Monday, August 31, 2009

No-Waste Flying Geese Tutorial

I've been working on my Snowflake Medallion quilt and it's ready to have a round of Flying Geese pieced to it.
Several years ago I learned an effective and easy way to make Flying Geese blocks. This method suits best when you want four identical Flying Geese, and you don't want to waste any scrap of fabric. It's my favorite way to make FGs.

If you wish to calculate the size of your geese, know that the finished width of the block is twice the finished height of the block. To calculate for yourself the size Flying Geese you want to make, follow this formula:

For the geese (shown green print),
cut ONE fabric square that equals the finished width of the block plus 1-1/4".

For the sky/background (shown white),
cut FOUR fabric squares that equal the finished height of the block plus 7/8".

On each sky/background square draw a line diagonally from corner to corner. Note that my drawing surface is a piece of 000 sandpaper. As I draw the line, the sandpaper helps minimize any fabric stretching across the bias.
With right sides together, position a background square on a corner of the large geese square. Position a second background square on the opposite corner, aligning the drawn lines.
A slight overlap is okay.

Using a walking foot (preferred) or a quarter-inch foot, straight stitch across both background squares, sewing a scant quarter-inch away from the drawn line.
The drawn line aligns with the groove of the walking foot.
Stitch along both sides of the drawn line.
Use a ruler and rotary cutter to cut on the drawn line, between the two lines of stitching.
Press the seam allowance toward the smaller squares.
Position another small sky/background square on the corner of the now half-size geese. Again, stitch a scant quarter-inch from the drawn line on both sides of the line. Repeat to sew the fourth small square onto the remaining half-size geese.
Rotary cut between the drawn line.
Press seam allowances away from each goose.
Trim rectangles to remove dog ears.
One large square and four small squares equal four lovely Flying Geese blocks.


  1. I have done this before and it is a pretty neat trick. Thanks for reminding me of the technique.

  2. The Tutorials on both the bottle cap pin cushion and the cute little golf tee pincushions are just the best. Thank you for both of them

    Thanks also for your very kind comments on my blog's piccies.
    Hadn't noticed the jacaranda and red until you mentioned it, the colours really are great,I miss the Autumn colours of Melbourne, but not the cold weather that goes with it so I will be thinking of you and your beautiful fall colours.

  3. Thanks for your tutorial- I have seen this technique described a few times, but your tutorial is the clearest I have seen-many thanks!

  4. I wish there was a print link to a pdf file. I am frugle with printer ink as it is so expensive for us old foolks.

    1. Sorry Gloria. I've never created a document for this method of making flying geese, but you can find one here:
      (I am replying to you here because I could not respond via email. You are a "no-reply commenter.")

  5. I am new to making the flying geese and this pattern was perfect! And I understand the seam allowance at the top BUT how do I sew the 2 side points together with no seam allowance?

    1. You are a no-reply commenter, so I cannot email you a response. So, I hope you see this! There is seam allowance allowed on all sides of the flying geese block. When you sew a quarter-inch seam on each side, and then sew a quarter-inch seam along the bottom, all the corners will meet up beautifully. Just do it, and you will see. All the best!

  6. Bonjour,
    Pourquoi rabattre vers les petits triangles ? perso, je rabats toujours vers le tissu le plus foncé et en tous cas sur le tissu inverse de celui que je vais quilter.

    1. Bonjour! I cannot reply to you personally because you didn’t leave an email address. But I can tell you that I try to press to the dark color whenever possible. It isn’t possible in this tutorial because if I pressed to the dark, the geese triangle would be very bulky at the tip/top edge where two seam allowances would come together. So, I pressed to the light color.


I reply to comments! If you are a no-reply commenter, or your profile appears as anonymous, I will reply to you directly on this blog post. Please check back!


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin