loom - Starling Quilt Kit (Gemstone) + surprise backing
IG LIVE - @suzyquilts: Monday, April 3 @ 2pm Central - We discussed fabric selection + Q&A.
- Week 2, April 7: Cut fabric
Sponsor: Global Fiber - Flowering Trees by Oana Befort fabric bundle
- Week 3, April 14: Sew square-in-square units
Sponsor: Art Gallery Fabrics - two winners getting two FQ bundles 🙂
- Week 4, April 21: Sew flying geese units
Sponsor: Thai Charm - throw size quilting
- Week 5, April 28: Assemble blocks
Sponsor: Sewing Arts Center - $100 gift card
IG LIVE - @suzyquilts: Tuesday, May 2 @ 2pm Central - We will discuss block assembly + a demo on 3 different ways to pin a block to get your seams to align.
- Week 6, May 5: Finish quilt top
Sponsor: Trace Creek Quilting - throw sized quilting
Week 4 Assignment: Flying Geese Units
Everything you need to know about sewing and trimming flying can be found in the video below. If you missed the pressing video from last week and need a refresher on using a tailor's clapper, I suggest you fly back to Week 3 and check it out.
Layer Cake Flying Geese Video Below
If you are using a Layer Cake and following the instructions from this blog post variation, this video below will be more applicable. It's almost exactly the same as the video above, except the measurements for the no-waste flying geese are different.
Tip # 1: Use the chart on page 4 to determine your number of geese.
On the top of page four of the Starling pattern is a chart listing out the number of square-in-square units and flying geese units you need for each quilt size. I'm making the throw size, so I need 56 geese that measure 9 1/4" x 4 7/8" once they are trimmed.
Side note: 9 1/4" x 4 7/8" sounds weirder than it is. I promise two things: once you get the hang of trimming flying geese to these dimensions they won't feel weird anymore and also the math really does work out and in the end your blocks will fit together beautifully.
Tip # 2: Crease your guidelines.
I've got a lot of e 5 1/2" squares and I really don't want to draw a diagonal guideline on each one. What I'm going to do instead is take my pile of 5 1/2" squares over to my ironing board and iron a crisp diagonal crease in them. With a hot iron, I should be able to stack at least four on top of each other and get them creased and ready for sewing in a couple minutes.
One thing I recommend if you choose to crease your squares, is to turn off the light on your sewing machine. This will seem counter intuitive, but the absence of such a harsh little light should help you see the crease better.
If spring has sprung and the warmer weather has you steering clear of your iron, a roller is another option. This will be a slower option, so it's not my first choice.
Caveat! Creases can be hard to see. Because of this, creasing is not usually my go-to way of marking guidelines, however its speed, in this case, is why I chose it. I suggest doing a test — crease one square with your fingers, take it to your sewing machine, and see if whether or not the crease is visible enough for you to actually use it as a helpful guideline.
Tip # 3: Pin for the first couple seams.
In this four-at-a-time flying geese method we sew two long seams and then four shorter seams. I suggest pinning, at least at first, during those first passes through your machine. Once you get to the next step (Fig. 15 in the pattern) pinning is more optional based on your sewing accuracy. (I probably won't pin then.)
Pssst! Don't forget to chain piece!
Tip # 4: Use your best pressing skills.
Remember those fabulous pressing skills from last week? Just keep doing what you've been doing and these geese will turn out chef's kiss PERFECT!
Tip # 5: Save time by stacking.
This is just a fun little hack if you want to save a bit of time. If you're new and unsure about this process, no need to do this. However, if you do choose to stack your units before slicing, line up the seams so you don't accidentally slice through one of them.
I found that stacking three at a time was the perfect number for me. Not too many that I messed up, but enough that it did make the process go quickly.
Tip # 6: Prepare you ruler.
Just like I mention in the video, preparing your ruler with some tape and a mark at the goose's beak will make your trimming a lot easier. If you don't want to use a sharpie on your ruler, a dry erase marker will work too.
Do you see the goose beak Sharpie mark? It's tiny and you may have to zoom in, but it's there. That dot is the first thing I line up. I then wiggle the ruler around to line everything up.
Let me know how your geese turn out in the comments below! Have some flying geese tips of your own? Share them with us!
Week 4 Sponsor & Prize
Our Week 4 sponsor is Sandy from Thai Charm. We love Thai Charm for more than the beautiful fabric and fantastic quilt kits — Sandy is an amazing longarm quilter too! The winner of Week 4 will get FREE longarm quilting on a throw quilt from Sandy. Good luck!
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a pic of your Starling progress. Use #StarlingQuiltSA in the caption.
- You must have a public Instagram profile to participate.
- Each photo posted is an entry and you can enter as many times as you want in a single week. Once the week is over, those posts do not count in the next week's giveaway. Every week we start fresh.
- Your photo must be posted between Friday, April 21 and Friday, April 28. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. Central on the 28th.