Monday, August 5, 2013

Star Surround Quilt-A-Long - Flying Geese

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Star Surround Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win one of 4 of the $75.00 Gift Certificate grand prizes sponsored by The Intrepid Thread and Fat Quarter Shop ) you can find a list of the post links here :)  Here is the schedule

Aug 5 - Flying Geese
Aug 12 - Building Block Centers
Aug 19 - Building Block Surround
Aug 26 - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
Sept 16 - Star Surround Parade and Grand Prize Winners

If you have been on the fencing about  Quilting-A-Long or just found the Star Surround Quilt-A-Long for the first time, it's not to late to join in :)  You can catch up super fast.  We had lots of people join in last week and would love to have more this week :)  And, there are still a few quilt kits available from Christa Quilts in a solid same layout and The Intrepid Thread in a print scrappy to get you going quick :)  


Now, first off for this week, we need to pick a winner for the Half Square Triangle Assignment.   And great job to everyone on finishing that assignment, I know the trimming can get a little tiresome, so wait to stick with it and keep up.  This is a great group to quilt-a-long with :)

The Half Square Triangle  Assignment winner who gets a Pattern of their choice from Green Fairy Quilts is
#65 - Heidi!!! - Congrats :)


Alright, it's August!!!  Another month and a new assignment.  This weeks assignment is Flying Geese.  Now I know a lot of people don't like flying geese, but hopefully you will find this method of making them to be fun, fast, and easy. 


 The great thing about making flying geese this way is that you don't waste any fabric and you never have to sew a triangle.  Double bonus!!  So, let's get to it :)

Start by gathering all of your large Number 1/4" squares (i.e. 16" block - 5 1/4" squares, 24" block - 7 1/4" squares, 32" block - 9 1/4" squares, 40" block - 11 1/4" squares or 48" block - 13 1/4" squares) and your background Number 7/8" squares (i.e. 16" block - 2 7/8" squares, 24" block - 3 7/8" squares, 32" block - 4 7/8" squares, 40" block - 5 7/8" squares or 48" block - 6 7/8" squares).  You will have squares of your print fabrics as well as your background fabrics.  Now, for each block you have in your quilt (3) large squares all the same print and (12) background squares, paired 4 background squares to each large square.

Now you don't have to keep track of these blocks or separate them in any way.  Just have a large pile of your large squares and a large pile of your background squares and you are good to go.

Now you are ready to start making your Half Square Triangles.  To save time, I like to do each of these steps in assembly line fashion, however, most of the pictures will just show one Flying Geese unit which results in 4 Flying Geese total being worked on.

With right sides together, lay two small squares onto your large square as shown.  Using your ruler, draw a pen line diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.   (If you like, you can start by just drawing lines on the back of all your background squares, it takes a little bit but it is nice to have it done, but if you don't like doing that, just draw them on as you get to them :)

Now pin both sides of each square adjacent to that drawn line.  Make sure to put them out far enough that your presser foot won't hit them as you sew on by :)  Stitch a 1/4" seam along EITHER side of the drawn line (the black lines represent your stitching lines :)  

The easiest way to assembly line stitch is to chain stitch the 1/4" seam on the right hand side of the line first.  I just chain stitched through the entire pile and it went so fast :)

Then clip the threads between the squares.  Now, go ahead stitch the 1/4" seam on the left hand side of your sets.  And now you have some super long square snakes :)  Clip the remaining threads between the squares and make a large pile ready for cutting.

Align your ruler along the drawn center line.  Cut along the edge of the ruler creating 2 large triangles.

Press the seams up towards the 2 little triangles.

Now it's like starting over and we repeat all the same steps, just on smaller and more units.  Take 2 more little squares and align them on your two stitched pieces as follows with right sides together.  Once again, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the little squares from corner to corner. (unless you did all of the drawing lines at the start, then you can just lay them in place :) 

Now pin each piece far enough to leave room for the presser foot, then once again, stitch a 1/4" seam along EITHER side of the drawn diagonal line.  (Remember to chain stitch all the left and then all the right sides :)

Clip your threads and then using your ruler aligned along the drawn line cut your 2 pieces in half to create 4 pieces.  And this is where your four flying geese come from.

Press your seams up to match the other seam.  Lastly, trim off the little dog ear corners at either side and the top of your unit.

And you are done!!!  Perfectly precise flying geese blocks without throwing away any scraps and without sewing a single triangle.  Fabulous!!  

