Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer Solstice Quilt-A-Long - Flying Geese

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Summer Solstice Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win $100.00 Gift Certificate and Fat Quarter Bundle 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

 July 7th - Flying Geese (Today) 
July 21st - Half Square Triangles
August 4th - Drunkards Path
August 18th - Building Blocks
September 1st - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
September 15th- Summer Solstice 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 am so excited to be quilting-a-long with you all!!!

The cutting  assignment winner who gets a Charm Pack and Mini Charm Pack of their choosing from Shabby Fabrics is . . .
#17 - Kathy S.!!! - Congrats :)

Charm Packs   

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!!  It also makes 4 flying geese out of each unit, so the flock grows quickly :)  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 squares you marked FG and you will have large squares from the Background Fabric and small squares from the Print Fabric.  I have listed the multiple sizes on the picture below just so you can double check that your two stacks each match one of the listed sizes ;)

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 units of one fabric.

With right sides together, lay two small print squares onto your large background square as shown.  Using your ruler, draw a line diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner shown on the right.   Or, if you like, you can start by just drawing lines on the back of all your print squares as shown on the left.  It takes a little bit but it is nice to have it done and it is a great time to watch a movie while drawing ;)

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 :)     Again, remember we are assembly line piecing these, so pin all of your units.  

We will be stitching a  1/4" seam along BOTH sides of the drawn line (the black lines represent your stitching lines :) but to save time and thread, we will chain stitch these.    And you will notice, you should have an extra 2 matching print small squares for each unit.  We will get to those in a bit.  

So to start, chain stitch the 1/4" seam on the left hand side of the drawn 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 unit sewn, just keep feeding units through the machine until you have stitched your entire pile.  

Now, clip the threads between the squares.   Then, go ahead and stitch the 1/4" seam on the right hand side (or other side) of the drawn line on all your units.  You'll  have some super long fabric snakes :)  Clip the threads between the units and make a large pile ready for cutting.

Now, place your unit on your cutting mat and align your ruler along the drawn center line.  Cut along the edge of the ruler creating 2 large triangles.  I only ever cut these one at a time, as I worry that stacking them would shift and I might cut through my seams.  Takes a second more, but worth it to play it safe ;)  

Press the seams up towards the 2 little print triangles.  I find it easiest to press these from the front.    And you are half way there!!!  Now to use up those remaining small print squares. 

And it's just like starting over. We repeat all the same steps, it's just smaller and more units.  Take the little print squares (make sure they are matching fabrics) and align them on your stitched units as shown 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 we are going to be stitching a 1/4" seam along BOTH sides of the drawn diagonal line.  

And again, we will be chain stitching to save time and thread.  So chain stitch along all the left hand side of the drawn line on all your units, clip your threads,  and then chain stitch along the  right side of the drawn line on all your units, and then clip your threads again :)

And once again, place your units on your cutting mat, and using your ruler aligned along the drawn line cut your unit in half .  So now what started as 1 large squares, is 4 units.   And that is where your 4 flying geese come from.

Press your seams up to match the other seam.   You can press from the front or the back, whichever your prefer.   Lastly, trim off the little dog ear corners at either side and the top of your unit.  Note, 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.  So for me, 9 blocks equals 72 total geese :)    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 Lou Lou's Fabric Show and a huge thanks goes out to them for their support of the  Summer Solstice Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks prize is a Volume II Jelly Roll by Sweetwater for Moda.  This is such a fantastic line and perfect for the QAL as all the prints are about sewing!!  So fun!!!
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 the early morning of July 21st as I will be announcing a winner in next quilt-a-long 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 of flying geese to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group and to post it on social media with using #summersolsticequiltalong.    I am so excited to see all of your flocks of geese ;)

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!!

Pin It!


  1. Awesome tutorial! I've sewn this method before but I think I understand it better now. Thank you!

  2. Eager to try this new to me technique! Thanks so much for the chance to learn something new.

  3. Question on the one by one. It has 2 61/4 blocks and only 4 squares to make geese. Is this correct? How many geese are needed and do I need to cut 4 more blocks?

    Very nice tutorial.

    1. You need 4 squares from your Center Star print, and 4 squares from your Surround print ;) They should be labeled FG if that makes it a little easier to find them ;)

      And sorry it took me so long to get back to you, we have been camping and out of internet range ;)

    2. I found the same error. For each set of geese, I need 1 large square and 4 small squares, so it should be 2 large squares and 8 small squares to make all 8 geese.

  4. This is my absolute favorite way to do flying geese. For me, they come out more accurate than any other method. I'll have to check out your tutorial for the math on doing other sizes.

  5. Melissa, I have the same question as quilt nurse. I have 4 squares and once I sewed two no each large square, I had no more to finish my geese. I checked the cutting directions and it clearly says 4 squares for FG. I am doing 4 40 inch blocks.

  6. I read the directions as you need 4 squares of each of the two prints for the flying geese, so 8 squares total.

  7. I got mine about half done this morning before work! Hopefully finishing them up tonight. :)

  8. Wondering what the finished size should be on the flying geese, so I can square them up. 2.5 x 6.5?

    1. That depends on what size block you are making, but it wouldn't be 2 1/2" x 6 1/2". I don't normally square mine up as you need to have the 1/4" overlap at the top for your seam allowance :)

  9. Melissa, thanks for the advice on linking a photo from Flickr. I didn't know that you could do that, and now I do. Such a fun QAL!

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.


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