Improvising with Triangles: Flying Geese


10 Ways to Love Improvisational Quilting


Lesson Info

Improvising with Triangles: Flying Geese

So in the previous previously, we talked about triangles and mostly we talked about half square triangles and we're going to kind of keep up with some of that today, but we're going tio expand a little bit and to talk about some other possibilities with triangles in the segment, so I wanted to start off with very well known popular pattern called flying geese. Andi, I'm never quite sure how I want my geese where which direction I want my geese to fly, and I actually tried to different ways to make the flying geese kind of improvisational and my first way, which I like a lot I think is more complicated than the second way, and so I'm going to teach all the second way because it's very easy, very accessible, and it builds on what we learned yesterday with the half square triangles and from there we're going to learn about pyramids, which I guess is what I'm talk I'm calling these triangles I don't know if they're always called pyramids, but that's what I'm calling them on dh here too we'...

re going to kind of render them in black and whites who create them in black and white, but they certainly can they can be created in colors as well on dh, then I'm going to show you all a couple examples of what you can do if you want to combine triangles with some other shapes mostly squares on dh kind of expand that idea a little bit, eh? So let's get on to the flying geese eso here again we're going to create to make this version I mean, I can kind of briefly talk you through this version I mean, this version involves cutting a square square a rectangle of white fabric and then cutting squares of ah of the black and sewing them at an angle so that when you flip them up they create this this kind of point of sorts but it's actually easier and more accurate to do um as half square triangles and again, because flying these tends to go, you know, from top to bottom or side to side, you could create a really long row and then attach those long rose together to make a cool tough so again, I'm going to start with some black and white fabric and my rotary cutter and cut some some white squares and some black squares and make some half square triangles two per of white and black square combined. So I need a if I want to make four I'm going to need four pieces of black and four pieces of white and where we can go ahead and make those and then it's just a matter of of stacking them to arrange them and adding it are pieces of fabric that ing colors, mostly to kind of deal with the disparity of sizes. So I'm going to get myself to these in two of these that's a great little tool you're using there for country and malka just remind everybody at home what that bradesco's one you put your life on a o l f a I have always used in an awful brand, and I think it's because it's, one of the older brands around is my guest, but I know that there are other brands and make it some come with all sorts of, you know, they become, what with all sorts of gadgets and doodads that I don't know, I just like this one was very simple. I'm left handed in a lot of these kind of tools are not made for left handed people, so I find that this one is really good for me, so I just stick with it, but there's many brands out there and many companies making these, uh, these rotary cutters, so I'm just gonna press things nice and flat and draw my diagonal like we did previously for the half square triangles and start to make, uh, my my flying case, I mentioned earlier that you can make this on a really big scale to which I might just do, which is, ah, you know really I mean you could make your house square triangle each one this big and then you made huge flying geese um so let's get started on on making those and uh then will we'll talk about some other triangle possibilities I'm going to draw this line across the diagonal oftentimes I don't but um you can just kind of eye where that is but it doesn't hurt to draw it takes you know a few seconds and then it's there um stretch up to the tip he doesn't want to come with me but I'm gonna make it um so I'm going to use that drawn line as my guide um that's going to be kind of like my raw edge I'm going no that's the wrong what will be the riot of my of my block turn around and again I'm the uh the I'm on the left side of my guideline my red got kind of one per jugni um so I'm gonna grab my scissors malka a few people are asking the chap misery that if there's any particular equipment they need to prep it that that's the beauty of improv quilting we don't need any necessarily stock of supplies well I mean you want you know I mean I have a basket full of of solids and with a few prints I have these black and white fabric you definitely need ah stash of fabric I like to have lots of fabric choices because you can always choose not to use him, but thiss method really lenses itself to having a lot of variety or maybe it's just the way I work, but I think it really lends itself to variety, so when I teach these classes is is just kind of standard workshops to groups, I usually ask the people to come with about twenty five different solids or prince, and they may or may not use all those, but I would rather have it and then not have it. And then I feel like I can't really play because I don't have materials to play in terms of the threat you're using for the sewing