 For those of you that are new to this method of No Waste Flying Geese,  I wrote a previous tutorial on  No Waste Flying Geese that also goes over the math of making them so you can make any size Flying Geese you like.  Thought you might like it :)

 And that's it!!  Here is my Flock of geese all ready to fly away :)  12 Geese total per block for a grand total of 108 geese for me.  So now it's your turn, get your Geese made and your assignment is complete!!!  And then you can enter to win the weekly prize :)

The Weekly Prize is sponsored by The Rustic Rooster Quilt Shop and a huge thanks goes out to them for their support of the Star Surround Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks  prize is 2 charm packs of Basic Grey's newest Christmas line Aspen Frost.  I love this line, it is just fantastic and oh so cheery.  And with the holiday's coming I know you can find a project for these :)

So what do you have to do for a chance to win these 2 charm packs?  Simple . . . Just link up your Flock of Flying Geese at the end of this post :)  You can link to a blog post or a flickr picture, or whatever.  Just make sure to link up by next Monday morning as I will be announcing a winner in next weeks post :)

If you don't get your Flying Geese done by next week you can still link it up :) (just not in time for the prize :) The linky will remain open until the end of the Quilt-A-Long.  So if your out of town, or just had a busy week, no worries!!!  Just link up when you can :)

And don't forget to add your Flock to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group!!!  I can't wait to see them all ;)

So let's get sewing!!!  And if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!

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  1. This may well be the first time I enjoy making Flying Geese! Looking forward to giving them a go.

  2. I have never done flying geese like this! Always love to learn new techniques! And I have discovered that this QAL is the perfect way for me to actually stay on track with a project! I love knowing that I have that deadline of Monday morning - it's working and this has been so much fun! I can hardly wait to see everyone's completed quilts...Thanks again Melissa for making this fun QAL happen!

  3. I've never made flying geese - - looking forward to trying something new!

  4. Thank you for the tutorial as I have yet to do these, wish me luck!: )

  5. I have never made flying geese before this will be fun, thanks.

  6. This will be so much easier than last week. Still have 2 sets of half square triangles to finish up then on to these. Must meet deadline this week.

  7. I recently used this method for making flying geese for another project and think it is awesome. Thanks for all the work you're doing with this QAL. Great job!

  8. Woooo! Thank you for the giveaway pattern! Super excited! Also, I've never made flying geese in this particular way either so it'll be fun to learn a new technique. Thanks for doing the QAL Melissa :)

  9. After having a house full of family for a week I finally got started yesterday. Just a few more half square triangles to trim and then will be making flying geese for the very first time! Your instructions have been great.Thanks so much for the QAL!

  10. No procrastinating this week!

  11. I wound down my very busy week by cutting "most" of my fabric out yesterday. Hope to finish it up tonight and work on some HST's while watching the finale of The Bachlorette. Been wanting to learn how make flying geese, so excited to try your method.

  12. I finally realized I could make a smaller version of this quilt for a wall space that desperately needs some color! I managed to collect, cut, make HST and Flying geese today. However, I was unable to "link up" my picture for the geese. Was fun to put together though!

    1. HI Trumkle, So glad you decided to join us. I tried to respond to you but you are a no reply blogger. I just tried the link and it worked fine. Send me an email at as to what isn't working and I will see if I can help :)

  13. Thanks for his QAL, Melissa. I know it is a lot of work on your part, but I want you to know it is greatly appreciated. I better get started on my gaggle of geese. :)

  14. Boy, that was fun! Thanks for sharing this awesome technique!

  15. Thanks for the tutorial. It was pretty easy and I only had to phone a friend once! Waiting patiently for next week's instructions. :)

  16. Congratulations to Heidi - there are some pretty awesome Stars being built!

    1. Thanks Vroomans&#39 Quilts! I usually never win anything so winning here at my first QAL was a fun surprise! :)

  17. Oh--beautiful fabrics! I will really have to try to get my geese done. Hoping to work on them soon-we have company arriving on Friday.

  18. My first flying geese. Not perfect but still happy with them : )

  19. I am a little late to join, but I realized that I had the perfect fabrics in my stash and I am almost caught up. I have one question about the fabric requirements - I am making the 24" blocks in the 3x3 layout and your chart says 2 3/4 yard for the backing, which seems not enough. Could you verify that?
    Thanks, Sabine

    1. Hi Sabine, So glad you joined in. That is great. I tried to email this to you but you are a no reply blogger so I hope you find this response here. And yes, that is incorrect. Thank you so much for pointing it out to me. Somehow I missed updating that number when I was copying and pasting from other columns. You will actually need 4 1/3 yards. I have updated it in the original post. Thank you again!!

  20. Do these finish at 6 x 3 in the 24 inch block? Sorry to be so math stupid!-

  21. Still keeping up and posted! Woo Hoo!


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)