Sunday, March 27, 2016

Goose pockets

 Linda Theil's sample "Goose Pockets" in Moda's "Garden Fruits" line designed by Tim and Beck -- note the bottom geese were not inserted properly in the fabric sandwich and so will have their points eliminated when they are sewn into a hanging. Please see instruction below to avoid this problem in your goose pockets.

I watched Jenny Doan's "One Seam Flying Geese" tutorial on the Missouri Star Quilt Company YouTube channel and was intrigued by the little pockets her one-seam method created on the surface of her work. I thought the pattern would be cute made up as an Advent calendar; and sure enough, Doan included in her video an Advent calendar that she created using her one-seam Flying Geese method. Doan also provided a four-color PDF of a "Christmas Bucket List" of little cards to print out and tuck into each pocket.

I thought I remembered how Doan made her geese from the video, but discovered it wasn't as easy as I thought and my first goose had two flaps but no wings! My second attempt gave me geese that were sure to lose their points when they were seamed together.

So I decided to work out a step-by-step method that I could refer to whenever I decided to make these one-seam, goose pockets. 

Note: If you don't want pockets in your quilt or hanging, just stitch the hypotenuse closed when you quilt the project.

Goose Pockets

Cut two five inch squares of fabric in your choice of background color. The fabric I used is from a layer cake of 10-inch squares in the "Garden Fruits" line by Tim and Beck for Moda.

Cut one 5 x 10 inch rectangle of contrasting fabric in your pocket color choice.

Lay one five inch background square on your sewing table, with the right side of the fabric facing up.

Fold your pocket rectangle in half with right sides facing out to make a five inch square.

With the fold facing the bottom of the background square on your table, place your folded pocket rectangle on top of the square with the fold placed 3/8 inch from the bottom of the background square. Note: this will make the pocket extend past the top edge of the background square. You will trim this off later.

Place your second background square, right side down (with the wrong side of your background fabric facing up) on top of first square, sandwiching the folded rectangle between the two five-inch squares.

Visual of goose-pocket sandwich. (Note that the bottom edges of the two background squares meet evenly with the pocket sandwiched 3/8-inch up from the bottom of the square.)

Place pins into your goose-pocket sandwich with the tips pointing to the left hand side of square. The pins are pointing to the edge along which you will sew a 1/4 inch seam.

Stitching one-seam, goose-pocket sandwich.

Open out and press.
Note: In this picture, the folded edge is at the top of the photo. 

Lift one edge of the folded rectangle pocket, and pull it open.

Keep lifting until . . .

. . . the raw edges of the fabric line up along the bottom and the goose pockets are formed.

Trim to even the bottom of the pocket, making the block five inches wide.

Completed Flying Geese block with pockets, made with one seam. Note that the seam allowance at the top of the block will insure the point of the wings won't get bitten off when you sew your blocks together.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

March quilt-day with GAAQG

Detail from Annette Ornelas' "Meet the Peeps!" quilt.

Annette Ornelas speaks at GAAQG
Quilt designer and teacher Annette Ornelas of Fayetteville, NC presented her work March 19, 2016 at the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild's  "quilt-day" meeting held bi-monthly at Washtenaw Community College. At the lecture, Ornelas described her idiosyncratic method for creating curved images in her quilts: "It's a little like Cathedral Window, but it's not as fussy." In an interview featured in the GAAQG blog Ornelas said:
My curves are dimensional. They are achieved through folded inserts, which are peeled-back, smoothed into a curvy shape and top-stitched. They are all done through straight-line piecing -- with curved results.
Central motif of Annette Ornelas' "Meet the Peeps!" quilt.

Ornelas taught two classes to guild members during her visit. GAAQG member Janet Rost was in Ornelas' Friday class, and shared the work she created in the photo below.
Janet Rost displays work created in Annette Ornelas' workshop for GAAQG 
at Washtenaw Community College, March 18, 2016.

Those who missed Annette Ornelas' Ann Arbor visit may explore her method by purchasing instructions for her "Meet the Peeps!" quilt and other creations on her Southwind Designs website.

June Guthrie shares her newest work

Detail of June Guthrie's latest project.

Before the GAAQG meeting, guild member June Guthrie shared her new work with us.

June Guthrie shows her new, scrappy quilt-top.

"It's my scrappy, I-don't-want-to-follow-a-pattern technique," Guthrie said with a smile.

Guthrie is a member of the Creative Seasons small group, one of several small groups supported by the GAAQG. Creative Seasons is celebrating its ninth anniversary next month with a challenge featuring the number nine.

"I learned a lot from being in that group," Guthrie said.

Mary Hogan teaches Teacup Pincushions how-to

Mary Hogan teaches mini-workshop on teacup pincushions.

GAAQG member Mary Hogan taught a mini-workshop on teacup pincushions yesterday at GAAQG quilt-day. Hogan is the author of the new book, String Quilt Style: Easy techniques and inspiring designs from strips, scraps, and stash (Landauer Publishing, 2016). She is a teacher and lecturer and can be reached at mhogan3656 at yahoo dot com.

String Quilt Style by GAAQG member, Mary Hogan.

Mary Hogan's teacup pincushion:

  • Purchase a pretty teacup and saucer second-hand.
  • Trace the saucer on the wrong side of a piece of fabric to create an approximately nine-inch-diameter circle of fabric, cut out the circle leaving a 1/2-inch allowance outside the circle.
  • Hand-stitch a running-stitch around the edge of the circle about 3/8-inch from the edge.
  • Pull the basting to form a cup-like holder for fiberfill and fill with stuffing.
  • Pull the stitching tight and knot the thread to close the stuffing inside the circle of fabric.
  • Dot Aleene's Original Tacky Glue around the inside of a teacup and center the fiberfilled ball in the teacup, with the knot side in the bottom of the cup.
  • Glue the foot of a teacup to its saucer and set the teacup pincushion aside to dry.

Mary Hogan's teacup pincushions.

78 quilts made for Safehouse Center so far this year
At the March meeting, GAAQG members displayed 60 handmade quilts to be donated to Safehouse Center in Ann Arbor, bringing the 2016 total to 78 quilts donated so far.

GAAQG Quilt Day May 21, 2016
Non-members may attend for a $10 fee, or be sponsored by a GAAQG member at no charge.

Presenter Cathy Miller, known as “The Singing Quilter,” is a Canadian quilter and songwriter from Victoria British Columbia. Since September 2000 she and her husband John have toured a program of songs, stories and quilts to guild and quilting events across North America, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, France and Germany. They have performed at over 700 quilting events, and have released 5 CDs exclusively about quilting, plus a songbook.

Following the Quilt Day Meeting and Lecture on May 21, 2016 members and guests may plan to shop at the GAAQG sale of donated fabrics, books and notions.  All proceeds will go to SafeHouse Center.  To donate fabric, contact

Before and after the quilt day meeting May 21, 2016, Pat Wagner will conduct a mini-workshop on creating quilted, fabric boxes.

GAAQG Biennial Quilt Show
Members-only, unjuried show features 350 – 400 hanging entries, 25 vendors, door prizes, special exhibits, and a silent auction at Washtenaw Community College. To contribute to silent auction, contact
July 30-31, 2016

Other Events
“A Cloth of Earth & Sky: The Healing Power of Nature through the Eyes of African American Quilters”
10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. through April 24 
Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor MI

Fiber Expo - rovings, designer yarns, angora, cashmere, alpaca, wool and more
9-5 April 9, 10-4 April 10, 2016
Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, Ann Arbor MI

Needle Art Seminar SOLD OUT, wait list available
May 6-11, 2016
Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island MI