Monday, June 30, 2014

Circle of Geese - July's Bee Block!

If you follow me on Instagram (I go by, er, PearTreeStitching,) you will have noticed I am a fan of a block called "Circle of Geese."  Its a great little paper pieced block created by Christina over at The Sometimes Crafter.  My month for the Columbus MQG Bee is July - and you guessed it - I'll be requesting this gorgeous block from my fellow bee participants!

Here is the sample block I made up a few weeks ago - and have been staring at ever since:

I've had some time to consider parameters when asking ya'll to create this block so here goes nothing.

  1. If you've never paper pieced before, do NOT freak out.  Excellent tutorial here and here.  Also check out YouTube.  I repeat, DO NOT freak out and become overwhelmed before even starting.
  2. For the geese, choose your two favorite colors and go scrappy, if possible.  Each fabric should read as a single color.  Saturated colors are ideal - but not mandatory.
  3. Divide your two colors to each half of the circle of geese, as shown.
  4. For the background fabric, use a "mostly neutral" print… text, geometric, solid, floral - take your pick.  I do love Modern prints as I've been hoarding this MamaSaidSew newsprint for years… and finally chopped into it!  So use what you think will look good!
The completed block should measure 12.5" square (unfinished.)

Now for a few tips on paper piecing that are somewhat important, and will make your paper piecing experience hassle-free, hopefully.  The tutes will probably mention all of this, but I'll reiterate just in case:
  1. Plain old printer paper works fine, do NOT go out and buy a product that's specially made for paper piecing.  Seriously.
  2. I'll request the "Clockwise" circle of geese… but if you do the "Counter Clockwise" instead, I won't fuss.
  3. Check the 1" square on the printout to make sure it's EXACTLY 1".  Do it.
  4. Change your stitch length to itty bitty bitty, like on my Janome, the length of 1.0 is perfect for paper piecing. The only shorter line is 0, which is not moving.  Looks like a perforated line, as it should, and tearing it away will be easy.
  5. Start with a brand new needle.  
  6. Backstitch at beginning and end of each piece.
  7. Stitch about 1/8" into each seam allowance.  
  8.  Cut each piece of fabric LARGER than you think you'll need.  There will be a bit of waste, but it will save you from having to start over… since itty bitty bitty stitches cannot be ripped out (easily.)  Ahem - trust me.  ;)
If you love this block, check out more inspiration on Flickr

And because I am currently addicted to mini quilts - I blew up the pattern size to 125% and created this:

All of the prints are from various DS Quilts Collections (from Joanns.)  I am rather in love with how it turned out!  I chose some simple straight line quilting that echoes the two short sides of each, um, goose.  Twenty Four total lines make a pretty little geometric design, don't you think?

This mini measures about 15" square and the background is Essex Linen.  Yum.
Aurifil Cotton Mako Thread in 28 wt (thicker than the 50 I use for piecing) makes distinct quilting lines, as I wanted to show how geometric a circle of geese can be. 

Are you a fan of paper piecing?  If you've never tried it, why? 

Thanks for stopping by!



Kathy @ Kwilty Pleasures said...

Beautiful block. Your pp is superb! Tried pp many many years ago. Took LQS classes and screamed a lot. Repetition of the same block made it finally it "click" for me.

Sew Surprising said...

Love the blocks, and would really love to know about the text print fabric, its perfect for what Ive been looking for if you would like to share :) I adore paper piecing, really not sure why people seem really scared of it, for me its theraputic right down to removing the paper, and its just so neat front and back, which is a added bonus for me :)

DanaK ~ WaterPenny said...

Are you wanting the background fabric in shades of gray/black/white i.e. not beige or pale pink or something?

I am planning to actually finally make this in the next few days! I'm excited to try out this pattern.

Also I assume we leave in all the paper and let you deal with it? since you're not supposed to remove it till the blocks are all together...but I've always wondered what the etiquette is with bees if that is correct.

Carla said...

Cool block. I especially like it with the text print.