Hey everyone! Thanks for stopping by today for my Mama Said Sew Mini Quilt Tutorial! It’s simple and a quick little project any quilter could get done in a day. I used one charm pack from the Mama Said Sew line by Sweetwater for Moda along with a couple solid prints and a fun border print to really give this mini quilt a fun look.
Today, I’ll be sharing with you a technique on making perfect points and perfect seams on your flying geese. The technique is a little different, and makes for slightly bulkier seams but once you learn it and see how wonderful your points and seams turn out, you’ll never want to go back!
Let’s get right to it!
Mama Said Sew Mini Quilt:
Finished Size: 29 1/2″ x 31 1/2″
Please read all directions before you begin.
Measurements include ¼” seam allowance.
Sew with right sides together.
- 1 Charm Pack (must include 40 fabrics)
- 1/4 yard Solid White Fabric (I picked an off-white that matched the Mama Said Sew fabric line)
- 1/4 yard Solid Red Fabric
- 1/2 yard Border (I picked a white on black print from the Mama Said Sew line)
- 1 yard Backing
- 1/3 yard Binding
From White Fabric:
3 strips cut 3 1/2″ x WOF
subcut into 3 – 2 1/2″ x 20 1/2″ strips
From Red Fabric:
4 strips cut 1 1/2″ x WOF
subcut into 4 – 1 1/2″ x 22 1/2″ strips
From Border Fabric:
4 strips cut 4″ x WOF
subcut into 2 – 4″ x 24 1/2″ and 2 – 4″ x 29 1/2″
Charm Pack Cutting Instructions:
Take 40 – 5″ x 5″ squares from charm pack and cut in half to make 80 – 2 1/2″ x 5″ pieces. When cutting the charm pack squares apart, make sure to separate into two piles. One half of the square in one pile, the other half of the square in a separate pile. It’s important to keep the two halves of each square in separate piles as they will help in add variety to the pieced flying geese later.
Take one pile and subcut into 40 – 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ strips. Set these aside.
Then take the other pile and subcut each 2 1/2″ x 5″ strip in half — resulting in 80 – 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares. Keep pairs of same fabric together.
Take your 40 – 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ strips and 80 – 2 1/2″ squares and follow diagrams below to piece.
Step 1: Grab 1 – 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ strip and a complimentary pair of 2 1/2″ squares. Draw a line diagonally across the wrong side of the two squares.
Step 2: Place one square right side down on top of the strip as shown in image below. Starting from the inside most part of the drawn line on the back of the square, sew just to the left of the line. — Trying to start at the point where the two pieces meet makes it hard for your feed dogs on your machine to grab hold and start stitching. I find starting where there’s more surface area of the block available for your feed dogs to catch hold works for a cleaner start to sewing these blocks together. — And when I say just to the left of the drawn line, I mean as close to the drawn line without being on it. Sewing just to the left of the line will help when pressing in the steps to follow. See close up below for a demonstration of what I mean by “just to the left” of the drawn line.
Step 3: Repeat these steps for all the remaining strips and squares. You should have 40 pieces that look like the following image below.
Before you run to your cutting mat and cut as you usually would, follow this cutting technique to create perfect flying geese blocks!
Step 4: Take one of your 40 pieced blocks you created in steps 1 through 3 and follow the diagram below. You will only be cutting off the top layer of your square. In the image below I am lifting the one piece of the block you will be cutting off.
That means that you will be folding the back most fabric (in my example it’s the black fabric) underneath itself. Make sure not to catch it when cutting off your top piece. Measure your normal 1/4″ away from seam and cut the top most fabric off (in my example this is the off-white fabric). The image below shows the one fabric I will be cutting off.
Step 5: Your blocks should look like the image below after you’ve cut off the piece from Step 4. Repeat this cutting process for your remaining blocks.
Step 6: Press all 40 squares back onto the back-most fabric. Your block should look like the following image.
Step 7: Take remaining 40 squares (making sure to find the pair that coordinates with the one already sewn to your strips), put right sides together and sew just to the right of the diagonally traced line this time. Again, start at the inner point of the square lined up on your strip. It will make for easier sewing.
Step 8: Follow the same cutting method from step 4 for all of your remaining 40 blocks. (My black fabric is already folded under on itself in this next picture.)
Step 9: Press all 40 squares back onto the back-most fabric like you did step 6. Now, your block should look like the following image.
Before you start sewing your blocks together, let me *attempt* to explain the reason we’re keeping the extra fabric in the block and not cutting it off as you usually would.
Notice on this last image above that you can see a very slight piece of my black fabric peeking out on the top left-hand corner of this block? That is where the beginnings of wonky rows and not so precise piecing begins. Keeping the back most fabric in tact when sewing these blocks together to make your rows will ensure straight seams..and ultimately straight rows.
These back most fabrics (black in my example) are the pieces that were cut to the exact size at the beginning. If I decided to cut that piece off (like one might do normally without learning this technique) you could see that I would have the beginnings of a wonky block if I pieced that block to the next. And what if that next block was off by more than the one pictured above? You could imagine a row of blocks starting to look not so straight.
By lining up the back most fabric of the first block to the back most fabric of the next block — and still catching the front most fabric in the seam — you’ll have perfectly straight blocks. It takes the extra squaring up of the blocks out of the equation. Or if you’re like me, it takes the “guesstimations” of where you think the block was supposed to have ended up out of the equation as well. (I must not be alone in this fault of mine…right?) As long as you catch your front most fabric in the seam when piecing two blocks together, and have your back most fabrics all lined up with each other, you seams should come out perfect!
Assembling Your Quilt Top:
Step 1: Separate your 40 finished flying geese blocks into 4 rows of 10 and sew together into rows following my notes above about lining up back most fabrics with each other and making sure to catch front most fabrics in the seams.
Note/Tip: I used my walking foot to sew the remaining steps in this tutorial. Using my walking foot would ensure no stretching of the blocks in the piecing of these flying geese blocks. It would also help feed through the thicker seams and not allow the seams to shift as they might do under your standard foot on your machine.
Step 2: Then take your 3 – 2 1/2″ x 20 1/2″ white strips and sew them to the right side of the first three rows.
Step 3: Take your rows and sew together.
Step 4: Take 2 of your 1 1/2″ x 22 1/2″ red strips and sew to the long sides of your quilt. (That means you will rotate your quilt top 90 degrees clockwise if you’re referring to the image above. If you feel better — as the quilt top is almost square in shape — measure each of the sides and figure out which one is the 22 1/2″ side and sew your first two red strips to both of those sides.) Then take your 2 remaining 1 1/2″ x 22 1/2″ red strips and sew them to the top and bottom of your quilt.
Step 5: Take your 2 – 4″ x 24 1/2″ border strips and again, sew to the two long sides of your quilt. Then take your remaining 2 – 4″ x 29 1/2″ and sew them to the top and bottom of your quilt.
Finish your quilt by layering your finished quilt top, batting and backing. Quilt layers together and bind. (Fabric requirements are for 2½” cut strips for binding.)
And there you have it! Baste, quilt, bind and you’re ready to go! I loved the finished look — and what did I tell you? Those flying geese came out just perfect! I’m soo excited to quilt it and hang it in my room. :)
I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial on my Mama Said Sew Mini Quilt. :) The piecing and cutting technique for these blocks is one of my favorites and I’ve used it in so many of my quilt projects. It really makes for (nearly) perfect sewing.
If you have any questions about this tutorial, please feel free to send me a message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. :) Thanks for stopping by and Happy Quilting!
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