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How to Make Flying Geese Quilt Blocks: Essential Building Blocks of Quilting

Flying Geese quilt block unit tutorial

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WE’RE GROWING OUR LIST OF FAVOURITE BUILDING BLOCKS WITH ANOTHER FOUNDATIONAL QUILT BLOCK – FLYING GEESE!

It’s finally time – we’re going to tackle the Flying Geese quilt block!  I’m not sure why, but I’ve always found Flying Geese to be a little intimidating.  But no more, I say!

I’m going to walk you through two methods of creating Flying Geese:  Single Units and Four-at-a-Time Units (these are also called No Waste Flying Geese).   

 

 

Beginners and experts alike will tell you just how valuable and versatile Flying Geese are.  They can stand alone as blocks, make great borders and can form intricate patterns within blocks.  They will also often form points on Star blocks, which we will be getting into very soon!

 

Supplies for the Flying Geese Quilt Block

The Flying Geese quilt block, like any other block in quilting, can be made very tiny or very large!  Depending on the size you need, you can use precuts like Layer Cakes, Charm Packs, Mini Charms and even Jelly Rolls.  For gorgeous fabric selections, be sure to visit the Fat Quarter Shop, your local quilt shop or your own stash.

 

 

Here is a list of basic quilting supplies that you’ll need for this project:

 

An easy way to be prepared for any project is to keep all your quilting tools in one place using my handy Portable Sewing Room tutorial.

 

The Flying Geese quilt blocks can be made in several ways.  Today, I’ll show you two methods.  You can watch my YouTube tutorial here:

 

 

Be sure to subscribe so you can see all of my upcoming projects!

For the full written instructions, continue reading below.

 

FLYING GEESE Quilt Block: Step-by-Step Instructions

Start by deciding what size block you would like to make.  The basic math of a Flying Geese unit is when finished, it will be twice as wide as it is high.  For this tutorial, I will be making units that are 2 inches by 4 inches finished.  These measurements will be the same for both the Single Unit method and the Four-at-a-Time method.

 

>> Be sure to download my FREE Flying Geese Quilt Block Sizing Guide using the form at the top or the bottom of this page! <<

 

Flying Geese Single Unit Method

For this method, as the name suggests, we will be making one unit at a time.  I find this to be the most time-consuming way of making Flying Geese, but many quilters prefer this method.  Try both and decide which is best for you!

To start, you will need to cut your fabric.  As I said above, my finished Flying Geese unit will be 4 inches wide by 2 inches high.  In order to make this size, you’ll need to cut one rectangle that is 4 ½” by 2 ½”.   This fabric will be the “goose” of the unit, so be sure you decide which fabric is going where before you cut!

You then need to cut two squares of your “sky” fabric.  The squares will be the same size as the height of the cut rectangle.  If you are cutting a 2 ½” high rectangle, your squares will measure 2 ½” by 2 ½”.

 

Flying Geese quilt block units
It’s the start of something special!

 

Once your fabrics are cut, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each square.  This will be your stitching line.

Align one square to one end of your rectangle and stitch along the diagonal line. 

 

Flying Geese quilt block units
Using a fine tip pen will help you get the most accurate lines. Be sure it’s erasable!

 

Trim ¼” away from the seam.  Press flat and then press open.  A tailor’s clapper can come in very handy here as your geese cool down!

 

Flying Geese quilt block units
Starting to take shape!

 

Repeat this process with the second square.  Your stitch line will cross the first triangle in the centre, as you can see below.

 

Flying Geese quilt block units
Following your stitching line and press carefully so you don’t distort the fabric.

 

Once you have stitched along your diagonal line, trim and press.

And just like that, you have made one Flying Geese unit.  Pretty easy, right?

 

Flying Geese Four-at-a-Time Method

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ll know that I love a good timesaver, as long as I’m not sacrificing quality for quickness!  This four-at-a-time method fits the bill perfectly.

Start by cutting your fabric.  Again, decide which fabric is the goose and which is the sky.  From the goose fabric, you will be cutting one square and the sky fabrics will have four smaller squares.

 

Flying Geese quilt block units
Five squares will give you four Flying Geese units using this method!

 

The math is this:

  • The large square will be the width of the FINISHED Flying Geese unit plus 1 ¼”.  For example, the Flying Geese we are making today is 4″ wide by 2″ high when finished.  I would take the 4″ and add 1 ¼”, giving me 5 ¼”.  This will be the size of the large square.  
  • The smaller squares will be the height of the FINISHED Flying Geese unit plus 1″.  For example, the Flying Geese we are making today is 4″ wide by 2″ high when finished.  I would take the 2″ and add 1″, giving me 3″.  This will be the size of the smaller squares. 

Cut 1 large square and 4 smaller squares.  Again, if you are making a 4″ by 2″ finished Flying Geese unit, cut a large square measuring 5 ¼”, and 4 smaller squares measuring 3″ each.

Layer two of the smaller squares onto the large square diagonally with right sides together.  The corners of the smaller squares should overlap in the centre.

 

Flying Geese quilt block units
The overlap in the centre should create a small square.

 

Next, mark your centre line.  This will NOT be your stitching line in this method.  You will be stitching a ¼” seam on each side of this line.  Alternatively, you can mark your stitching lines, as I have done.

 

Flying Geese quilt block units
You can also mark your lines on the smaller squares before laying them out on the large square.

 

Once you have stitched on each side of the centre line, cut along the diagonal line, as shown below.

 

Flying Geese quilt block units
They look a bit odd at this stage, don’t they?

 

Press to set your seams and then gently press the sky pieces open.  

Next, mark the two remaining smaller squares in the same manner that you marked the first two.  You can either draw a centre line or draw your stitch lines.  These will be diagonal, just like the first two pieces.

Place these pieces on top of each half from the previous step.  You can see this layout below.

 

Flying Geese quilt block units
Be sure to align the bottom corners and follow your stitching lines carefully.

 

Stitch a ¼” seam on both sides of the centre line.  Cut along the centre line as shown below.

 

Flying Geese quilt block units
When using this method, you can easily chain many of the pieces!

 

Press to set your seam and press open.  Trim the units and voila – you have FOUR Flying Geese Units!

 

Flying Geese quilt block units
Which method is your favourite?

 

This is most definitely a block that you will come back to time and again.  It’s a great filler and it’s even better when you’ve got a bunch of them together!

 

 

For more of my Essential Building Blocks of Quilting tutorials, check out these posts:

 


 

Want to remember this?  Save “How to Make Flying Geese Quilt Blocks: Essential Building Blocks of Quilting” to your favourite Pinterest boards!

 

Flying Geese quilt block tutorial

 

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Hi! I'm Tanya

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