Hi! It’s Kitty from Night Quilter! I’m here to share a 24” wall quilt flimsy (quilt top) I made using the new BigZ XL Geese Crossing die by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, introduced last month at Quilt Market. Today I’ll show you step by step how you can make a quilt just like this one. The mini quilt is made of four (4) 12" finished Geese Crossing blocks, and you could just as easily turn it into a large throw pillow, or make more blocks for a larger quilt. Let’s get started!
In looking at the different suggested layouts included with the Geese Crossing die, I thought it would be fun to combine two different layouts to create a fade from dark to light, letting the geese point the way to the light. I love monochromatic color gradients and value play, and this die is a fabulous one for emphasizing them. Our garden peonies accompanied and inspired me on this value play project.
First select your fabric. I used a dark purple to light pink fade for mine. You’ll need a dark focal fabric, a light focal fabric, and a gradient of four other fabrics in between. A white or strongly contrasting background fabric will help make this color gradient the focus (I used Kona white).
One tip to checking your value, which is the visible lightness or darkness of a color, is to view a photo of your fabric selection in black and white. Value is relative, so a fabric that may look “lighter” than another may actually read darker when viewed in black and white. Most phone cameras can take black and white photos, which makes them quite a handy tool when selecting fabrics in a specific color/value gradient.
Once you have your fabric selected, it’s time to cut! For this mini quilt, you will need to cut the following (refer to fabric numbers in the photo above):
Make your Sizzix sandwich: bottom cutting pad, Geese Crossing die with the blade facing up, fabric over the appropriate blade (you can cut all 8 of your geese at once for each color), top cutting pad, and crank it right through the die cutting machine. I used my Fabi which is the same size as the new Big Shot Fabric series. To minimize fabric waste, I decided to cut the full goose (main part and two corners) of some of the color and background fabrics.
Since the quilt top only needs the color goose and background corners, I plan to use the reverse (background goose and color corners, shown above) on the back, or perhaps for a coordinating pillow! Waste not, want not! I rotary cut a 5 1/2” x width of fabric (WOF) strip of each color fabric, 4 1/2” x WOF background when cutting small squares, and 2 1/2” x WOF background when cutting only goose corners to speed up the process.
Once all of your pieces are cut, it’s time to start piecing! Begin by piecing all of your geese.
Sew a background corner to each color goose corner as shown. Chain piecing all of the corners on one side of each goose, and then chain piecing the corner on the other side of each goose will save a lot of time here.
It is helpful to use a straight stitch plate if you have one since you’ll be entering each seam on an angle. Also, note that beginning on the top edge of each goose corner instead of the bottom, pointier edge will help prevent your fabric from bunching while chain piecing. That means that during one pass of chain piecing, the background corner fabric will be on top, and during the second pass, the background corner fabric will be on the bottom (shown above with my Bernina 560 straight stitch plate).
I like to press my seams open, but feel free to press toward the dark fabric.
Once all of your geese are sewn and pressed, it’s time to layout your quilt top!
Lay out all of the pieces as shown. Note that the geese point from dark toward light.
Next, it’s time to start sewing it all together! Begin by sewing adjacent pairs of geese together. Press seams open.
Continue to sew adjacent blocks together, pressing seams open.
*Tip for perfect points*
When sewing your geese to the adjacent background fabric, this tip will help you get perfect points every time.
Position your fabric so that the geese fabric is on top so that you can see where your point should be.
As you sew, be sure that your needle enters the fabric exactly on that point, or a thread to the right of the point.
You will get perfect points every time!
Continue sewing adjacent blocks together until the quilt top is sewn into three rows.
Sew rows together, pinning directly after each seam join, and using the perfect points tip mentioned above.
Press seams open, admire your Geese Crossing mini quilt top!
In the meantime, I will be enjoying the color play of our peonies, which are a perfect color match for this quilt!
- 1/4 yard or fat quarter (FQ) dark feature fabric (I used Mochi Floral in Purple by Rashida Coleman Hale for Cotton & Steel)
- 1/4 yard or FQ light feature fabric (I used Pink Stars from Mustang by Melody Miller for Cotton & Steel)
- 1/4 yard or FQ of four (4) different fabrics in a value gradient between your dark and light fabrics (I used, dark to light, Haystack Bouquet in Navy from True Colors by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics, unknown pink from my stash, Snakebrush in Purple from Honeymoon by Sarah Watts for Cotton & Steel, Daisies from Mustang by Melody Miller for Cotton & Steel)
- 1 yard background fabric (I used Kona white by Robert Kaufman Fabrics)
- Thread for piecing (I used 50 wt Aurifil 2600-Dove)
- Sewing machine (I used my Bernina 560)
- Straight stitch plate (optional, but helpful if you have it!)
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Thread snips