A Flock of Triangles, AKA Wearing Out My Seam Ripper Quilt

Posted by on Apr 16, 2010 in Blog

Let me back up. I had the unfortunate experience of losing most of my creative energy as soon as I got pregnant. Maybe all that creativity went into making a super cute baby? Combining crazy morning sickness and a cross country move meant that I didn’t end up doing a lot of sewing before my girl arrived. My husband and I did manage to pick out some fabric for her quilt, but it just sat in a pretty little stack for months and months. Of course, it didn’t hurt that my girl had received some really gorgeous quilts from friends so she wasn’t really lacking in the “handmade with love” department.

I was finally hit with the creative stick for her quilt and decided on trying Denyse Schmidt’s Flock of Triangles pattern. Now don’t get me wrong, what I am about to say about Ms. Schmidt has nothing to with her creative genius, but, boy did I have some serious trouble with this quilt. The instructions on how to line up the triangles to get them to create perfect points AND have a quarter inch seam allowance just weren’t sufficient for me. I sent desperate emails to a quilting guru and ripped out miles of thread trying to make my triangles look decent. In the end, they were a hot mess. The lack of precision is pretty horrifying. I would have given up a long time ago but I had already cut the fabric so I didn’t have much of choice if I didn’t want to lose 5 fat quarters of cuteness.

Of course, I made some mistakes too. I used white muslin rather than a thicker fabric, like a Kona solid, and I suspect that added to the precision problems I was having. My rows would not line up no matter what I did. The best tip in the instructions was to line up the center triangles so if the rows were off, the pattern wouldn’t be quite as skewed.

Here is the back – the lighting of the picture doesn’t really show the pale blue color I used, but trust me, it is there and very cute.

I had wanted to try going some straight line quilting as well but with the rows being so messy, I ended up going with free motion quilting (I know! Shocking!). Free motion quilting hides so many sins.

There are a bunch of tutorials online for flying geese that I fully intend on trying again sometime in the future, once I have recovered from this experience and sufficiently blocked it out. The good news is that the quilt looks pretty good and the stippling really helped. Luckily my girl hasn’t complained about it and in fact chose to roll over from her back to her front on it just last night. And nothing says acceptance and love like a major gross motor skill milestone!


  1. I think it looks fantastic! I really have such a hard time with triangles (I usually avoid them at all costs!). And my new straight-line quilting technique is let it be wonky – just (purposely) imperfect lines – takes a while but it's so easy!
    Way to persevere through it all – looks fantastic!

  2. Well it looks amazing on the computer! Great job. And, boo for bad patterns.

  3. Hi, I like your blog soo much,
    I am from Brazil, I love craft…

  4. I think it looks perfect! What a lucky girl…and congrats on the rolling over!

  5. Nice work! No wonder you are tired?? It is so beautiful and I love the fabric choices. She is a lucky little girl!

  6. I think it looks great! Just think of it as a beautiful triangles quilt.

  7. it looks great and stippling is always so forgiving! The colors are beautiful and your daughter must be so excited to have her first made by mom quilt in her possession 🙂

    Definitely use a different construction on your next triangle quilt 🙂

  8. Ohh I love it. Well worth the quality time with a seam ripper.

  9. Lovely quilt. I just recently made my first flying geese quilt and used the no waste pattern found here: http://www.patchpieces.com/files/flyinggeese.pdf. I must say that I really loved it. I've quilted triangles before and they can be a pain with all that bias to work through, but this virtually eliminated that problem. I used 5 fat quarters and muslin on mine.

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