Road Trip Quilt Along: a GIVEAWAY!

Hello all.  I meant to post this Friday, when I had been posting our Road Trip Quilt Along Tutorials.  And then I was going to get it up Saturday.  When that didn’t happen, I thought first thing Sunday morning would be the time.  Well, here we are, headed toward bedtime on Sunday evening, and I finally have a few (a very few, before I have to throw the little ones in the tub) moments to post this giveaway for you.

How are your Road Trip blocks coming along?  I worked really hard last week so that I get all these put together to show you.  I cut my sashing to 2.5 inches so that it would finish at 2 inches.  I wanted the length to be a little larger than the width, so I randomly sewed together strips of the scraps I used in the quilt blocks and made an additional 6 inch border on the top and bottom.  The yellow border will finish at 1 inch, just an accent, like the mat on a picture, and I plan to add one more, slightly wider border around the outside.  

As a thank you for those of you who have played along with me for 16 weeks, I wanted to offer you a little giveaway.  Since this is a road trip quilt along, I thought cars were appropriate.  They are Ready, Set, Go Organic cars by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman.  I added a few coordinating Kona solids and a cut of the leaf print from Denyse Schmidt’s Meadowlark collection for JoAnn.

To enter to win this bundle of five fat quarters:

Just leave a comment with a link to a blog post or photo of 8 finished Road Trip Quilt Along blocks.

If you’ve finished all 16 blocks, leave another comment telling me so.

This giveaway will close Saturday, September 29th, at 11:59pm EDT.  I’ll pick the winner Sunday morning.

Be Free Bees: final additions for Thea and Jenny

This was the last month of the free form quilt robin that started way back in January.

Because one of our group members had to drop out, this month, I had two quilts to add to before I sent them back to their owners, who had not seem them since sending them on their journeys at the beginning of the year.

First up: Thea.  The woman who had the penultimate addition did a really marvelous job of adding borders that nicely finished the quilt.  I was a little stumped at first because it seemed so well tied up that adding to the outside would have been like ripping the paper of a beautifully wrapped package that wasn’t mine.

Instead, I decided to make an addition to the interior of the quilt.  There were 4 open white spaces that surrounded the center.  In each one, I added 3 appliquéd circles and then finished it off with some hand stitching around each one.

Thea will be able to use this as a small accent quilt or a large wall hanging.  Or she can rip that package open (since it’s hers!) and make some additions and then finish it off again to make a larger quilt.

Jenny‘s starter piece was a series of pieced baskets.  In the subsequent months, her quilt became this wonderful, vibrant project full of bright colors and different prints.

I wanted to add something that would balance all the action that was taking place in the quilt already, so I opted for some letters to read “A-tisket A-tasket” (to tie into the basket theme) using mostly solid backgrounds.  I did some improvisational piecing with the letters, which was a new experience for me.  It was very challenging to depict the letters with curves and I was not on speaking terms with “s”, lowercase “e” and lowercase “a” for a few days.

When I placed the letters along the top edge of the quilt, I felt they were blending in too much with the fabrics below so I added a strip of white with some colored squares to break it up a bit.

I’m looking forward to seeing how all these projects finish up.  Meanwhile, I received my own quilt back for its journey.  I have already made one more addition of the grass at the bottom and I think I will also add a couple borders before finishing it.  Or maybe not.  I could just leave it as-is an let the binding be the border.  What do you think? 

Just housing around

I’m in a Flickr group called Bee a {Modern} Swapper.  Every other month, one of our 6 group members get to request a block from the other 5 members.  We each make 2 quilt blocks, and the recipient receives 10 quilt blocks in the mail.  These are the ladies who made my lovely tree blocks when it was my turn at Queen Bee.

This month, Ann requested house blocks.  In our discussion, trying to get some clarification, I asked:

“Must it be a house, or could it be, say, an apartment building? A dog house? A teepee? A yurt?”

My friend Kim responded, “I would LOVE to see a yurt!!!!!!

