Another tip, for when adding triangles to want to  start your seam and end your seam at the junction of those two pieces.  Can you see that???

and make sure the fold lines up with the INTERSECTION!!  A pin will keep it in place as your stitch.  I always sew on the side with the intersection.  

with right sides together center the fold

For the geese we are going to use the CREAM fabric 4 1/4" squares along with the fabric 4 (my dark red) 2 3/8" squares. 

I was going to crop out the lemon filled oreo in the photo, but I thought, what the heck.  Sometimes you need an oreo, and I love these lemon filled ones.

Flying Geese

I rarely do many steps ahead on a project.  Unlike my friend June who cuts out every piece of a quilt before she starts sewing, but then again she pre-washs, and you all know how I feel about that!  For this though I do press all these pieces so I can stack and chain sew them.

Now, in the past I would do a fair amount of pinning.  ( Not as much as my friend Dixie) But I must admit to you all here and now, that I am a compulsive presser.  Never clothing!  So I figured out that if I press these pieces in half, it works much better and is way more accurate for me.  It's important though that you press the triangles in half WRONG SIDES TOGETHER and the squares RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER

Square in a Square

Step Two

Okay Quilters, here we go!!!  This is a really easy project.  My mission is to offer something not too scary, especially for those first time mystery players. There are only 7 fabrics needed for this project and when you are done it is a simple 40 x 40 (about, you know how I am....)  not too too much investment if you don't LOVE it!!  Feel free to go to my gallery and you can see the mysteries I have done in the past.  

This one is so nice and easy.  Only squares, strips and one triangle shape to deal with.  And remember, there is NO WASTE, simply pieces to add to your Bits and Pieces collection!!!

This pattern is not really best for a SCRAPPY quilt.  There needs to be a certain consistency for the pattern to really sing.  

Here are my SEVEN fabrics.....

Chaotic Quilting Mystery  # ONE

You need your print #1 squares and half of your flying geese units.  They will be attached on opposite sides.  

Step Four

Type your paragraph here.

Once they are all sewn, snip them apart from each other (in the chain) and give them a press.  I LOVE the Best Press spray.  I find giving them a spritz and a press provides some extra stability to the pieces because you are then going to

Good job.  Now, TRIM those little dog ears!  At least that is what I call them.  One time one of my beginning quilting students came into the shop where I taught, so very proud of a quilt she had just gotten back from the long arm quilter.  She was so proud, and she had done a lovely job.  I couldn't bear to point out that with her white background every one of her little dark dog ears were visible.  So now I'm pretty specific about TELLING people to trim them  Just a snip of the ear.

And now your triangle pieces will nest right into the crease.  Do both sides as you did the first two.  When you then press them open, again with the triangles on top, you'll have a nice flat block.

1.  White on white       1/4 yard **

2.  Cream                    7/8 yard**

3.  Print 1                    3/8 yard

4.  Rusty Red               3/4 yard

5.  Print 2                   1 1/8 yard

6.  Tealy Blue               1/4 yard

7.   Black                      1/4 yard

The Chaotic Quilter

well, grab up those little 2" squares AND your 12 Square in a Square in a Square blocks that you already made.

 A tip to making this step easier, and okay, more precise, a couple of things. Fold the triangle in half as shown, and then FINGER PRESS a crease on the long side.

I apologize for the lack of clarity of some of these photos.  I'm searching for a new camera, in the meantime it's good enough to make my point, I hope.  How come I don't have a 4 1/2" square ruler???  Guess I'll be searching for one of those too.  Yes, I use the ruler closest to the size of the piece I'm cutting.  So I'm using my 5 1/2" ruler to trim and square these.  I NEVER use the measurements on the mat.  Just something I was taught.  So, the important thing is that you have 1/4" beyond the point of the square printed piece.  I placed my ruler so that the 3" line is running right through the middle of the square and that I have 1/4" beyond the point of the square and trim!  Then I rotate the mat and do it again. You can maybe see that the left of the square is at 4 1/2"   One of these days I'm going to do this via video on you tube....

Fabric 4 -  My dark red.....Cut 4 strips at 2 3/8" and then subcut into 52 - 2 3/8" squares.  You could put these with the fabric 2 Cream 4 1/4" squares, so they can get to know each other.  Keep the remainder nearby.

Lets Do Some Cutting!

1              2                3          4              5                   6               7

Move the chain of pieces to the pressing area and once again, set those seams and then press them open.  Aren't they pretty?  Okay, I admit it.  I do then spritz them with a bit of Best Press at this point.  Ahh....lovely....

See you next Wednesday.  Nearly done!

Now we are going to add a square to the other side.  See how I'm now sewing with the goose on top?  Again, this makes sure that the seam allowance on the goose, stays nice and flat, going the way you want it to!

You will press this TO the square.  So remember to have the square on top and then press it open.  Will result in proper orientation.  