you use just to standard white, yes, wider gray or to some kind of neutral color, because, I mean, you could use well, you would want to use something, say you wouldn't want to use red only or you won't let me do something to dark, because if I used black, I could potentially see it underneath, you know, underneath my white but, um, it's, just a good kind of standard choice to use and and then you don't have any any problems, whether it's kind of creeping out into the forefront. Which you don't want to see threat hanging up back especially once you quilted is when you might you know this you base the quality, get ready to quilt and then you discovered there's like some little orange threat in there, you know? And I can see it so that's that's never a good thing because at that point there's something you can do about it, right? Let's go ahead and make another one and that already make me to, um, triangles I can make these and I'll wills all demo t all how to make these also in terms of color as well, since we've really focused a lot in the previous segments about making things in black and white, but it has lots of possibilities collar ways you can play with color with this pattern all right, great to together we'll see what we get and that's actually the funniest part is that you until you cut these apart and open them up, you really don't know what exactly what size you've got and you put them together and you I kind of have to decide how my going toe how am I going to interact with the size disparities between the two sets of triangles in the two pairings? Even so, I could put them together like I did in this one where it's a black, a black flying geese or I'll have to know the genus and species of the black one versus the white one, or put put them together as opposites, which I think might be kind of cool too. I said, I'm going to put them together, is white and make another one, and then show you all how you would put the two these blocs together. Um, and another thing I've seen aa lot with flying cases where one is the direction is pointing up in one of the direction it's pointing down so there's really a lot of room. Tio teo, play around, and these were just kind of standard kind of things, so I have a fair amount of disparity between these two guys and that's good that's a good thing I have a question, do you ever trim off, like on my little there's, like a little bit of a triangle writing and you clean, it came. Yeah, you can if you want to, but not, but I don't usually you can, um, I am going to trim off here, I've got a little overhang, so I am going to trim that off only because I'm gonna have to turn it off eventually anyway, and over here I'm just going to turn it off, just it makes a nice even line. But I'm going to need to add something here and that's why having a basket of scraps is so great because you know instead of wondering well you know I only have three colors I just have to add one of my every colors you can add you know you have got a riel a real choice and I would I would really recommend trying something that you don't think it's going toe necessarily work I mean it might not work but it might also be a discovery I didn't think that that would work and then oh my goodness it looks great the worst thing that would happen is that you'd have to have replacing on that's not that bad all right so I can put these together and as I mentioned previously I like teo for whatever reason I like to kind of nest to little triangle scenes there seem of the half triangles together you don't have to I just don't know it I just feel like I like that look and I it's in my mind is the way I should do it all right so you've got to hear and they could be trimmed off so if they're sitting side by side and I actually decided oh yeah that's what I decided to do with that I was gonna make one go up and one goes down so let me go ahead and turn this relatively even and relatively is the right word is this is improvisation, and then I got another one that's ready, tio be sewn together. You gotta remember them doing white to white and here to aiken, either trim or add, I think I might go ahead and trim that rather than add so again, press it to one side and I'm going to trim rather than add to know I have to. It could be sewn together. I'm going to make one more pass square triangle pair to go here and then put those two the two rows together. I love that you call these flying keys. Yeah, it's very little electricity does actually make the case that something you made up words. No, no, it zvehr e old pattern really is. I'd love to say that I made it just between you and me. Yeah, you tell you that just won't go any further, right? We don't love to see your work. If there's anything that you're doing to follow along with malcolm making quilt home, take a picture uploaded to our galleries. You can do that by clicking on the course page. And you'll see the buttons share your work I'm sure chris we're also dropped that link directly into the chat room so you can do that we'd love to see your work and I'm sure all the other viewers would love to see what you're doing to also want to introduce somebody we've got four students in the studio today but you also have mallon breedlove joining us again today malam welcome back to creative life now mallon's a really expert sewing she's a real enthusiast is well but she's here today to help our students with any technical issues if they run into with