I hadn’t heard back from Ann about whether she preferred a more traditional house, and with that many exclamation points, I just had to step up to Kim’s yurt challenge (even though it was my suggestion, I’m not sure I was serious until Kim responded).

So, I made a quilt block yurt!  I must say that this is definitely a first for me!

I cannot tell you how much this entire process has amused me.  I giggled while I was making it: “Hee hee, a quilt block yurt.”  Perhaps Likely, I’m just easily amused.

I also made a country house with a tree in the yard.

And some city houses in a row.

While I only had to make two blocks for Ann, she gets three: two house quilt blocks, and a bonus yurt block.

And now I’m thinking: wouldn’t be fun to make a quilt where each block is a different type of dwelling?  Tee-pee, camper, igloo, etc …

Road Trip Quilt Along: West Virginia

Well, road trippers, this is THE END.  The very last of 16 state blocks.  It’s been quite a journey.  Finish this one up, and then it time to head home, unpack and sleep in your own bed.  And by that I mean, make something out of these 16 blocks (or however many you finished).

I’ve been looking forward to this last block since the very beginning because I thought that it looked amazing on paper.  It looks pretty awesome in fabric form as well!  I am going to give directions for a method that involves a lot of little half square triangles (1-1/2 inches a side, finished), but there is a different method at Bella Online if you want to check that out as well.

I’ve seen this one with 3 focus fabrics in addition to the background fabric.  That results in the appearance of an on-point square framing the center 8-point star.

I’m going to just use two focus fabrics and continue with my background fabric where the 3rd fabric would be so that the star really stands out.

Cutting directions for West Virginia quilt block

(4) 3.5 squares [background fabric][or fabric 3, if you’re using the first design option]
(8) 2 inch squares [background fabric]
(16) 2.5 inch squares [background fabric]

(12) 2.5 inch squares [fabric 1]

(12) 2.5 inch squares [fabric 2]

Constructing West Virginia quilt block

Begin by making a whole pile of HSTs, using all the 2.5 inch squares.  Match 8 of the 2.5 inch squares of background fabric with eight 2.5 inch squares of fabric 1.  Match the other eight 2.5 inch squares of background fabric with eight 2.5 inch squares of fabric 2.

The remaining 4 squares of [fabric 1] will each be matched with one of the remaining 4 squares of [fabric 2].

Sew the squares together as we’ve done in the past to make HSTs, cut them apart on the center line, iron open (directions for half square triangles in the Maryland block, if you need a refresher).  Trim each of the FORTY half square triangles to 2 inches.  Phew!

Okay.  Now lay out all the pieces of your block in the correct arrangement and begin sewing pairs of 2-inch squares together.  This is an excellent opportunity for chain piecing! Just pair the squares, line them up, and run them through your sewing machine!

I forgot to take a picture before I began sewing the squares together, but here’s what my block looked like after the first pass of chain piecing pairs.

I’m not going to tell you the exact order in which to put your pieces together at this point because there are about a bajillion different ways it could be done.  I am going to recommend this: since there are so many seams, sew the block together in several sections.  Trim the sections to the correct size and then sew the sections together.  This will prevent little discrepancies in your seam allowances from multiplying into big discrepancies at the whole block level.

I trimmed when I had 6 sections.  The four corner sections were trimmed to 6.5 inches x 5 inches.  The two center sections were trimmed to to 6.5 inches x 3.5 inches

Sew the sections together and trim your block to 12.5 inches.

And hey!  Look at that!  We have finished ALL 16 STATE BLOCKS!

I made 4 of my blocks with a yellow background, so I think that my final arrangement will have them going across the quilt from corner to corner.  Also, I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up re-doing Pennsylvania.  I already re-did it once because version one was just way too busy.  I thought that the toned down version (which I still didn’t love, even from when I first made it) would grow on me, and/or be fine as part of the whole quilt, but it’s not the case.  It still makes me cringe a little.  Third time’s the charm?

Come back next week for a little giveaway for anyone who has completed 8 blocks.  Extra entry if you’ve finished all 16.  I’ll leave the giveaway open for a week, so you have two weeks from now to finish everything up.