NORMALLY, I would then press the  triangle open.  BUT, normal is just a setting on the dryer.  For this block, just turn the piece around and sew another blue triangle on the opposite side.  Then press them open.  If you press them with the triangles on the top, you are pressing them TO the triangle, leaving the square flat.   

And since they are all stacked and ready to go, it is easy to chain piece them..

Fabric 6 - My blue......Cut 2 strips at 3". then subcut into 24 - 3" squares and THEN cut them once on the diagonal to make 48 half square triangles.  

About those little black squares.....

Step Eight

once it is sewn, remove those few pins and with the piece you added on the top, give it a press, setting those seams, and then press it open.  So the seam will be going to the newest flying geese unit you just added. Okay?  You will have 13 of these beauties when you are done.  SWEET!

My stiletto is showing you the famous "intersection" that I spoke of in a previous step.  When you start you seam the scant 1/4" from the end (the left side as shown here) you should sew right through that intersection.  Can you see the X created by previous sewing?  Go straight through, do not stop, do not collect $200.

Time to trim those dog ears.  Back to the rotating mat and this time the 4" square ruler.  Each goose should measure

2" x 3 1/2".  Great!!!  Now gather the gaggle together and keep them happy until we need them again. I think I deserve another oreo.....

Press the triangles open and VOILA!!  Flying Geese!!  So from 5 squares you get 4 wonderful geese.  And no messing with triangles.  I love this method and have used it for over 10 years.  Finally the quilting magazines have caught up and this is how they show how to make them. I will add a link to my hints and tips page to the printed sheet on making these whatever size you need for future projects that use flying geese.  

Now you are going to place the small squares right sides together on to the larger square, as shown.  Yes, they are overlapping in the middle.  I put the lower right square down first and the upper left square on top, as that corner is what is going under the needle first.  If you look closely, you'll see half the oreo is still there....

Now lets make these squares look pretty and square!  I LOVE this new to me tool.  I have the larger rotating mat, but for blocks this small, I bought the smaller one.  I believe in the right tool for the right job, as your budget allows.  Saying that OVER TIME, I believe I have every size of ruler ever made.  When I was first learning, I was told I HAD TO HAVE that

24" x 6" ruler just to get started.  And we always did what we were told.  Maybe if you are very good, I'll show you a photo of all my rulers in the ruler rack...

Step One

Fabric 5 - Print 2 - Cut 1 strip at 3 1/2".  If you are a really good cutter, you can now get 12 3 1/2" squares from that strip.  If your fabric is not quite WOF, then you might need one more strip to get that last square.  Keep the squares together, and leave the remainder intact and nearby.  

Because of the way you pressed the parts along the way, you should find that the opposing seams line up easily.  

This is a step that I do use my pins.  Again, I love the glass head long sharp pins.  

Step Five

And here you have your piece to finish for this clue!  Not so hard, was it.  

And here are nine of the 12 blocks all pressed and ready to go.  Keep all 12 together and happy....

Such a sweet block. 

I'm going to give you some tips and ideas I use when making this block.  

Fabric 1 - White on white - cut into 3 - 2 " strips, then into 52 - 2 " squares, keep them happy and safe together

Putting the blocks together

Step Nine

Press those little corner open and you now have a Square in a Square in a Square in a Square....Four Square!!

Woo Hoo!  See you next week for setting and borders.  

And cut on the line

See all those snipped ears??  One friend of mine named Sue, calls those "goose food" and saves them in baby food jars to use for decoration...okay, I'm not THAT obsessive about using every little bit.

For this step you are going to use your Fabric 5 (print 2) and your Fabric 6 (my blue)

Fabric 3 - Print 1 - Cut 2 -   3 1/2" strips and then subcut into 13 - 3 1/2" squares.  Yep, keep them together.

Okay my friends.....Here it is!!  I haven't sewn these borders on yet, but I have to get packing, so I wanted to at least show you what I have. If  you go to my hints and tips tab, you will see a link to my 'Make Mine Mitered' technique.   I'd LOVE to see any photos of your projects.  If you would email them to me at I'd love to post them on the site.  I'll check back in next week when I return.  

Step Six

Here is the first one all done, hanging out with it's friends waiting to be completed.  So hop to it!  Get em done..... Enjoy! And check in soon for the next clue!!!

All the triangles are attached and so back to my cute little rotating mat to trim those remaining ears and square this cutie up!

 Place your geese unit on the square, right sides together.  See the middle of the X the threads create?  I have the pin going right through it.  That is the intersection.  To get perfect points (which those of you who know me, know doesn't make me crazy!!!)  you will sew right through that intersection.  

You will sew 1/4" from the drawn line, on each side of it.  I do chain these all together, in fact you can see the last square in a square block still there, as I'm chaining these right behind.  I love not having to worry about starting a new piece and fiddling with the threads.  So I sew all of them on one side and flip the whole chain around and then sew on the other side of that line.

So I nest them all and then stack them like so.

