A Four-In-One Flying Geese Tutorial

This autumn has been a whirlwind of activity with Seth’s chemo treatments, doctor’s appointments, and associated errands. This was all on top of losing two of my best quilty friends to cancer this year. One of them just ten days before my husband’s diagnosis. My coping mechanism has been to sew. I have started more projects in the last three months than I have in the last three years. My mantra has become “Life is short, do what makes you happy”.

Like most quilters, I have a stash of fabrics that I hoard, ahem, save for when inspiration strikes.  My Civil War reproductions fit that bill. I have a cross-stitched picture that my mom made me several years ago with a flying geese quilt in it. You may be familiar with Paula Vaughn’s work.  That particular picture was the inspiration for my flying geese quilt.

To begin, press a variety of fabrics flat and cut at least one 7 1/2″ square. Then cut four 4″ squares. I cut two of the larger squares and eight of the smaller squares from my stash. I have so many prints that I inadvertently cut enough for two quilts. Those directions will be in a later post because I haven’t actually assembled the top yet.

Each 7 1/2″ square will net you four geese. You will be amazed at how quickly these go together. I can make all four geese in under 10 minutes. