Welcome back to my blog and to part 2 of piecing techniques. If you missed part 1, find it here. This week I am going to cover the stitch & flip corners technique. If you make flying geese units using a rectangle and two squares, you are making them using the stitch & flip method. This blog post shows how to make flying geese this way. But the stitch & flip technique is also used to make interesting block designs too! We’ll talk about this technique and how measuring units as you make them is important for accurate sized units and blocks. Lets get started!
Stitch & Flip
This technique is sometimes referred to in patterns as “folded corners” or “sew & flip” instead of “stitch & flip”, but they all describe the same thing. Here is a step by step demonstration using a big square and a smaller square:
The first step is to draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the smaller square. Then, lay the smaller square face down on the larger square as shown. It’s important to pin the smaller square in place so it does not shift while stitching.
As you can see in the middle photo above, the small square edges need to match up with the edges of the larger square. Next, sew carefully along the drawn line. When done, finger press the small square open as shown.
Once you finger press the square open, it’s time to measure for accuracy. Measure the unit to make sure it still measures the size of the larger square. For example, if the large black square measures 2 1/2″ when you start, you want this unit to still measure 2 1/2″ after stitching on the small square.
Once you have determined it measures correctly, you can now cut off the excess fabric in the seam allowance and press the unit open.
By waiting to trim the excess until after you measure the unit, you avoid wasting fabric if you end up with a unit that doesn’t measure correctly.
Some Blocks Using this Technique
So here are some blocks that are made using this technique. Here’s one that I used in a quilt a few years ago:
This block above is made by doing stitch & flip corners starting with the center square and then after each set of strips are added to the sides of the block.
Another block that is created using the stitch & flip method is the well known Snowball block.
This block is often used as a setting block between other blocks to create a secondary design such in this quilt drawing below:
Notice how the Snowball blocks create a crisscross effect around the star blocks. Another way I have used stitch & flip is on the corners of a pieced or appliqué block. This also serves to make a secondary design when the blocks are joined for a quilt. Here’s a block from a quilt I made.
As you can see, I added stitch & flip corners to my appliqué block. Now here are 12 of those blocks combined with some pieced blocks in my quilt, High Prairie Blooms:
Notice the cool secondary design created by those stitch & flip corners on the appliqué blocks and the corners created by the Churn Dash Star blocks.
Here is another block from one of my quilts:
Look at all those stitch & flip corners! Here’s what 100 of these blocks look like in my quilt, Crisscross Cabin Blooms:
They create a really cool crisscross design.
Finally here is the block from by quilt, Open Windows. When they are joined to make the quilt top, the stitch & flip corners combined with corner stone sashing makes a shoo fly design! Notice how I only did the technique on two opposite corners. This makes the secondary shoo fly design really stand out.
So there you go! That’s my tips on the stitch & flip technique. Remember, the key to success in making these blocks or units is measuring them as you go to make sure there is no size distortion when you are done.
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