This one is going to be picture-heavy. I think that’s a good thing, right? Also, it’s going to be an informative one, and there will be bikinis.
Not me in a bikini. I wouldn’t do that to you. This will make more sense at the end.
Anyway, the next block up is Kouign Amann by Laurie Simpson of Minick & Simpson, and it is delightfully fussy. This is the sort of insanity that I came here for. And it’s funny because, as I was sketching it out, I noticed so many similarities with Week 1’s Square Wheel, but this worked so much more for me.
And terrified me. Look at that thing.
Now, I immediately modified the previous two blocks. The first one I modified to match my aesthetic better. The second one because I wanted that strudel. But this one I both liked and was intimidated by, so I wasn’t about to do any modifications.
Nice, simple. Big center of that pattern fabric with hints of it on the perimeter in those Flying Geese. Also, I haven’t had a chance to mention this yet, but I am obsessed with Flying Geese. My quilting journey has mostly been about figuring things out as I go along and learning skills as I come across them in patterns. I don’t think there’s anything unusual about this — I’m several generations removed from any textile art heritage, as I think the average American woman is. I wasn’t taught by my foremothers, and I never thought to take a class or pick up a quilting textbook. I’m assuming that’s a thing.
Because of that, I only recently discovered Flying Geese (FG) units. The first method I learned was the stitch and flip, which was easy but wasteful, and I am the most frugal/stingiest person you will ever meet. I provided that link because it really is the easiest method and there’s no complicated math. As long as you know how to add seam allowance to a rectangle, you got this. But I loathe waste, so I needed another method, and the no waste, four at a time method is magic.
Right off, I’m going to tell you that the math for this is a bit of a headache. You’ll need one square 1 1/4″ larger than the width of the finished goose and four squares 7/8″ larger than the height of the finished goose. It’s not terrible math, of course, but it’s just enough that when your head is already swimming with numbers, it’s easy to make a mistake. Since math mistakes usually end up in the waste basket, we want to avoid that, which is why I’m linking to Quilting Jetgirl here. She’s already done the math and provided us with a reference chart. For the Kouign Amann block, I’ll need four 3″ x 1 1/2″ geese. According to Quilting Jetgirl’s chart (and confirmed by the block’s instructions), I’ll be using a 4 1/4″ square of my patterned fabric and four 2 3/8″ squares of pink.
If you’re looking at this and thinking there’s no way this is going to give us the four geese it says it will, I know. I’m right there with you. I wish I could tell you who came up with this method because it’s insane and genius, and I have no idea how they figured it out.
To start, you’re going to line up two of the small squares to opposite corners of the large square, right sides facing. Draw a diagonal line between those corners. Note that I used the 45° guide on my mat instead of trusting my squares. I’m using a frixion pen, which vanishes when heat is applied to it (i.e, when ironed), so it’s great for quilting in most situations. *Frixion ink reappears at 40°F/4°C. It will wash out over time, but it’s something you need to know if you plan to use them to mark your quilting pattern.*
Stitch a scant 1/4″ on either side of the line you drew (I forgot to take a picture of it, but you’ll see it again in a couple steps). After you’ve stitched both sides, cut along the drawn line. I prefer using scissors for this. Press each unit open to reveal this shape that is 100% a heart and not even remotely a flying goose. Don’t worry, it’s going to work out.
Place remaining squares on the corners of the heart units. Draw diagonal line across square as before.
There! That’s the stitch you needed to do before as well. A scant 1/4″ on either side. If you struggle with scant 1/4″, the Quilting Jetgirl recommends cutting the small square 1/8″ bigger and the large square 1/4″ bigger and then trimming down if need be. You should read that post. She’s got great advice in it.
Cut on drawn line again and voila! four flying geese! It’s magic, swear to god.
Once I got all my geese made, I had a stack of HSTs as well, but that’s another post. Once I had all my units made, I laid out my block. I recommend doing this no matter how simple the block is to prevent stitching pieces incorrectly. It won’t prevent it entirely — trust me — but it cuts those errors way down. The other perk to it is sometimes, you’ll discover that there’s a better layout you can do.
Holy smokes! I don’t know about you, but flipping those gees made it a whole different square to me, one that I’m head-over-tits in love with. Look at that diamond! Look at it!
Also, as you can see best in the finished block, I inadvertently made little pink bikinis in the corners.