any of our sewing machines but mallon europe you've bean passionate about something since you are a young girl and you're telling esther you major prom dress and yes I did and all of my clothes through high school fantastic yes me and my girlfriend we drive away dresses twins yeah so that was fun we had a good time to night school in tustin yeah did you ever think about following a career in fashion? I didn't spy at one time I did but I kind of got sidetracked with baking so now I've added baking to sewing so a great combination yes welcome out great to have you back with us today. Thank you and I wanted to give a tip um quoting there was a time I had trouble figuring out what color to use because I had a stash of so many colors so I put a flannel a flannel back tape a clock on the floor of the wall put my pieces down and kind of play with it that way uh and then you don't have to take it apart just roll it up to a later time and come back because I didn't have a very big apartment so that was a good way for me to kinda play with the colors in the fabric that I had that's a great tip places on the web you you thought of it way in advance but there are a lot of places on the web dl talked about making a temporary design wall on dice even making a design well could have like a wall you khun spare I've seen people use it as a wall in their kitchen you know or not in the kitchen in their dining room you know they'll build because you take a piece of foam core that well maybe not form core but I'm you can use like that styrofoam stuff that they use for ceilings or something that I think is better I did for the first time I ever made a design while this stuff called homeless oat board they use it in office is to divide up you know into cubbies and stuff like that so it's it's pretty lightweight and it's it's very easy to work with an intent to nail into and you put felt on it white felt you could use a color and then staple it onto the back and then uh yeah nail that up tio your wall and I've seen people literally put it in their dining room all right? Elson apparently has it in her dining room no, I have space so I'm lucky but I have a friend you know, in the bay area it's expensive so they haven't in their kitchen she has a window and then they have their table and then behind her her husband framed it so it has a nice frame and anyone stuff is up there looks like art and it's the same thing styrofoam insulation and covered it with batting right? And so what you have is just like you said, you have a surface where you can put the work as you're working on it uh it sticks up there you don't need pins you know and you can move it around and change it and you can see your whole image kind as it happens along and I used to have a very narrow little studio but it faced out to the backyard. I mean, it was literally very I mean, you know, maybe a little whiter than the table and so I used to go into my backyard and peeked through the windows so I could really see yeah, my neighbors never called anybody but but, uh, you know, you want to have space to step back, so if you don't just look through the window that's my advice only if you're looking at your quilting work otherwise don't look through your windows. There are other people who does, um so there's also this a nice little tool, especially, we really get into this, and you might own one of these two, um, isa reducing glass. So if it's, like a little looks like a magnifying glass with a handle, but instead of making things bigger, it makes them look like if you look through a camera lens, you know, and, um, deal haven't reducing glass. Yeah, no, I haven't I've used that ruby beholder, but usually right up to kind of give you a sense of what the value you tell folks what? What a ruby beholder. So it's a piece of red something clear and not clear, but translucent and red um, and you look through it and it kind of takes away all the color and you just see the value, right? So, you know, what's pretty easy to see the value here, but sometimes when you're working with colors, if you don't have a lot of value contrast, it just looks boring, very mushy, so but I do a lot of you take a picture in your phone and then I think turning to black and white doing your eyes had to so I have the ipad and I take pictures of it on the ipad and then I can look at a bunch of different arrangements all at once and I love that I mean so this is like an apple take pictures in the make a little mosaic oh I just do it in whatever the native thing is I don't even make it more like I'm not that high tech and I want to but I just want to get back to selling right I just want to see all the layouts at once right and and decide yeah yeah it's a great little I mean the ruby glass and the reducing glass has been around for years yeah, but now you know and it every you say I don't want to by reducing us you could actually just take pictures on your camera and you have the same the fact or it look through your camera view lends especially if you have a I don't know about like an iphone but if you have a dslr or god forbid you film camera and then you know then you might want to you know actually ask yourself other questions like was still shooting film um not that I don't think film is great um but uh it might slow your process down, but it's still your process down unless you live right next door to the, you know, a place where you can process it, but still trading ahead of a