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Puzzled With Dutchman's Puzzle

Puzzled With Dutchman's Puzzle

Old 04-30-2012, 01:13 PM
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Default Puzzled With Dutchman's Puzzle

Hello everyone. Just found this forum. I am just learning to quilt and have been working on our class project. (class is done). I am trying to figure out why I am having such trouble with a simple Dutchman's Puzzle. When completed, it is a 6" square. The light fabric square of 2 3/8" is cut diagonally to create the smaller triangles and the dark fabric, a square of 4 1/4" cut 4 ways to create the larger triangles. The measurement of each goose is then 2" high by 3 1/2" long. I sew with a 1/4" foot the first light triangle onto the dark triangle, press it open, trim off dog ear, and go back and sew the second light triangle on and press. I am then ready to square it up and cut dog ears. But each one is just a bit different and so when I end up putting it together, it sure is not perfect by a long shot!! Do I just need to be patient and practice, practice, practice or am I doing something wrong? Any suggestions? It seems like my material has trouble with stretching as well because each piece seems to curve. p.S. I was the only one in class who had to throw my first square in the trash!!!! Oh my! I do the other squares just fine BTW.

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Old 04-30-2012, 01:40 PM
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I am confused today, so maybe I should just say how I make this block (either 2 or 3 color version).
For a 6 inch (finished) block, you will need 4 pieces that are 3.5" by 2" (These are the "geese") You will need 8 squares of, as I recall 1.75". Place a square of "sky" on the goose RST, sew diagonally across the square, fold it back on itself and press. Do the same with another square, to make one flying goose unit. If you don't have the right seam allowance, then take it apart and recut the squares. (I did say I have a headache, right?)

This is a basic flying goose unit. I know there are lots of good tutes here and on Utube for flying geese.

Don't let it get to you. Probably a step was left out of the instructions.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:58 PM
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Welcome from Minnesota and happy quilting
Nancy in western NY
before you speak T.H.I.N.K. T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:30 PM
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Flying geese are sewn on the bias, which can be tricky. Be sure you don't pull or tug on the fabric as you sew it. Let the feed dogs do their job and just guide the fabric. Do you use anything as a seam guide? foot? tape etc. This block has a lot of pieces, so if your seam allowances are off, all your blocks will be, well, unique and may not fit together. This is a challenging block for a beginner, so don't be too hard on yourself. As you stated, with practice you will improve.
this forum has a great tutorial section. There are many ways to construct flying geese, here are some:



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Old 04-30-2012, 02:40 PM
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I prefer QM's method of making flying geese as you don't have the cut bias edges to sew together. It seems I always manage to stretch them no matter how careful I am. (I've been quilting for 20+ years). You will trim off the "extra" triangles, but I find the better accuracy worth the waste. Good luck and welcome to the board!!

Linda in Missouri
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:43 PM
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You are wotking way too hard to get a flying geese piece.....use one of the links above to a much quicker/easier method....good luck!!
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:58 PM
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When you cut the square 4 ways to make the triangles, you are creating a lot of bias edges. If you really want to do them that way, then you must handle and press carefully. Pick the iron up and press it down, do not 'iron' by moving the iron while in contact with the fabric as we are accustomed to doing. That's where your curves came from. Check the size of each piece as you finish it until you have a feel for the correct size. It's easier to take a minute to square everything early than try to fix it later.

Edit: When you going to work with bias like I had to with some Tradewinds blocks, starch the fabric heavily first. It can't stretch as easily with the starch.

Last edited by irishrose; 04-30-2012 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:24 PM
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You might also check the accuracy of your 1/4" foot. Sew several seams and then measure them.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:42 PM
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The only way I make flying geese units is using Quilt in a Day rulers - perfect every time.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:35 PM
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That is a mighty hard block for a beginning class! By all means use another method to make the geese.
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