Firstly I have no affiliation whatsoever to the maker of this ruler. There is a tutorial in the packaging of the ruler that is clear to follow and there is a video tutorial on the Open Gate Quilts website you can view here. The ruler is designed and produced by Monique Dilard of Open Gate Quilts. Monique has co-authored several block of the month quilts and has also authored the new book “Fat Quarter Winners” which is out this year, go and look at some of the stunning quilts in it over here.
I first heard about the ruler last month when I was about to start my Le Petite Project for February. It was the Schnibbles pattern called Sweet Spot, designed by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosies Quilt Co. Sherri at A Quilting Life mentioned that Carrie had mentioned on her blog and in her patterns what a great ruler this was and how wonderful it was for working with lots and lots of flying geese. As the pattern called for 100 flying geese units, I bought it along with the pattern.
I read comments from some people on Sherri’s blog about wanting a tutorial, so I am going to attempt to do the ruler justice and try to write one now.
I used the Mini Fit to Be Geese Ruler which is used to create flying geese units that Finish at (after trimming not sewing) between 1&1/4 by 2 inches and 2 by 3&1/2 inches. I’m a metric girl myself so please forgive formatting of those numbers.
There are 2 ways to trim with the Ruler, one is used for the biggest Flying geese unit you can use with the ruler, and the other for all the other sizes. In the Schnibble project mentioned above, I used it to get the largest flying geese units from the ruler. They are trimmed at 2 by 3&1/2 inches and finish in the quilt at 1&1/2 by 3inches.
I am not an experienced quilter and neither am I an experienced sewer, so getting points to meet is not something I have achieved (see my previous post for a very good example) in abundance, so believe me when I say, this is a great method and a very useful tool.
The basic idea of the ruler is working with pieces slightly bigger than required and trimming your geese to perfection. The instructions include the sizes that you need to cut your pieces for each size flying geese unit that you would like to make.
For Either Method These Steps need to be Completed First
Step 1 – Cut your pieces to the sizes given in the instructions
Step 2 – Chain piece one sky unit triangle piece to the geese triangle piece.
Step 3 Open up the units and press the seams flat (I pressed toward the Sky unit)
Step 4 Chain piece your other sky unit to the pressed geese and sky unit.
Step 5 Open up the units and press the seams flat (this time they just wanted to go the other side, so I let em)
Method One – For Biggest Flying Geese Unit (it’s probably actually method 2, but this is how I used the ruler for my first 100 flying geese!)
Step 1 Place the flying geese unit with the goose pointing up. Lay the ruler on top of the unit so that the triangle and the centre line on the ruler aligns with the top and centre of the goose.
Unlike my example, you are a better stitcher and your triangle will actually match to that on the ruler!
Step 2 Trim the excess from the top of and the right side of the ruler.
Step 3 Rotate your flying geese unit 180 degrees so that the goose is now flying down and lay the ruler the same way you did, now with the centre line going through the head of your goose.
Step 4 Trim the excess from the top and right side of the ruler. (I assume that if you are left handed this may be different, but I don’t know anyone who is to check with them right now, if you are and have used this ruler, let me know and I will add info for that) I found it easier here to put more pressure on the top of the ruler (because of the seam at the arrow or goose head) to stop sliding.
Et Voilas, your trimmed Flying Geese Unit!
it only looks like a gap there ok? it’s the angle I took the shot at 🙂
Method 2 For All Other Size Flying Geese Units
Step 1 Place the flying geese unit with the goose flying up and lay your ruler over the top of the unit so that the top of the triangle and the centre line matches up.
Step 2 Trim the top of the unit to 1/4inch from the apex of the triangle (the nose of the goose or the head of the arrow).
Step 3 Rotate your flying geese unit so that the goose is flying down. Lay the ruler on top of the unit with the bottom of the rectangle of the size of unit you are working with lined up with the bottom and the centre line going through the point. [If you think there is nothing to trim, you are using the wrong rectangle…]
Step 4 Trim the top (technically the bottom) of the unit.
Step 5 Rotate your flying geese unit again now so that the goose is flying to your left. Lay the ruler over the unit, so that the red rectangle that matches the size of your unit is aligned with the sides (actually the top and bottom of your unit). Use the centre line of the red rectangle to ensure your unit is straight. [Again, if things don’t look right, you are probably using the wrong lines]
Step 6 Trim the excess from above the ruler.
Step 7 Rotate your goosey again so that they are flying to your right. Lay your ruler on top again aligning the sides of the red rectangle that matches the size of your flying geese unit. This time in addition to using the centre line of the rectangle to ensure your goose is flying straight, the bottom of the rectangle should also align with the bottom of the unit.
Step 8 Again, trim the excess from the top of the ruler. It looks like there is nothing left to trim there, so I took a closer shot to show you.
And again, even a gooby like me, who can barely sew straight, is able to produce uniform flying geese.
Any errors, or questions or anything, let me know so I can fix it!
I think it’s appropriate for me to mention that whilst writing this entry I have been munching on Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC to Australians but I know most Americans don’t say that, cos I was heard as saying Cave Sea when saying it!) Wicked Wings. Get it? Wings and Flying Geese… Hardy har har.
PS I am also not affiliated in any way with KFC