Go!

Quilt for my buddy Brian: you can help, too!

My friend Brian and I go back.

Like, way, way back.

(That’s me on the left, Brian in the middle, and my obnoxious little sister on the right.  Just kidding, Chris.  You’re not obnoxious.  At least not anymore.)

Brian lives in Colorado Springs, and this summer, his home was destroyed in the Waldo Canyon Fire.  While I want to be able to do something to help him out, I admit to feeling a bit helpless.  There’s not much I can do from Virginia other than offer my good wishes and let him know he can tell me if there’s anything I can do to help him.  Which I’ve done, but I’ve still felt like I would like to offer something more.

It finally occurred to me that I could make him a quilt.  He’s rebuilding his house, and I hope a quilt will be something he can use and that will help make his new house “home.”  This is going to be a large queen sized quilt, composed of 42 16-inch blocks, so if you’d like to contribute a block or two, I will happily accept them.

Here’s what I have planned.

Color scheme:

Blues (especially dark blue), greens, and grays.  “Man colors.”  Nature inspired.  Like rocky mountains covered in trees.  Mix of prints and solids.  Nothing too flowery.

Design:

I found a quilt pattern called “Turning 20 Again.”  It is basically a simple patchwork that has various sized patches.  It seems very man friendly, and while I don’t own that pattern specifically, I used the design to come up with some cutting directions for a similar block.

Putting the block together

I’ve been working pretty freely on these, without much forethought before I actually get into cutting the fabric.

I begin by cutting the large square and work out from there, adding fabrics that I feel look nice in that position.  When you have all your pieces cut, lay them out to make sure you are happy with that arrangement.

Use a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance for all seams.  Begin by sewing the four small squares together into a 4-patch block.  Add the short rectangle below that.  Construct the second section by sewing the shortest strip to the large square.  Add the medium strip to the bottom of that piece.  Sew the large rectangle to the medium square to make the bottom strip.

Attach the two middle sections together.  Sew the rows together.  Trim the block to 16.5 inches square.

Here are the blocks I’ve completed so far to give you an idea of the color scheme I have in mind for this project.

When the quilt is finished, the blocks will be turned to different positions to give an all over patchwork pattern.  Fun!

If you’d like to help with Brian’s quilt, you can comment here, or send me an email and I will get back to you with my address.

You can see the colors and fabrics I’m using in the blocks above, but there’s a better view of the fabric (and thus, the color palette) here.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Kentucky Chain

The Kentucky chain.  I love how this block turned out and, in fact, I would LOVE to make an entire quilt out of this block because that is when the woven pattern of the block would really shine.

Options!  You like options, right?  Well, this block is going to be full of options for its construction.  The Kentucky chain block has an overlapping pattern that looks something like this:

When you deconstruct it in order to put the quilt block together you’ve got a couple of options.  The first is to keep that center line as a singular piece and put together the side portions on either side of the center.

The second option, the one that makes the most sense to me, and thus the one I will use, divides the block into 4 quarters, two of each type.  Each quarter is constructed the same, but the two focus fabrics switch positions.

I mentioned on Wednesday that I had reviewed how others had done the block, and it seemed that paper piecing was involved no matter how you split it.  I hadn’t actually put this block together myself yet, so I just assumed that was the best way.  I began to write the tutorial for this block by showing you how to make a template for the paper pieced portion of the block.  However, after I finished the template, I realized that I could just as easily assemble the block without paper piecing.

Meanwhile, Shena emailed me to let me know that she had put the Kentucky chain block together without paper piecing it.  I suggested she write a tutorial and I could direct you over there for another way to put this block together.  Her method is a bit different than the one I finally settled on.

