I have three patterns set to release soon (I know I've been saying that forever, but bear with me, I promise it's happening!). All three patterns feature the flying geese quilt block prominently, so I wanted to give you a more in depth tutorial. I also created a handy reference chart for myself so I wouldn't have to keep looking up the block sizes, and you can download it for free here!
The Flying Geese block is a fantastic one to have in your toolbox. It is a basic and versatile. It can stand alone, or can be found in other blocks like the Sawtooth Star or the Dutchman Puzzle block. Basically, you need this one.
It is twice as wide as it is long and is generally made with two contrasting colors for the main body and the points (or the goose and sky parts, if you will) to get the best effect. The best thing about the easy dimensions of the flying geese block is that it can be made in any size. The handy reference sheethas a chart with some common sizes, and also the simple math so you can calculate your own.
This is my favorite way to make Flying Geese blocks. There are a couple other ways to do it, but I always come back to this one. The No Waste Method makes four Flying Geese at a time with no extra fabric that has to be thrown away (hence the "No Waste" name).
So lets get to it. You will need  large square and  smaller squares. This handy, dandy download has common sizes for you to reference. Also needed: a rotary cutter, a marking device (I like Frixon pens, they ink comes off with the press of an iron), and pins if you use them (I do).
Step 1: Place  of your smaller squares on opposite corners of  larger square right sides together. There will be some overlap of the smaller squares. Pin into place, and draw a line down the center as shown.
Step 2: Sew 1/4" seam on either side of the drawn line. I moved my needle one notch to the right to make my seam juuuuuust a little smaller. I have found that my accuracy improved when I started to use the scant 1/4"seam.
Step 3: Use your rotary cutter, and cut on your down the middle on your drawn line. You should now have  units that look like this.
Step 4: Press seams towards the smaller triangles. Repeat  times
Step 5: Take your remaining  smaller triangles. Place one smaller square, right side down, on the corner of each unit. Draw a line down the center.
Step 6: Sew 1/4" seam on either side of the drawn lines. The 1/4" seam should line up with where the yellow triangles overlap. See picture for example.
Step 7: Using your rotary cutter, cut each unit on the drawn line. This should give you  units.
Step 8: Press seams towards smaller triangles.
LAST STEP! Trim the dog ears and square up each unit. I square my units in a specific order every time. First, I measure 1/4" from the point and cut off the excess yellow fabric. Then, I flip the unit and trim as needed on the opposite side. But, it is usually really close to the correct height already, so not much more is needed there. Last, I make sure the unit is the correct width and not wonky. Then I trim the dog ears and any excess of the short edges. I didn't think to take pictures of that part, so I hope it makes sense.
WOOHOO! Just like that you will have FOUR flying geese ready to go! Quick and painless right?
Yes! I have three tips for you:
- Cut your squares ACCURATELY. Wonky squares or squares that are slightly too big (or small) can throw off your finished units by making the sky points slanted.
- Sew with a scant 1/4" seam. A scant 1/4" seam is a thread or two smaller than 1/4". The idea is that it will account for the space the thread takes up when you press the seams open. To be honest, I sew with a regular 1/4" seam 99% of the time. This method is the 1% of the time I scoot my needle one position over. I found it helped my accuracy a lot.
- Chain piece to get lots of these done at once! But, slow down so your corners don't get eaten by your feed dogs (especially in step 6).
Download your reference guide.Pull some fabric from your stash. Start sewing!
I can't wait to see what you make!
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