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Flying Geese Tutorial – no bias edges and no waste

Posted on: June 20th, 2013 by Lorna McMahon

Recent changes at our local library allow for us to now borrow books from additional libraries within the county.  For me, this is very exciting news! The number of quilting books now available has zintzupled!

A week ago, I picked up “Quilts from the Heart” by Karin Renaud (Martingale & Company, 2009).
And today I would like to share with you a tip for making flying geese as found on page 13.  Karin credits this method to Evelyn Sloppy’s “40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts” (Martingale & Company, 2005).

Karen says, “In the intervening years I have not found any method that works nearly as well.”

I would like to add… this method does not require the sewing of any triangle pieces, therefore no bias edges.  And there is no WASTE!

One large square and four small squares will make four flying geese units.
In our sample, the large square measures 5 1/2″ and the four small squares are 3″
Using a pencil or fabric marker, draw a diagonal line through each of the small squares on the wrong side of the fabric.  Place two of the these squares with right sides facing down, onto opposite corners of the large square.   The two small squares will overlap in the center by 1/2″.  Sew a 1/4″ seam along both sides of the drawn lines.
 Press to set the seams.  Cut along the drawn line.
Press the seams toward the small triangles.  Now take your two remaining 3″ squares and place them, with right sides facing, onto each of the corners of the two large units you just made, with the drawn line going from the corner of the large triangle to the space between the two small triangles.  Sew a 1/4″ seam along both sides of the drawn lines for each of the units.
Press to set the seams.  Cut along the drawn lines.
Press seams toward the small triangles.  You now have four Flying Geese units.
Sew them together….  and Voila!

To calculate the size of squares needed to make Flying Geese units for your project….

For the Small squares…  Add 1″ to the finished length of your nose to tail measurement
2″ + 1″ = 3″ small squares
For the Large square…  Add 1 1/2″ to the finished width of your wing span
4″ + 1 1/2″ = 5 1/2″ large square
Hope you will find this tutorial helpful!
Thanks for dropping in and Happy Quilting!

16 Responses

  1. So clever!This is a great tute, thanks for sharing, definitely worth coming back to!

  2. this is a great way to make flying geese- I like the 'no waste' methods!

  3. Thanks Karen! I agree… Fabric is a precious commodity, so if we can avoid it, we try not to waste it. Glad you stopped in!

  4. This is genius!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Well…. Thank you! And you are very welcome. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment!

  6. Will have to try this method for flying geese. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. You're welcome. Thanks for the visit!

  8. liz says:

    I'm definitely going to try this for my first ever attempt at flying geese. Anything that has no bias edges and no waste seems brilliant! Thanks so much!

  9. I couldn't agree more, Liz! Glad you found the tutorial useful!

  10. Sandy says:

    fantastic!! I will definitely use this!!

  11. Dominique says:

    I remember seeing this in a magazine, but no idea which one or when. I am so happy to have found this, and thanks for doing the math for us!

  12. Unknown says:

    I put this into my favorites. I WILL be using your tutorial on flying geese. Thanks

  13. claire says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I made a quilt with Flying geese and said Never again due to the time it took and the wastage. You have changed my mind 🙂

  14. Sandy says:

    love this!! will have to try it, because my geese never turn out well.

  15. Zenia Rene says:

    I almost printed this tutorial, then realized I own Evelyn Sloppy's \”40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts\” (Martingale & Company, 2005). I'll have to check it out. Thanks.

  16. Unknown says:

    I came across this method some years ago, and it is the greatest I have ever seen for flying geese. No longer one to avoid LOL