So here are your options:
1.  Construct the block with the center line as one piece.  If you like the look of that, you can check out the tutorial for the Kentucky chain at Quilter’s Cache.
2.  Use paper piecing to put together the corners of each quarter of the block.  I will direct you in how to make a template below.  The advantage of using paper piecing is that your lines and corners are going to be more crisp and precise, especially when it comes to matching up the points of intersection.
3.  Use my method that does not involve paper piecing.  You’ll find it below the directions for making the paper piecing template.
4.  Use Shena’s method that does not involve paper piecing.  I suggest you read through both and follow whichever makes more sense to you.

How to make a template for paper piecing the Kentucky Chain block

Begin by drawing a square on freezer paper, 6 inches on each side.  Mark 1-1/2 inches away from the corners on each side.

Draw a line from one mark to the farthest mark on the adjacent edge.  Clear as mud?  That’s why there’s a picture.  Repeat, beginning at the mark on the other side of the same corner, to make a bar down the middle of the block (well, quarter-block).  The section you just created in the middle of the square is 2-1/8 inches wide, and 8.5 inches from corner to corner.  When you cut the fabric for this middle section, you will cut a strip 2-5/8 inches x 9-1/4 inches (to give yourself a little wiggle room on the ends for trimming).

Repeat with the marks on each side of the other two corners, skipping over the bar you just made, to create an “x” through the quarter block.

Two of the corner will now be composed of three sections.  The middle section will be one of your focus fabrics, the side pieces will be your background fabric.  Add 1/4 inch seam allowances around one of these pieces.  Cut this out and use it to paper piece your corners.  You will end up with eight corner pieces, 4 using [fabric 1] and 4 using [fabric 2].

Cutting directions for Kentucky Chain block

(8) 3.5 inch squares, cut on the diagonal to make 16 triangles [background fabric]

(2) 2-5/8 inch x 9-1/4 inch rectangles [fabric 1]
(2) 2-5/8 inch x 9-1/4 inch rectangles [fabric 2]

(4) 2-5/8 inch x 4 inch rectangles [fabric 1]
(4) 2-5/8 inch x 4 inch rectangles [fabric 2]

Construct the Kentucky Chain block

Take each of your 2-5/8 inch x 4 inch squares of fabric and place it right sides together with a triangle of background fabric.  The corners and two sides of the pieces should line up.  Sew along the long edge of the rectangle.

This is an excellent opportunity for chain piecing.  Just line up each of those background triangles with one of your short rectangles and put them through your machine one after the other without stopping to trim threads.

Snip the threads between the pieces, iron the piece open and repeat on the other side, lining up a triangle of background fabric with the corner of each short rectangle.

You now have eight 3-parted pieces, four with each of your two focus fabrics.  Take two of these pieces with [fabric 1] and two with [fabric 2] and center each one along the long edge of one of the 2-5/8 x 9-1/4 inch rectangles of the opposite fabric.

Flip the rectangles so the right sides are together and the long edges are aligned.  Sew along this long edge.

Iron the piece open and add a second 3-parted pieces (same fabric as the first in that quarter) to the other side.

Flip the piece up so right sides are together and check that the edges of the center fabric line up.

Sew along the long edge, iron the pieces open and trim the quarter to 6.5 inches.  This works best if you have a 6.5 inch square ruler, but even if you don’t, square up the block from the corners.  By this, I mean that the focus fabrics in the corners should end the same distance from the corner on each side of a corner.

Complete the remaining three quarters in the same way.  Arrange the quarters as below.

Even though it wouldn’t technically be a Kentucky Chain with this alternate arrangement, I still think it looks pretty great if two opposite quarters are turned so that the colors alternate.

Sew the quarters together and trim the block to 12.5 inches.

Only one block to go!!!

 

Road Trip Quilt Along: Missouri Star

As I’ve been in the habit of posting our Road Trip Quilt Along tutorials on Friday, I must apologize for the delay. I hadn’t yet begun this one when I posted my Work in Progress Wednesday, and the end of the week just sort of got away from me.

Missouri is where my husband’s parents’ live, so this was a significant stop on our road trip this summer. We actually stayed one night with my cousin on the western side of the state and then drove to St. Louis, where we hung out with Grandma and Grandpa for several days before finishing our journey home to Virginia.

