Monday, August 26, 2019

Instant Blocks: Flying Geese

Here is my preferred way to make  my flying geese!  It's a "no-waste" technique, which makes me happy.  These "Instant Blocks" only require one background square plus four small print squares to produce FOUR flying geese at the same time.  Oh, I love that!

On my most recent quilt, it was a choice between cutting 312 squares and rectangles, or 130 large and small squares.  I went with the latter technique.   It was easy enough to adapt the pattern.  I checked the chart in my handy Quilter's Bible, giving me the dimensions of the squares to cut.

  Time-Saving TIP:  For 2" x 4" finished flying geese, it only requires one 5-1/4" square and four
2-7/8" squares rather than four 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangles plus eight 2-1/2" print squares to yield four flying geese units.
  Precision Piecing TIP:  Try rounding the small squares up to the nearest 1/8-inch, creating a fudge factor so that even if the seams aren't exactly exact, this makes it slightly bigger so the block can be trimmed to exactly the perfect size.

  Quick no-mark TRICK:
❶ Slide a ruler under the needle along the 1/4" line.  Lower the presser foot to hold it in place.

❷ Adjust ruler so it is straight, then position some painter's tape or washi tape along side the ruler, 1/4" from the needle.  I have a supply of cute RBD washi tape  by Lauren Nash that's perfect for this!

❸ Layer two of the small squares with right sides together on two diagonal corners of the large background square.  (This technique really needs an extended tray or table for your sewing machine, otherwise you will be drawing a diagonal line on all the small squares).

➍ Pin in place if desired, then snip the ends of the small squares where they overlap.  Now you are ready to stitch!

❺  Insert the fabrics under the presser foot with the top point aligned at 1/4" from the needle (edge of the foot), and the bottom point aligned at the edge of your washi tape.

❻  Keep the point aligned with the tape as you stitch down one side, then flip the unit around and stitch on the other side.  If you are sewing a bunch, chain piece.

❼  Cut between your stitching lines, then press the small triangles away from the large triangle.

❽  Next, add another square to each of the remaining pieces as pictured, and proceed in the same manner as before, stitching on both sides.

❾  Cut between stitching lines, press.

❿  Trim to size, making sure  you have 1/4" seam allowance.

This is one of my favorite blocks to make with flying geese!  The large ones finish at 2" x 4"
and the small ones are 1" x 2" finished.  See them in my most recent quilt HERE.

Do you have a favorite trick or tool that makes you happy?  Let us know~
Happy Sewing!



  1. I love my Tucker Trimmer. I have Eleanor Burns Flying Geese ruler that helps in the trimming. Cute Star block.

  2. I like the ruler technique for marking 1/4" seams! When you rounding up 1/8" to smaller squares, is that adding 1/8" to what is mentioned in the chart? So for finished 2x4 flying geese, the smaller square should be cut to 3"?

    1. Yes, that's it exactly! I cut 3" squares instead of 2-7/8" squares. Construction is the very same, but it gives just a little extra where the tip of the "goose" comes to a point, so I can always trim it down to the perfect 1/4" seam.


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