As you work on your own Halloween count-off wall quilt, refer to these explanations and photos to make the process even easier.
FLYING GEESE NUMBERED UNITS
The first operation is to prepare the "flying geese" units (see Instructions Step 3).
Accurately cut the A rectangles & C squares, then use a straight edge like this see-thru ruler to carefully trace a diagonal . pencil line on BACKSIDE exactly through the corners.
Next, position one C square on the right end of one A rectangle with face sides together. Make sure all cut edges that CAN align are lined up exactly. With regular length stitches, sew from corner to corner ON (or a hair to the RIGHT of) the traced line. Repeat for all required units.
Press the corners of C square back so that 3 corners stack exactly. Get the feedback: if the face triangle corners DO NOT reach to align with the others, adjust by checking square position, or by stitching a hair MORE to the right of the line. Soon you will know the exact spot to sew to get the most accurate pieced unit.
Turn unit over to view from backside. Carefully fold back the "excess" two corner layers (one layer of A rectangle, one layer of C square) and trim away 1/4" beyond stitching.
Be sure to do these operations in this EXACT order each time: 1.) Stitch; 2.) Press; 3.) Trim. This will help the bias seam to not stretch out of shape during the pressing step.
Now repeat the positioning and stitching process for the second C square on the opposite end of the A rectangle unit. Note that when positioning correctly, the diagonal line and stitching that follows will cross the previously-stitched seam. THIS IS CORRECT.
As a building block unit, they are often made in multiples. Make the process go more quickly by "railroading" or "chaining" the units as you sew them. That is, stitch across the first unit, park with needle down at end of seam (but leave attached to machine), then position and sew right on to the next unit. Assist the beginning and end of a "run" by double-folding a fabric scrap, sewing across it to start, sewing onto it to end, with needle & presser fut paused at edge awaiting the next run. This saves time & reduces thread clippings and waste.
Press second C corner back as before....
then trim away excess underneath layer "corners" as before, leaving the 1/4" seam allowance beyond the stitched seam. Check feedback for accuracy as before.
(See Instructions Step 4.) Transfer day numbers to the flying geese units by using a light box or similar set up so that light will allow the digits on the pattern page to show through the fabric to be traced.
Here you can see the pen-inked number '30' completed on a unit. The solid lines are aligned with the angled seam lines. Trace the basic outline, then fill it out to match the provided numbers when the patch is away from the light box and can be seen more clearly.
MARKING THE MOON NUMBER
(See Instructions Step 22 at the end of pg. 2.) The "31" number is ink-traced onto the Inner Moon applique piece. Please NOTE that the moon pattern is REVERSED, so the triangle stitching guide is opposite where it should be in finished quilt top.
Turn over Inner Moon applique (prepared with fusing at edge only as shown) and mark on the BACKSIDE the positions of 3 triangle corner points with pencil or (here) temporary blue marker.
Turn again, line up the corner points again, and mark the triangle stithing lines and the "31" on the FRONTSIDE of the Inner Moon.
BEFORE fusing the moon front and back together, and then onto the quilt top, glue the washer in place behind and within the triangle. Quilting stitching will eventually hold the washer in place.
Now the two moon pieces can be joined, or positioned and fused onto the quilt top itself, as in next photo.
Shown here, the fusing paper would STILL be in place on the outer moon (back layer), but has been REMOVED from the front.
One of the best ways to layer or arrange multiple applique pieces is to use the "non-stick" Applique Pressing Sheet available for purchase from the better quilting shops. Prepared pieces are fused to the sheet which has been laid over the pattern sheet showing applique positions, and which can be seen through the sheet. Layers are added, peeled off when cooled, then fused to the quilt top.
CUTTING THE MAIN TOWER PATCHES
The cutting chart (see Pattern Sheet 2) is organized for efficient fabric use. First,one
4 1/2" strip of "charcoal" fabric is cut to size from the length of the 1/2 yard piece.
Next, patch B4 is trimmed to 4 1/4" size from one end of cut strip, using rotary tools and gridded mat. (B4 is 4 1/2" x 4 1/4".)
Now, remainder of cut strip is trimmed to
3 3/4". Follow chart and instructions to cut UL3 and UR7 patches from this strip.
Follow this procedure for remaining Tower Piecing patches: Once a strip (or multiple strips of same width) are cut from the yardage, they are "sub-cut" into smaller patches following the chart IN ORDER. LABEL each patch as cut to avoid confusion. Here, the great temporary marking pen "Frixion" is shown. Ink from Frixion dissappears with the heat from an iron.
(See Instructions Steps 12-18.) Use conventional piecing to assemble the Tower Mid section, Tower Mid Left & Mid Right sections, and the Upper Left & Upper Right sections. Shown here are the Upper sections, divided into "Left" and "Right". (This sample does not have the inked numbers; Instructions advise to put them on the "flying geese" units prior to the piecing.)
(See Instructions Step 22 for specific details for ALL appliques.)
Here are some specific tips for the fusible applique for this quilt. At right, view the Pennant inner and outer shapes are prepared with fusing, trimmed WITHOUT the lower jagged edges cut out. See the pencil lines on the fusing paper of the outer shape. Fuse the inner (centered) on the outer, then trim both layers on the lines,
Tower and Turret rims will need to be trimmed to fit the patchwork. Here, the upper Tower rim should be positioned, "tacked" in place in a couple of strategic spots to hold in place, then trimmed to match side and upper seams of #30 numbered unit.
Turret rim will need right side edge trimmed to match Tower edge, or open the adjacent seam stitching in the are, fuse that edge onto exposed tower patch, then re-stitch the seam to enclose the raw right edge.
(See Instructions, Step 24.) When patchwork, applique and all borders are in place, glue the washers in place behind the numbered "triangle" of each flying geese unit.
Take care in handling from this point on so that no washers fall off (making it impossible for the magnet bat to stick!).
(See Instructions, Steps 27-28.) For ease in handling during painting, attach a screw to the backside of the wood half egg.
Apply protective varnish coat if desired.
Also trace the vein detail stitching lines. Here I have used a separate card stock copy of the bat body with vein detail, cut on the vein and body contour lines, then folded strategic parts away to trace along the cut edges.
Layer with a second piece of black wool felt. Shorten the machine stitching length; thread machine with black on top and in bobbin. Stitch around outline, up and back on vein lines. Overlap stitches before tying off.
Trim away excess felt a scant 1/8" beyond stitching. On FRONT layer ONLY, cut a small vertical slit, insert magnet disc between felt layers. Apply glue to keep it in place. Reposition back layers as necessary to align slit edges. Glue painted bat body half-egg securely in place, to cover slit.