And our Road Trip Quilt Along journey is almost over as well. Only two block remain after this one!

I found the Missouri Star block at Quilter’s Cache, and it looks something like this:

I wanted to have a focal point in the center of my block, though. So I modified this star a bit. I exchanged the negative space (background fabric) in the center with a third fabric and swapped the corners of that center piece back to my background fabric. So these directions will result in a Missouri star that looks something like this:

Feel free to use either version.

Cutting directions for modified Missouri star

Center square
(1) 4.75 inch square (on point) [fabric 1]
(2) 4 inch squares, cut once on the diagonal to make 4 triangles [background fabric]

Flying geese/star points
Since the sides of these flying geese are composed of two fabrics, we can’t use the short cut method I’ve used in the past. Each one will have to be sewn individually.

(1) 7.25 inch triangle, cut twice on the diagonal, to make 4 triangles [background fabric]
(2) 4.25 inch squares [fabric 2]
(2) 4.25 inch squares [fabric 3]

Ignore the fact that I have (4) squares of each of fabric 2 and 3 in the picture below. I wasn’t paying attention and made extra.

Corners
(4) 3.5 inch squares [background fabric]

Make the center square

Take your 4.75 inch square. Line up 1 of the triangles made from the 4 inch square of background fabric with one edge. Sew in place and repeat for the opposite edge. Iron those pieces open. Repeat these steps, sewing the last two triangles from the 4 inch squares to the two remaining sides of the 4.75 inch center square. Iron the pieces open. Trim the center square to 6.5 inches.

Make the flying geese/star points

Begin by using your 4.25 inch squares to make 4 half square triangles. Match one square of fabric 2 with one square of fabric 3 and create the HSTs as we’ve done for past blocks. You will end up with 4 HSTs (again, ignore the fact that I have twice as many as I need!).

Take each of your HSTs and cut it in half on the diagonal, in the opposite direction of the line between the two fabrics. You now have 8 triangles, each composed of two fabrics.

Line up one of those two tone triangles along a short edge of one of the 1/4 triangles created from the 7.25 inch square.

Flip the two tone triangle so the right sides of the two triangles are together. When you line up the two triangles, do it so that the two parallel edges are lined up. Do not center the two tone triangle along the edge of the 1/4 square triangle. See all those little threads? I centered and didn’t realize until I had done it incorrectly 5 times and had to rip all my seams out. Grrrrr …

Iron open.  Repeat for the other side, again lining up the parallel edges and allowing the “extra” fabric to all extend above the upper point.  Iron the piece open and trim to 3.5 inches x 6.5 inches.

Repeat the process to make 3 more flying geese/star points.

Arrange your pieces to for the Missouri star.

Sew the pieces into row.  Sew the rows together.  Trim the block to 12.5 inches.

Can you believe that there are only TWO state blocks left and we will have finished all the blocks for the quilt along?!

Road Trip Quilt Along: Rocky Road to Kansas

I was getting ready to show you how to make a template for the Rocky Road to Kansas block, when I noticed the template for my Iowa Star, slightly crumpled, lying on the floor near by (like I said, my sewing room is in desperate need of a good cleaning!)

As it turns out, Rocky Road to Kansas is almost exactly the same template as the Iowa Star.  The only difference is that the Iowa Star star points feature a large triangle composed of 4 smaller triangles, and the star points in Rocky Road to Kansas are string pieced.  If you made a freezer paper template for the Iowa Star, and you still have it, you can reuse it here.  If you need to make another, you can review the directions for making the template for the Iowa Star.  Just don’t add the lines to divided the large triangle.

I mentioned the star points for this block are string pieced, so this is a great chance to use up some of the scraps you’ve accumulated making some of the other blocks.  I used 7-9 strips for each of the 4 sections of the block, depending on the width of the strips.

Let’s start by putting together our strip pieces.  You’ll need 30-35 strips of fabric that are 5-6 inches in length and 1 to 1-3/4 inches in width.  Different widths are better, so trim up some of your scraps to make that happen.

