Friday, May 23, 2014

Quick Quilting Tips and Tricks

**Note - If you are looking for the Discover Fabric Giveaway, you will find it here :)

I am so excited for today!!!  My wonderful Friend Amy, from Diary of a Quilter, has put together a super fun blog hop this week  of Quick Quilting Tips and Tricks.  What a fabulous resource!!

I started thinking of what tip I would like to post about.  Then on Monday, after posting my  new Mellow Yellow quilt, I started getting emails about how some of you would love to make this quilt but there was no way you could make flying geese like that. Oh yes, you can!!!  And you can with the No Waste Flying Geese Method.  This is one of my favorite piecing tricks I have learned I am super excited to share it with you.  I have posted my tutorial below so you won't have to link anywhere ;)

Okay, so how many of your get scared and run for the hills at the thought of flying geese??  They can be a little intimidating :)   This is a great method of making Flying Geese that have no waste. And you won't be sewing any triangles along the bias which helps to keep everything nice and straight.  It's simply sewing squares.  Let's get to it!!!


To start you need to cut your squares!!  Each set of squares cut (5 total) will make 4 flying geese.  From your first fabric (the goose or large triangle) you will cut a 1 square that is 1 1/4" larger than the finished width of your flying geese block.  From your second fabric (the sky or small triangles on the sides)  you will cut 4 squares that are 7/8" larger than your finished height of your flying geese block.  Just make sure that when you are picking your sizes your keep your geese proportional of twice the length as the width (ie 2 x 4, 2 1/2" x 5",  3 x 6, ect.

So in this example picture I am making 4 sets of flying geese (12 green geese and 4 red geese).  My finished  geese blocks will be 2" x 4".  By finished I mean the size they will be when sewn into a block.  When I am done making the individual geese block they will measure 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" and are considered unfinished.  (a little confusing some times :)  So I have cut (4) 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" squares (4" + 1 1/4")  and (16) 2 7/8" x 2 7/8"  (2" + 7/8") squares.  I will end up with 16 flying geese unfinished at 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" and when I sew them into a block they will be finished at 2" x 4"

Oh, and one last note before we start sewing, since you are almost always making this block as a flock (aka a lot of them) it is best to save time to do all of your cutting first and then be sure and repeat each of the sub-steps in an assembly line fashion rather than making 1 set of  geese at a time.  This is a great method for cranking out lots of geese doing some assembly line pinning and chain stitching ;)


With right sides together, lay two white squares onto your large print square as shown.  Using your ruler, draw a pen line diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.  And if you are making a whole flock, you can just mark all your small squares before you get started :)

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 both sides of the drawn line (the black lines represent your stitching lines :)  Remember, you are chain stitching so go ahead and stitch all the sets on the right hand side of the line first, and  clip your threads.  Then go back and do all the sets on the left hand side.

Now align your ruler along the drawn center line.  Cut  along that drawn line to make 2 pieces.

Press your seams up towards your 2 little triangles.

Now, take 2 more little squares and align them on your two stitched pieces 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 have already drawn your lines ;)

Now pin each piece on either side of the drawn line far enough out that your foot will go by. Once again, stitch a 1/4" seam along either side of the drawn diagonal line.  (Remember to chain stitch to save time :)

Clip your threads and then using your ruler aligned along the drawn line, once again, cut your 2 separate pieces apart to make 4 pieces.

Press up toward the little triangles again.   Lastly, trim off the little corners or dog ears.

And you are done!!!  4 Perfectly precise flying geese blocks without throwing away any scraps and without sewing a single triangle.  Fabulous!!

I hope you enjoy this little trick for making flying geese and won't be intimated by them.  Flying Geese are a great building block to have in your designing tool box ;)  I hope to get lots of emails now saying that flying geese are not scarey and that you could surly make your own Mellow Yellow ;)   I plan on making a purple version soon for my sewing space wall.

Amy, our host, is the author of the brand new book, Fabulously Fast Quilts.  I was lucky enough to attend her school house at Market and see all of the amazing quilts and patterns from her book.  Each are made with a trick to make the piecing faster and they are fabulous.  For sure, a great one to check out!!!

Be sure to hop on over to Amy's Blog to see all of the other awesome Quick Quilting Tips and Tricks ;)  

Oh, and by the Way . . . If you are stopping by for the first time as part of the hop, Welcome!!    I am so glad you popped in and hope you will come back often.  I have so much sharing my passion for quilting here with lots of tutorials, giveaways, projects, fabric eye candy, and general happy quilting times.  

Have a Happy Quilting Weekend!!

Linking up my Mellow Yellow finish to Amanda's, Sarah's, and Fort Worth Fabric Studio :)
Pin It!


  1. Just wanted to say I really appreciate the tutorial on Flying Geese. :) As an intermediately experienced quilter, I'm ready to move onto something a bit more challenging, and I feel confident I can follow your steps! I also love the idea of Amy's book! The thought of putting together fabulously fast quilts is, well...FABULOUS! :)

  2. I'm pinning this tutorial, I can't wait to try it.

  3. Thanks for the tutorial - I can't wait to try it. I bought Amy's book and just received it yesterday. After scanning it, I'm really excited to try the patterns in it.

  4. Such a pretty colorway you chose for Mellow Yellow. Love it!

  5. I have been hoping there might be a faster and wasteless way to piece flying geese because I'm so drawn to the design. Thank you for this, and Mellow Yellow is really awesome! It will be even better in purple!

  6. Wow, you make this look so easy. I will definitely try this.

  7. Melissa, thanks so much! I'm a newbie and often don't "get" instructions for complicated cutting, sewing, etc. But this was REALLY easy to understand and gives me the courage to try flying geese. As a retired teacher of 42 years, I know what a successful lesson looks like--CONGRADS! !

  8. Love the geese quilt especially the variation in size , it adds an extra visual dimension

  9. This is my favorite way to make FG too! I'm making them a bit smaller these days for my 6.5" Loyal Union Sampler Blocks.

  10. I love this quilt and great tips! Can you believe I've never made flying geese?? That's next up on the agenda in one of my current quilts, LOL!!

  11. I love you are so happy and thrilled with your passion for quilting, and sharing it with us!!! I am going to definitely do my geese this way from now on. Your tutorials are the best! Clear and so easy to follow. Thank you for all you add to the quilting community, and for inspiring us..

  12. Thank you so much for including that little sentence "By finished I mean the size they will be when sewn into a block." I've spent hours using this formula (add 1 1/4 inch and 7/8 inch), but no one else (and I checked a lot of sites and finally came to yours through a Google search) mentioned that finished meant when sewn into the block, not the raw size of the geese. In the end, I just starting making up my own sizes and sewing on paper instead of fabric until I found the right dimensions. I was getting close to what I needed, but now I have it exactly. Thank you again!

  13. Pretty cool way to make flying geese blocks! Thanks!


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