darker a lot of work just to avoid getting a dslr mark. We talk very briefly about the cutting tool you're using there. Do you have any safe tips? So I didn't compute this could be a lethal weapon. Yeah, can actually, you know what one of my stories is? So this was back when my youngest was a little a little girl and she had a friend over and, you know, I mean, they were maybe four years old or whatever, and I was doing something that was on the phone, and I realize we're not in the room with me, and I go looking for them and got in my studio, and, um, they're holding, they're both holding rotary cutters in their hands, and, uh, um, which is a good thing, and so always closed my cutter, and I will literally close it in between cuts. I'll open it up, make a cut and then close it it's almost like a habit. It's really, really important I was, I'll tell you what, when I saw that I mean that made me so happy that I did not have an open cutter and you know kids that age would take them a few seconds to figure out you had open that cutter so I think that some, um some of the newer uh rotary cutters have some kind of safety features tio make it to where it's a little more complex to open it but it's still depends on you closing so if you leave it open on your table that's a risky thing it was mentioned but with the rotary cutter you do need the the math yeah, the self healing myself yeah matt that's a very important and they come in this size like eighteen by twenty four but they come even bigger you know, you could have think they come forty it's like thirty six by forty maybe the biggest size but I wouldn't be surprised if there even have sixty by sixty all right, that there's something like that yeah, yes I mean and it's more one and it's not only just for for quilting if you're a dressmaker if you make garment uh then I don't know but I mean I make a lot of garments and I don't use scissors anymore to cut garments I exclusively use a rotary cutter so you know you you pin the pattern and then you just go around it with your rotary cutter it's like, you know it's like magic and don't iron on top of yes oh yeah that's the trunk of your car yeah because I ruined one yeah it's not a good idea yes, they don't they don't interact well with heat all right, so I'm onto number three here I'm actually gonna pin up presses the other direction because it's going to make it easier to put them together and actually I want their kind of differently one is more curved in the other so I'm going tio do what I've done previously and that is cut one of them to match the curve of the other and then is that curb in as I so regarding flying geese okay, I put flying geese on my towels when I give them a cz gifts I'd put lace and flying geese to coordinate with the towel and they used my embroidery me a sheen twin brother the person's name on it but you don't have to do that but the flying geese really looks nice on bath towels oh, I've seen people do that before like hell's do a little incentive of some kind of cool qatar they're easy and you know you can do it assembly line very nice gift ok it's actually good flying in a slightly different direction flying northeasterly oh, but that's ok because this is improper all right, I know I have two sets of three blocks or three rows, and I'm gonna add actually, I think I just I think I might actually start right there, so I'm going to add something up here and then I can put the two rows together and you can imagine if they were much longer rose, I think that was with this process, I might actually prefer to make them in small chunks, because otherwise it could be, though that could be a design element as well. It could really kind of go, you know, uh, in s curves of sorts, so but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to make him this way, but it was me. I'd want just a little bit more control, and I think you get more control if you made them in sections rather than his long rows this way, then I'll have enough for them to meet up and yeah, you new fabric do you find yourself like cutting it? So you just have more scraps or you're like, oh, I have to save this. I always feel like I I have to save it, but I feel like if I cut chunks than I would have more fun scraps of play with, oh so right away, like right away, like, came home from the store, yeah, I'm something new, I usually don't start cutting into it until I have you know, until I say hey, I'm ready to make something s o I don't like pre cut a whole bunch of scraps or strips or whatever even even if they're free hand um but if for no other reason it makes it easier stored so much easier to just fold up the length of fabric a yard or so and put it on a shelf for in a closet that is tio you know, have it in scraps drops me containers you know what you can make to you could make fabric containers but uh still hey there little there were more needy just uh I like the fabric you steam when you are on tv but you do have it on the hottest the idea ah and how do you steamed before it's just, um I don't think it's necessary on dh you know, with the steam function on my of home iron is not working anyway, so in the course of having a steam iron that doesn't steam I learned maybe it's not necessary, so um so I don't I don't see that needed sometimes if you use like these fabrics he's shot cotton's, they're woven and in general if you use woven fabrics they do need a little a little kind of health stiffening up and