Arrange 7-9 strips in a manner that looks appealing to you and sew them together along the length.  You’ll want the finished piece to be 5 inches x 7.5 inches.  Press seams open.

Repeat this 3 more times so that you have a total of 4 strip pieced sections of fabric.

Cutting directions for Rocky Road to Kansas

In addition to the (4) strip pieced sections for the star points you just created, you will also need:

(8) 4 inch x 7.5 inch rectangles [background fabric]

(2) 4 inch squares, cut on the diagonal to make 4 triangles

Constructing the block

Begin by placing your template on one of the strip pieced sections, with the waxy side of the freezer paper against the wrong side of the fabric.  The center triangle of the template should be fully on the fabric.  Press.

Fold back the template along one of the lines between the center triangle and the background.  Trim the fabric to 1/4 inch beyond the fold.

Line up one of the rectangles of background fabric along the edge you just cut.  Flip the piece so the paper is up again.  Sew the two pieces of fabric together, allowing the needle as close to the fold in the paper as possible, without piercing the paper.  (I didn’t include a photo of this since we’ve done this method of paper piecing before.  If you need a review, check out the photos in the Maryland tutorial.)  Unfold the paper and press the fabric open.

Repeat for the other side.  Fold the paper back along the line between the triangle and the background fabric.  Trim the strip pieced section to 1/4 inch beyond the fold.  Line up a rectangle of background fabric along the edge you just trimmed.  Sew as close to the fold as possible without piercing the paper.  Iron the section open.

Now all we have left is the triangle that will be center of the block.  Fold the paper template back along the final line between the base of the large triangle and the center section of the block.  Trim to 1/4 inch beyond the fold.

Line up one of the center triangles with the edge you just cut.  Sew very close to the fold, and then unfold the paper and iron the piece open.

Trim the section to 6.5 inches.

Repeat 3 more times to make 4 section of the block.  Sew together.  Trim to 12.5 inches.  Rocky Road to Kansas!

Here’s Kansas with her buddy, Iowa.  Only 3 blocks to go.  How are you doing?

Road Trip Quilt Along: Colorado Pass

Ah, Colorado!  How I love that state.  Every time I visit, I want to move there.  On our travels this summer, we spent a couple days in Rocky Mountain National Park (not nearly long enough) and then headed on to Denver, where we met up with 4 of my college cross country teammates.  What fun!

We woke up early one morning to find about half a dozen young mule deer bucks right outside the tent!

I don’t have a lot of pictures of the actual construction of this block because it’s easy as pie.  Bonus: it looks awesome!  I loved making it.  Though, I kind of have a crush on half square triangles.  If you don’t like making and trimming HSTs, you will not feel the same way as I do about this block.  That’s all it is.  A whole pile of HSTs and a handful of squares.

The tricky part is orienting all the HSTs in the proper direction to make up the pattern of the block.  Fear not, though.  I made a handy graphic for you.  Just click on the picture, print it out and you have a guide when you put this block together.  In color or black and white.

Cutting directions for Colorado Pass quilt block

Fabric 1:
(2) 2.5 inch squares
(6) 3 inch squares

Fabric 2:
(2) 2.5 inch squares
(6) 3 inch squares

Fabric 3:
(4) 3 inch squares

Background Fabric:
(16) 3 inch squares

Assembly direction for Colorado Pass quilt block:

Set aside the 2.5 inch squares.  You will use those for the corner of the finished block.

Make 32 half square triangles.  Match each 3 inch square of background fabric with a 3 inch square of one of your accent fabrics.  For a review of how to make HSTs, head on back to the Maryland quilt block.  This is an excellent place for chain piecing.  I just fed each pair of squares through my machine one at a time, sewing a line 1/4 inch to the right of my center diagonal line.  Then I flipped the whole line of squares over and stitched a line 1/4 inch to the other side of my center line.

Cut the HSTs apart on the center line and then trim each one to 2.5 inches. 