And here is where this pressing is like magic.  Place the triangle and the square right sides together and they nest just beautifully!  

​Fabric 7 -My Black.... Cut 3 strips at 2" and then subcut into 48 - 2" squares.  

Yep!  Grab those cute square in a squares you already made, and those cut fabric #2 triangles you cut.  Now you are going to add them to make your square in a square in a square......

Square in a Square in a Square

On the wrong side of the small squares draw a line corner to corner.  I love the little 1" x 6" ruler for drawing these. My friend Jamie doesn't like to do drawn lines, but I do like them for this.  

Notice the oreo is still there....

Once you have the dog ears trimmed and the triangles pressed open fold them right sides together and press so you have a crease.

Fabric 2 - Cream - Cut 2 strips at 4 1/4" then subcut to 13 - 4 1/4" squares.  Keep them together and happy.

 Fabric 2 - Cream,  Cut 3 strips at 4", then subcut to  24 - 4" squares.  THESE you then cut once on the diagonal, making 48 half square triangle parts.  They will be happy together, a bunch of triangles, just hanging out. 

Okay, here you go.  For this border, you need for each side, TWO of your flying geese units that you just made.  For the TOP and the BOTTOM you will put a 9" x 2" strip between the two geese, as shown, then put a 8" x 2" on the other sides of the geese.  Attach to the top of the quilt

For the right and left sides, you will need to add  an inch to the 2 ends, so all 3 strips will be cut 9".  Now attach those two sides and VOILA!

Using the rest of the Geese!

Place another one of the 2 3/8" squares on the 'heart' as shown.  Then sew again on each side of the drawn line.

Now all your ears are trimmed and you have a lovely square block!

I STRONGLY recommend that you stick with the white on white and cream colors for fabrics 1 and 2.  Two complimentary smallish prints and tone on tones that work with those prints.  Don't make it too hard!  I started with the Print 2 and built from there.  The two prints are nothing like each other in style, but work together with the colors.  It will be fine.  

This list does not include fabric requirements for the back or the binding, as I believe you can make those choices on your own at the time.  Okay???  So start perusing your INVENTORY!  Cutting instructions will start tomorrow!!!  Then a clue each Wednesday (skipping July 8th and 15th as I'm going to Sisters OR for the big quilt show then a quick run back up to Washington) until we are done!  I think it will be an 8 week project finished.  GO!!

Okay, at least ACT surprised!!!  I know a few of you 'figured this out" and actually already did the sewing!!  HMMMMM....for those of you who waited, lets proceed.

And then press the triangles open.  OH!  I looks like a heart!!  

Next, you get to make EIGHT more flying geese blocks.  You can go back to step three and see that you need 2 - 4 1/4" squares of the Fabric 2 (my cream)  and 8 2 3/8" squares of the Fabric 4 (my dark red).  Assemble and produce EIGHT flying geese blocks.  See where they are going to go in the first border, to complete the box around the square in a square in a square?  

Lay your blocks out as shown.  Stand back and admire them!!  Now you are going to assemble the blocks into rows, and then sew the rows together.  Simple, right?  I always sew with the star block on the top, when the blocks are right sides together.  So I can sew through those intersections of the point.  Go ahead, Take your time.  

And, again, keep that chain together as you move them to your pressing spot.  Doing the pressing while they are still chained makes the job easier.  AND again, the piece you want the seam pressed TOWARDS is the piece on top, so it's wrong side is what you see.  Set those seams first!  Which just means press them just as you see them.   THEN press it open

Again, working in a chain, and looking at the orientation of the goose, add one of the squares on the right hand side.  Being specific in the way these are going through the machine will really help you in not having those blasted bent over seams on the back!  You know what I'm talking about.  Trust me here.  

Once you have the first two triangles attached and pressed open TO the triangle, trim those ears off!

Adding Geese to squares

Cut them on that drawn line!  

Step Three

Time to grab those remaining geese AND those fabric 1 squares.  See the contrast between the cream and the white?  You need to be able to see the difference.  

do this with all four corners.

You are going to sew those little squares onto the corners of the get to decide how you want to do this.  If you want to draw a line from one corner to another, go for it.  Then stitch ON the line!!  OR you could press them on the diagonal, creating a pressing line to use, and sew ON the line, OR, you could eyeball it, like I have done here.  I have drawn an extended line from the center point where my needle is, right onto the bed of the machine.  Then, starting at the top, I line up the point at the bottom with that line and sew away.  Works great for me!  

Step Seven

It's Friday August 21st and 


I'm planning to get my final border on here tonight and post for you all before I head off for a wonderful weekend retreat with friends at South Lake Tahoe!!  So check back!!  Please know that if you want to put a border on at this point, feel free.  After all, it's YOUR project!

And then trim 1/4" from the sewn line.  I just use my lovely large shears and trim away, if you prefer you could use a small ruler and rotary cutter.

Making Stars!!!