Flying geese

I spent a great chunk of last weekend happily piecing my lastest fabric acquisition into a pile of 96 flying geese blocks. They have since been sewn into a quilt top that, with any luck and some free hours, will get basted and quilted this weekend. My favorite part of making a quilt is undoubtedly piecing. I get in a rhythm when sewing 1/4" seams in rapid succession. I love it when I can get in that groove and sew a bunch of pieces together in a short time. For these flying geese, I used a great method for making multiple blocks that was fast and fun so I thought I'd share how I did it with you.

Flying geese tutorial

Flying geese blocks are rectangular with the finished height being 1/2 the measurement of the finished width, or said differently, their measurments have a ratio of 1 to 2. The blocks I made for the purpose of this demonstration finish at 3.5" x 7" (with the seam allowances they measure 4" x 7.5"), but you can easily adjust this formula to make the blocks any size you desire. It's easy. Another bonus to this method, is that there is no fabric waste when you piece flying geese this way.

Flying geese 1

This method produces 4 identical blocks. You'll need:

– 1 square of fabric cut 1 1/4" larger than the desired finished width. (For my block that is 7" long when finished, I cut my square to 8 1/4").

– 4 squares of fabric cut 7/8" larger than the desired finished height (For my block that is 3 1/2" high when finished, I cut my square to 4 3/8").

– a marking pen or pencil, straight pins, sewing machine and thread, a rotary cutter and ruler

Flying geese 2

1. With you marking pen and ruler, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner across all four of the small squares.

Flying geese 3

2. Place 1 small square on the corner of the large fabric square with the diagonal line starting at the corner. Make sure that the fabrics' right sides are together with the edges lined up.

Flying geese 4

3. Place a second small square on the opposite corner. The diagonal lines should meet and the squares will overlap by a 1/2".  Pin the small squares in place.

Flying geese 5

4. Sew a 1/4" seam on each side of the drawn line. This is a great time to use a 1/4" piecing foot if you have one.

Flying geese 6

5. With your ruler against the drawn line, cut the square into two triangles.

Flying geese 7

6. Press the seams towards the small pieces as shown. You now have two pieces that are somewhat heart-shaped.

Flying geese 8

7. Take another small fabric square and pin it to the point of the heart shape so that the drawn line runs from the point to between the top triangles.

Flying geese 9

8. Sew seams a 1/4" on each side of the drawn line. Once the seams are sewn, cut on the line just like you did in step 5.

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for the second heart.

Flying geese 10

10. Press seams towards the small triangles. Ta da! You now have 4 flying geese blocks.


I hope you all have a great weekend. I plan on sewing!

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