Now it’s just a matter of arranging the blocks in the correct layout and sewing them together.

I used chain piecing here as well, and it went together pretty quickly.  I was a little too “scant” with my 1/4 inch seam allowance, so when I trimmed my block to 12.5 inches, I don’t have 1/4 inch above those outside points, so I will lose a little bit of the point when I put the quilt together, but it doesn’t bother me enough to redo the entire block.  Do you strive to make everything “just so,” or are you a “make it work” type of quilter?

Road Trip Quilt Along: Montana

Ah, Montana.  No place I’d rather be in the summer than Bozeman, Montana.  My husband and I stayed out there for 7 weeks 2 years ago when he was beginning his Masters degree.  This year, he was finishing up and we spent another two weeks staying in Bozeman.

Being in one place for bit gave some time to explore, and we did a bit of hiking in the area.  My 4-year-old hiked the very steep M Trail (up to a large letter “M” on the side of a mountain) all by herself.

Quite the intrepid hiker, this one is!

We also visited Hyalite Canyon, which is just gorgeous: reservoir nestled between the mountains, wooded trails, hidden mountain lakes.  It’s a treasure.

We hiked a 4 miles trail that gave us views of 5 different waterfalls, and we have taken the trail for its entire 10 miles, we would have seen 11 in total, according to our guide book.

I took some creative license and slightly redesigned this block from the original source.  The source tutorial for the Montana block gives instructions to finish a 9-inch block.  For a block of this size, this 9-patch design works well.  For the patches that are divided in thirds, each third finishes at 1 inch.

However, I am writing these instructions for a 12-inch finished quilt block.  Thus, each of the 9 patches are 4 inches and those that are divided into thirds finish at somewhere between 1-5/16 and 1-3/8.  More complicated quilt math.  Not to mention, with the original design, the 4 flying geese are not the standard size, so they would have to be paper pieced.

If you care to stick with the original plan, 9 equal square patch, you go for it.  However, for some simpler quilt math and to finish this block without paper piecing, I just made one little change.  I decreased the center square from 4-inches finished to 3-inches finished.  Each of the corner half square triangles will now be 4.5 inches square and the sections even with the center piece finish at 3 inches x 4.5 inches.

Cutting direction for Montana quilt block

Center 9 patch
(5) 1.5 inch squares [fabric 1]
(4) 1.5 inch squares [fabric 2]

Flying Geese
(1) 4.25 inch square [fabric 1]
(4) 2.5 inch squares [fabric 2]

Extension from flying geese
(4) 3.5 inch x 2 inch rectangles [fabric 3]
(4) 3.5 inch x 2 inch rectangles [background fabric]

Half square triangles
(2) 5.5 inch squares [fabric 1]
(2) 5.5 inch squares [background fabric]

Assembly instructions for Montana quilt block

Create the half square triangles.  Use the four 5.5 inch squares.  More detailed directions for half square triangles can be found with the Maryland block.  Trim these HSTs to 5 inches.

Create four flying geese.  Use the 4.25 inch square of [fabric 1] and the four 2.5 inch squares of [fabric 2].  More detailed instructions for my preferred method of making flying geese can be found in the Virginia block tutorial.  Trim these geese to 3.5 inches x 2 inches.

Create the center 9 patch block.  Use the 1.5 inch squares.  Trim the finished piece to 3.5 inches square.

Put together the extensions of the flying geese.  Sew each of your flying geese together with one each of a 3.5 inch x 2 inch rectangle of [fabric 3] and one 3.5 inch x 2 inch rectangles of [background fabric].  Trim the piece to 3.5 inches x 5 inches.

Assemble the block.  Arrange your nine sections as shown below.  Sew the pieces into rows.  Sew the rows together.

Montana quilt block!  I apologize for the poor lighting in my sewing room at night, but this is all I have for now since I just finished this a little while ago.  I’ll try to get a better picture tomorrow as well as a photo of all the blocks we’ve finished so far.  It’s raining, though, so that depends on whether I can find a dry spot outside or not.