Quilt ADD in therapy

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Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. I am a longarm quilter who can work for you. I enjoy any style, from pantographs to all-over to full custom, ranging from traditional to modern. I love bringing vintage tops to life and am willing to work with a challenging quilt top. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Monday, October 31, 2011

Celebrate Christmas Block #22: Circle of Geese Wreath

Welcome to today’s block for Celebrate Christmas!

What a fun program to be a part of! Make sure you check out the current Super Deals, and post any blocks you make in the Celebrate Christmas Quilt-Along Flickr Group so you will have a chance at those great button prizes from Button Mad! Cool beans, man!  :D

I decided to take that really fun Circle of Geese block that I’ve been wanting to make all year, and modify it into a Circle of Geese Wreath. I think this would look fantastic in any holiday fabric color scheme.  It does involve paper foundation piecing, but I’m going to walk you through that, so don’t sweat.  ;D

You'll need paper printouts to sew on, green scraps (a 4 1/2" square cut diagonally works well for 2 geese), a fat-quarter's worth of background fabrics, red scraps for the ribbon, and whatever applique supplies you prefer (I used steam-a-seam).

First, print and prepare the pieces. 

Go to the free block pattern offered by Beth Maddocks at her Piece by Number site: http://piecebynumber.com/pastbom/CircleOfGeese-PieceByNumber.pdf

Print out FIVE copies of page 1 -or- page 2 (depending on which way you want your wreath to spin – please note that it will spin the opposite direction from the pattern because of the way the foundation method works)

We are going to circumvent a common problem with print-out patterns, which is that you find that either your printer has scaled it down or the uploaded pattern is a wee bit too small.

Take your sheets and write “Extend this side” on the two edges as shown. (They touch piece 8 and pieces 2 and 5.)

(notice I printed the Clockwise Spin – your extensions will be on different sides if you print the other one)

Then trim FOUR of the patterns so that you’re about 1/8 inch away from the regular sides, and 1/2 inch away from the extended sides.  (I did mine in one stack to save time)

Take the FIFTH copy and cut it apart. We will use these as templates so we don’t waste a ton of fabric. I cut off the seam allowance on piece 9 and 3.

Layer four 7 x 11” pieces of background fabric FACE DOWN and then lay the templates on top. We want to cut 1/2 inch bigger than the template on each side.

For the green triangles, you can take some 4½” squares and cut in half on the diagonal, or find scraps that are big enough to fit the triangle plus a good ½" on each side.

Now let’s piece!

Turn the pattern over and swipe a glue stick in the center of piece 1 on the UNPRINTED side. (Use a household gluestick if you don’t have a quilting glue pen.) 

Then put down a green scrap FACE UP over the area, making sure you’ve covered the seam allowances around it. 
(Just turn it back around and hold it up in front of your computer screen to check the shadow.)

Now place it back on the table with the printed side up. Take one of those annoying advertisement postcards and line it up with the line by piece 2. 

Fold the pattern down. 

Lay your ruler so 1/4 inch hangs over, and trim it. 

Lay a background from template 2 RIGHT SIDE UP on the table nearby. 

Pick up the folded pattern and lay it on top, lining up the edge you just trimmed with the edge of the template. Also, you can see the outline of the folded-over part to make sure you’ve got piece 2 covered, INCLUDING ENOUGH FOR THE SEAM ALLOWANCES. 

(If your eyes don’t like trying to see that, you can trace the lines on the back.) 

Unfold the pattern and, unless you're super skilled at keeping these pieces where they're supposed to be, put a pin in. (See how I've placed it so that I can stitch without running over it?)

Sew ON THE LINE that’s between piece 1 and 2, extending all the way through the seam allowances that should be on either end.

Shorten your machine’s stitch setting, and tighten your top tension just a bit more than you would normally use. This will make life happy when it’s time to remove the papers.

Open the fabric out and press the fabric side without steam. 

(I do find that real pressing turns out much nicer for foundation piecing than finger pressing or rolling. I also lay a cheap piece of cotton/poly on my ironing board so printer ink doesn’t get on the board.)

Now for piece 3:  With this slightly complex pattern, you need to pop the paper off your stitching on the part that extends past the next line. No biggie. Who cares if it tears weird. Won’t matter.  :D

Once you’ve popped that, you can put the post card down, fold the line between piece 1 and 3, lay the ruler down and trim an added seam allowance, lay the unit on top of a FACE UP piece 3 fabric, open the paper back out, and sew on the line. (just like before)

Repeat the process for each new piece.  Sometimes you’ll have to pop more than one seam end through the paper when you need to fold on the next line. 

And - when you sew on a line that meets the extended sides - sew all the way to the edge of the paper.


When you lay down on top of whites, if you let the white jut out a smidge, you will avoid darker colors showing through the front side.

**Just make sure you ALWAYS add your ruler with the 1/4 inch extended. I’ve made the mistake of cutting right at the edge of the postcard (I guess my brain figured I put a measuring device down already when I put the postcard down). If this happens, then you get to unpick the last seam and redo the whole last piece (or more). So pay attention to what you’re doing.  :D

When you have all four quadrants pieced, trim the outside edges (leaving the 1/4 inch allowance intact) ONLY on the two inner sides. These are the side along Piece 9 and the side along Pieces  9, 3, and 1.

Now tear the paper off. 

This is a great excuse for sitting in front of your favorite show!  Works best for me if I go in reverse order from how they were sewed, pinching my left fingers right at the stitching on one end and roll-pulling the paper away along the length of the line while my left fingers slide along to support the stitches.

Sew the block together: 

Line the inside corners up on the straight edge, and sew two sets of these.  Just let those two untrimmed edges go as far as they want off the outer edge of the other quadrant.

And then put the halves together so that you end up with a block that looks like this.

Now it's time to square up the block to 12-1/2". 

If your printer scaled down the pattern, no worries - you're not short any where!  :D   

Add Christmas Embellishments: 

All that’s left is to cut a bow out of scraps and appliqué it on, using your favorite method. Throw some berries in, too, or a horn or a teddy, if you like!

If you like my bow, you can use my pattern. Here's a pdf file of it: Bow 

And if you want to print out this tutorial, here is a docx file you can access: Circle of Geese Wreath

Enjoy!!  This block is perfect for a modern sampler quilt or a pillow cover. 

Don't forget to explore the wonderful Celebrate Christmas site and post pics of the blocks you make at the Flikr group.  :D

Celebrate Christmas headquarters:

Flickr group:


  1. Cool block! So festive. And a good tutorial. There's something about flying geese that is so appealing.
    best, nadia

  2. Great tutorial! Very interesting block.

  3. Awesome block.I love it.congrats!!

  4. This is absolutely fabulous, Lyn! I've made this Circle of Geese block - in fact, I have a project going with them at the moment - and love your green rendition with the bow! It's just charming. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. thanks for a fun post over at celebrate christmas - I remember the days of quilting without rotary cutters too !!

  6. Wonderful tutorial....


  7. Great tutorial thank you so much for sharing it. I like the glue stick idea my first block slid a little and my pins kept getting in the way. Also the helper idea for folding it was pretty smart.


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