Sewing 101: Flying Geese 3 Ways

Sewing 101: Flying Geese 3 Ways

Flying geese are an essential quilt block you'll want in your sewing repertoire, and today we're showing you 3 quick and easy methods for sewing flying geese blocks! Did you know that this technique dates back to the 1800s? It can be used in many larger blocks like the Dutchman’s Puzzle and any blocks featuring stars. Or, use them as is to create fun patterns that are graphic and modern!

All of the instructions in this post will produce 2x4” finished blocks, but check out the handy charts below for other common finished sizes.

Let's get started!

Supplies Needed

Method 1: Traditional Method

This method is great for scrappy quilters! This method makes one flying geese block, but you will have 3 main segments left over for additional blocks. If you’d like to make four, just add 3 additional 2 7/8” squares of your "sky" fabric and cut them in half. This method is great for chain piecing if you cut all your triangles in advance. You do have to be careful when handling your cut fabrics, as you’re working with bias edges that may warp.

Cut:
  • (1) 5 ¼” square, cut diagonally into 4 (quarter square) triangles
  • (1) 2 7/8 “ square, cut diagonally into 2 (half square) triangles

Flying Geese

Bias edges together, place one small triangle on the right bias edge of the large triangle, sew at ¼”.

Flying Geese

Press this before sewing your next triangle on.

Flying Geese

Place the second white triangle on the left bias edge of the main triangle, sew at ¼” seam. Press.

Flying Geese

Now you have a 1 flying geese block! You can always trim this for more accurate results.

Flying Geese

Method 2: Stitch and flip Method

The Stitch and Flip Method seems to be the most common, but it does produce some waste. But, you can use the extra triangle scraps to make small HST’s for another project! This method is also great for chain-piecing, and using full squares adds extra stability while piecing.

Cut:
  • (1) 2.5” x 4.5” of main fabric
  • (2) 2.5” squares of contrast fabric

Mark your small white squares diagonally with a marking pen, pencil or chalk. If your fabric is not solid (has a wrong and right side), make sure you have half of your squares with the diagonal line pointing one way and half pointing the other, like the lines of the flying geese block.

Flying Geese

Place your right contrasting square on the right side of the rectangular piece, making sure your diagonal mark is going left to right and top to bottom. Sew just along the outside of this line to allow for pressing.

Flying Geese

Trim the excess (to the right of the line) and press.

Flying Geese

Repeat this for the left side of the block, making sure your diagonal line is going top to bottom, left to right.

Trim for better accuracy.

Flying Geese

Flying Geese

Method 3: Four at a time

This method is great for when you need a lot of geese, and the method itself can be mind-boggling, but it’s actually quite easy. Accuracy is extremely important for this method to turn out correctly.

Cut:
  • (1) 5 ¼” square of the main color
  • (4) 2 7/8” squares of contrasting color

Mark your small squares diagonally.

Flying Geese

Place two of your small squares on the large square, one in the top left and one in the bottom right, overlapping slightly, with the markings making a diagonal line.

Flying Geese

Sew a scant ¼” seam on either side of this line.

Flying Geese

Cut between the lines and press.

Flying Geese

With each of these cat-eared segments, place a small square.

Flying Geese

Sew a scant ¼” seam on either side of this line.

Flying Geese

Voila – you have two flying geese! Repeat to the other segment for a total of 4. This is a fun method that is best used for non-directional prints.

Flying Geese

We couldn't resist sewing up a quilt with flying geese using Liberty Fabrics Lawn, and we love the end result!

Flying Geese

Happy sewing!

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