Welcome to the Annabelle Block of the Month!
8.5.2020

Hello and welcome! My name is Kristin Gassaway, and I’m the designer of the Annabelle quilt sold here at Connecting Threads. I’ll be posting tips and updates as we make this quilt together over the next 9 months.

For this first month we will start with a *bang* by making the center medallion portion of the quilt. This will probably be the most technically challenging part of the quilt, so everything should be smooth sailing after this.

I like to make no-waste flying geese whenever possible, and since we will be making A LOT of them over the next 9 months I figured I’d give you a quick photo tutorial of the process.

Before we begin I have a quick tip: After years of frustration in getting my pieces to be the “perfect” size while quilting, I finally got smart! Now whenever I’m making flying geese or half-square triangles, I cut my pieces just a scant larger than what is being asked (as in less than 1/16″ bigger, like a couple of threads larger), and then sew everything just a scant under a 1/4″ seam allowance. This way I always have room to trim and size everything to perfection.

To make flying geese that will measure 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ (which becomes 2″ x 4″ when sewn in the finished quilt), start by placing two 2-7/8″ squares corner to corner on a 5-1/4″ square. If you haven’t already done so, mark a line down the center. I LOVE Chaco liners by Clover, but use whatever marker you prefer.

Stitch a 1/4″ away from EACH side of the center marked line. I used red thread so you can see my stitching. Cut ON the marked line and then press the triangles downward.

Next, place another 2-7/8″ square on each unit as shown, draw a line down the center from corner to corner, and stitch a 1/4″ away from the marked lines.

Cut on the marked line again, and press. Voila! You now how 4 flying geese and no wasted fabric!

I always trim my flying geese to make sure they are accurate, and my MOST FAVORITE tool for this is the Bloc Log flying geese ruler. I get PERFECT flying geese every time, because this tool makes trimming them to size a breeze! I’m not paid to promote them, I just love them and I feel they are worth the investment because they take the guess work out of true-ing things up. Plus it goes much faster! We will be making a lot of the 2″ x 4″ size in this quilt, so if you were to buy just one, that would be the size I would recommend.

Bloc-Locs are amazing!

Next, we will be making a few Half Square triangles to add to our center star. FYI, at the end of step 5, your block should measure 12-1/2″ square. somehow I left that off the pattern. Oops!

12-1/2″ square

Now we can make the rest of the components we need to put this all together. For steps 6 and 7 we will make some fun triangle units. I always like to “trim the tails” off when sewing pieces like this, but its optional.

Tails have been trimmed!

A word about pressing directions: Most of the time when we sew, the quilt “tells” us which way to press the seams to reduce bulk. For example, in step 10, the obvious choice is to press the seams toward the N squares. But sometimes there is NO easy way to press seams when there are so many points coming together, and this center medallion was one of those times. I agonized over which way to tell you to press seams, because regardless of what you do, there is either a lot of unwanted bulk, or you end up sewing seams that don’t nest together well, especially with these outer borders in step 11. I ended up going with less bulk, and having some of the seams pressed open.

Seams are pressed open to reduce bulk.

That being said, you can choose to press the seams differently to have everything nest together, however you will end up with some slightly bulkier seams. For example, In step 7, you can choose to press the 2nd M triangle towards the L/G square, rather than away from it. You can also press HALF of the A triangles toward the L/G-M unit. This will allow all the seams to nest together when sewing the pairs together in step 8. However, this creates some bulk later on when those units are sewn to the sides of the quilt, so that is the trade-off you live with.

Here is an example of how to press the seams to allow for the pieces to nest together.
One of the M triangles is pressed up in both units, and the unit on the left has the A triangle pressed up as well.

And for step 11, no matter which way you have sewn or how you press the seams you will have some unavoidable awkward bulkiness, so it is entirely up to you which bulky seams you want to live with. Or you can also press them open if you prefer. Fortunately won’t matter either way moving forward with the quilt, so press those seams which ever way makes you happy.

Getting ready to sew it all together.

Next month we will add some fun little flying geese borders, which will be a snap! Thanks for popping by! – Kristin


12 comments

  1. Teresa - August 5, 2020

    It’s so pretty! Thanks for the flying geese tip, I have Calling All Geese by Eleanor Burns. And Bloc Loc.

    Reply
  2. Janet Kostiuk - August 5, 2020

    Can’t quite understand your method. What are you sewing to the 5 1/4”:square? It just says to lay the square w/2 -2 7/8 Squares on the corners. How are they attached?

    Reply
    • Kristin Gassaway - August 5, 2020

      You are to sew a 1/4″ away from each side of the marked lines, which are drawn on the 2-7/8″ squares that are placed on the 5-1/4″ square. This overview of the no-waste flying geese method on this blog is meant to accompany the written directions for month 1, which are more detailed. You can refer to steps 1 and 2 on the instructions to go with the photos on this blog post. Hope this helps! -Kristin

      Reply
  3. Janet Kostiuk - August 5, 2020

    Can’t quite understand your method. What are you sewing to the 5 1/4”:square? It just says to lay the square w/2 -2 7/8 Squares on the corners. How are they attached?
    Did not post this previously!

    Reply
  4. Tina Wood - August 6, 2020

    What is the finished quilt size plz

    Reply
    • Kristin Gassaway - August 6, 2020

      It’s approximately 92-1/2″ square.

      Reply
      • Tina Wood - August 8, 2020

        Great. Yes I really want to make this quilt ☺️

        Reply
  5. Mary Kay - August 6, 2020

    Will these need to be back stitched when making or just sew through?

    Reply
    • Kristin Gassaway - August 6, 2020

      You can just sew through. That’s what I always do.

      Reply
  6. Anna - August 8, 2020

    When will the 1st one be mailed out?

    Reply
  7. Lois - August 16, 2020

    Thanks Kristen for showing me how to sew flying geese in multiples. I have not ever done them that way but will in the future. The block was well written and fairly fast to make.

    Reply
  8. Nancy Gries - September 23, 2020

    Is there anyone who has signed up and needing to cancel? If you still have your material for the first few months, I would love to take your spot.

    Reply

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