Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long - Flying Geese

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Star Light Star Bright 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

 Feb 5 - Flying Geese
Feb12 - Half Square Triangles
Feb 19 - Building Block Centers
Feb 26 - Building Block Sides
Mar 5 - Building Block Corners
Mar 12 - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
April 2- Star Light Star Bright Parade and Grand Prize Winners

Now, first off for this week, we need to pick a winner for the Cutting Assignment.   And great job to everyone on finishing that assignment, I can tell already that this is going to be a great group to quilt-a-long with :)

The cutting  assignment winner who gets a $20.00 Gift Certificate to Fort Worth Fabric Studio is . . .
#10 - Susan!!! - Congrats :)


So here we are, a new month and a new assignment , so let's get right to it :)  If you are just finding this QAL, it's never to late to join in the fun :)


I use the No-Waste method to make flying geese.   The great thing about making flying geese this way is that, obviously, you don't waste any fabric and you never have to sew a triangle.  Double bonus!!  If you have never made them this way you are in for a treat.   So, let's get to it :)

We will start by gathering all of our squares to make the flying geese.  These were the first and third cuts in your print fabrics (ie . the purple ones) and will also have matching background ones.  So basically, grab all of your large Number 1/4" squares (i.e. one of these sizes - 5 1/4", 6 1/4", 7 1/4", 8 1/4", 9 1/4", 11 1/4", 13 1/4", or 19 1/4") and all of your Number 7/8" or 3/8" squares (i.e. 2 7/8", 3 3/8", 3 7/8", 4 3/8", 4 7/8", 5 7/8", 6 7/8", 9 7/8").  You will have squares of your print fabrics as well as your background fabrics in both the large and small sizes.   Separate the fabrics into 2 piles with the small background squares matched with the large print squares and the large background squares matched with the small print squares.

Now you don't have to keep track of where these will be going in your block or anything, just be sure to use the same 4 little squares on each unit and you will be great.  And now you are ready to start making your Flying Geese.  To save time, I like to do each of these steps in assembly line fashion, however, the pictures will just show a Flying Geese unit of each variation (opposite fabric layout) which results in 4 Flying Geese total per unit being worked on.

With right sides together, lay two small squares onto your large square as shown.  Using your ruler, draw a 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 :)  For those who are new to this, Chain stitching is where you don't clip the thread between each block sewn, just keep feeding units through the machine until you have stitched your entire pile.     (I forgot to take a picture of these chain stitching steps, so I borrowed two from the last QAL, different fabric same concept :)

Now, clip the threads between the squares.   Then, go ahead stitch the 1/4" seam on the left hand side of your sets.  You'll  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. We repeat all the same steps, it's just smaller and more units.  Take 2 more little squares and align them on your two stitched pieces as follows with right sides together. (make sure your little print squares match)  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 then there were 4 flying geese.

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.  Just trim the dog ears, don't trim the tops to where the point is, you will need that 1/4" overlap for your seam allowance.  

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 :)  In total, you should have however many number of blocks you are making, times 8 geese, 4 with the sky as print fabric, and 4 with the the sky as background fabric.  So for me, 9 blocks equals 72 total geese,  36 with the sky as print fabric and 36 with sky as background fabric.    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 Cotton Bliss and a huge thanks goes out to them for their support of the Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks prize is a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Cotton Bliss.  Stefanie has added an extra bonus by throwing in a coupon code for all of you!!!  Use the code STARLIGHT to receive 15% off your cart.  And all U.S. orders over $150.00 can get free shipping as well.  The coupon code will be good during this whole weeks assignment.  It will expire 02/15.

So what do you have to do for a chance to win the gift certificate?  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 Wednesday 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!!!  Yippee for getting all the cutting behind us and moving on to sewing!!! Oh, and if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!

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  1. You know, I've been following along and getting every step done in time so far but my camera battery is dead and I can't charge it so I can't post pics and enter the drawings. I am so sad. But still excited that I'm getting a super picnic quilt made! But still sad.

  2. I'd love to join, but I'm still not finished with the Sister's Ten Quilt! I need to get busy... :)

  3. Yay! I've been waiting all week to see if this was how you'd do the Flying Geese. This is the way I learned how to do them and I love it.

  4. How do you join in this quilt along? What happens because I am so late? I see $75. What do you get for that? Maybe I should wait for the next one?

    1. Hi Lin, Anyone can join in at any time. There is no fee for joining the QAL, the $75.00 is the prize you can win at the end for finishing your quilt top. You don't have to sign up anywhere, just start quilting along and linking up your progress at the end of each week. You can click on the previous links in this post to get the fabric requirements and cutting directions.

      If you have any questions along the way just let me know ;)

    2. I have never tried doing geese this way, but I am going to now! :)

  5. Wonderful tutorial! Would you be able to give us the finished block sizes for the flying geese? Thanks!

  6. How fun! I've never done geese this way! I'm marking as we speak! One question, do you use a scant 1/4" or true one? Will we have to trim these blocks besides the dog ears?

    1. Enjoy. It is a fun way to do them. I use a true 1/4" seam and no, you will only have to trim the dog ears.

  7. Melissa, I am a 77 year old new quilter who started quilting about 5 years ago. I wanted to leave kids, grands, greats with something I made expressly for them. I have read your blog for quite awhile and loved this quilt. May I say, I don't know why everyone doesn't make flying geese your way. I breezed through mine today and loved it. Just hope the rest of the quilt is as easy, lol! Have a great week!

  8. I'm still struggling on deciding on my fabric.... So nothing cut yet.... Think I need to get out the graph paper....

  9. Yay! I'm all signed in. I am learning so many new computer skills!

  10. Thanks for the tutorial! This is my first time making flying geese, and I think mine are coming out the wrong size. For the 4x4 20" block I think my FG should come out at 5x2.5, but mine are closer to 3". Just wanted to double-check with you that I do want them 5x2.5 before I start trimming them down. :) Thanks!

    1. Actually, I just realized they're probably supposed to 5.5 x 3 at this stage...makes more sense now!

  11. Finished my Flying Geese! I cut mine out a little bigger and trimmed them down, but they're all done. Posting my picture and link tomorrow! YES YES YES! :) Good Gracious there were a LOT of them. 128 Flying Geese for the 4x4!

  12. I made my flying geese while babysitting 4 of my grand kids - during nap time! I haven't had to "sew only during nap time" for many years!

  13. I am excited to have gotten this week's assignment done on time. Maybe even more excited that I figured out how to link up through Flickr. Patting myself on the back for that! :)

  14. This is so much easier when you are making a one block design:) A small cutting error led to a design change, but I think it will look fine:)

  15. Mine is #46. I had so much trouble uploading this time. It took me three days to upload. Oh well, it may not have my name under the photo, but it's up!

  16. I like the no-waste flying geese method. I had never used this method before.

  17. I am not a huge fan of making flying geese. So i put these off until the last minute. As in I started them this afternoon and due to picking up kids, homework and dinner didn't get back to them until ten tonight. But they were so EASY! I wish i hadn't waited so long to do them!!


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