so there I would use a little bit of spray starch um, tio, to get them to play nice and flat and together just give it a little bit of a stiffness when you work with it, it's, even when you when you cut with it, there's a a new line, maybe they're not that new a new line of kind of woven cotton is called oak shot they come from, they come from england, and, um, I was asked to do a project for a website with ease cottons and I really found that even before I started cutting into them, if I went ahead and iron them with a little bit of strip spray, start it made working with them just eminently more pleasant experience. So, um, sometimes you can just add a little a little sizing, tio, give yourself a fabric that's easier to work with, so I'm gonna have my kind of joined two strips in in just a second. Oh, so you don't think about working with this, like, black and white kind of concept. I don't think I've ever done this in an improv class before. So the first I asked, what do you think of the working with a black and white kind of concept? So when I had talked this previously, I've not use this idea of kind of making the blocks in black and white. First or even as a primary thing, it was only in prepping for this class that I kind of came upon the idea. I really like the images I like, I like the way the blocks turned out, and I thought it's things for myself. It made the structure a lot here, but I don't know that everyone else feels that way and that's, you know, certainly understandable with a splash of color. Yeah, it was just straight, black and white, so this is different for me, right? So that's good cause I'm just focusing on what I'm doing, right? All right, everyone know who's watching at home in case you're wondering about the machines that were using this, we're actually using this singer heavy duty machines, and we've actually done a series of short classes on six different machines from singer, including the heavy duty they don't have to use every function on the machine, but also how to use them for different types off quilting and other types of sewing. So check those out on our catholic and you go to creative life dot com slash catalog, and you can check out all the classes on the clock craft to make a channel and have a look at the cross specifically for the singer machines and how to use them. I mean, I had a singer early on when I first started selling but I haven't had the opportunity so on these machines before and so I'm I mean they're very it's very intuitive it's not you know the functions seem tio to make a lot of sense well I still have my singer from forty years with forty plus years ago it still works I get its service I just cannot let it go it's my first machine I paid for it it's mine and we have many memories my mom still has it yeah just I know when I go to classes to teach a lot of uh a lot of the women bring singer featherweights you know it was pretty obvious lie because it's really easy to tote you know from class to class so all right so I got my two two flying geese going in opposite directions it's like the freeway um so um so there you have it and like I said you could make these blocks really super big I think they would be amazing super big um and uh and um or you could make you could make them certainly could make them in colors I think this just could be a really it it would be a really great kind of graphic block like if you made this you know yellow and gray seems to be like super popular those kind of combinations on guy think that this would work really well where maybe they were yellow and gray, and then gray and yellow. And then you still would have to insert little pops of other colors. And it would say it would be very kind of, um, very appropriate for a bed, but also have a certain a certain flair to it. So I think, it's. I think it's, a really great idea.

Class Description

Custom quilts are the kind of heirloom craft everyone longs to create, but stitching together a unique pattern can be seriously overwhelming. In 10 Ways to Love Improvisational Quilting, Malka Dubrawsky will introduce you to new forms of quilting — with fresh color combinations, techniques, and patterns.

Malka will get you started by showing you how to cut and create a simple log cabin nine-patch block. You’ll learn how to incorporate triangles, pinwheels, and curves into your designs to make them more versatile. You’ll build the skills needed to take any quilt block (and even other patterns, like wallpaper or a painting) and deconstruct it so you can create something similar.

If you want to create bold and memorable quilts and learn new ways to express your creative style through quilting, this course is for you.


Me F

Another great class. I love the approach that encourages spontaneity and decision-making throughout the process! I was not at all put off by Malka's speaking style -- I found her informative, articulate, thoughtful and funny. I would, however, have appreciated much less time watching her sew, although I realize she likely did that in this class to allow her in-person students to have time as well. A bit tedious, however, when it's not live or you're not sewing along. I loved the idea from another reviewer to have samples of Malka's quilts hanging in the studio throughout all the sessions so we could refer to a finished piece that demonstrated the skill she was teaching. I would recommend this course to anyone who loves quilting or wants to learn.