Half square triangles are one of the most basic shapes in quilting. But there is a specific type of triangle used in quilting called “Flying Geese”. Flying geese are rectangular blocks with half square triangles in a contrasting color on two corners. They kind of resemble the silhouette of a flying bird in the sky. In contrast, two half square triangles which is literally a square cut in half diagonally, will sometimes resemble a flying goose if the fabric is the same or similar. These quilts from our longarm machine renters are excellent examples of half square triangles and flying geese.
This is a quilt by Bill. He entered this into the Kentucky State Fair and won a shiny blue ribbon! It is an excellent example of flying geese blocks. Instead of placing the flying geese in line or at least close together, he has them separated with the white fabric. It is bright and colorful and just generally a happy quilt. He quilted it with one of our older pantographs called “Popcorn”. It adds a great puffy cloud feeling to all that white space. I think it was an excellent choice.
Danielle made this lovely quilt with a layer cake she fell in love with. For those that are unfamiliar with quilting terminology, a layer cake is a pre-cut bundle of fabrics that are 10 inch squares from a single designer. She was thinking about giving this quilt to her father. Danielle is still learning to quilt. So she is picking out small projects that have some new skill for her to learn. This one was clearly about flying geese. I think that is such a great idea. She quilted it with a pantograph called Kashmir, a favorite of our many longarm machine renters. It has floral like petals while still being a generic enough design not to be overly flowery, and fit perfectly on her top.
Half Square Triangles
In contrast to the first two, Beverly’s quilt is not a flying geese quilt. This is a half square triangle quilt. But the way she has the squares rotated, you can see the flying geese shape right down the center lines both vertically and horizontally. It has a wonderful effect. You can see a secondary design of radiating diamonds. She quilted it with a pantograph called A Little Bit of This. It has the outline shapes of a couple of different leaves. A Little Bit of This goes brilliantly with the overall theme of the fabrics and adds some great curves to all those straight lines. She also found this perfect sage colored tonal scroll backing fabric. The whole quilt is so pretty!
Finally we have a quilt by Colleen. I grant you they don’t look like triangles, but they do give us some nice chevrons. If you look closely, you can see that it was made with half square triangles like Beverly’s quilt. It is all about how you rotate the square and what you put it next to. Colleen used a line of fabric from local quilter and fabric designer, Melissa Mortenson from PolkaDotChair.com. It’s called Derby Day. The quilt pattern is Herringbone from Missouri Star. I really like all the white breaking up the fabrics. It lets you enjoy the details of the fabric a lot more.
She quilted it with an edge to edge pantograph called Bolero. It is a type of meander that forms long S like curves all over the quilt. It adds a lot of curving movement on a quilt that has a lot of straight lines.
So if you think that Danielle had a good idea about picking small quilts with a single new skill is a great idea, try one with half square triangles and flying geese. There are so many great designs that you can get out of one simple block. It is all about how you turn them.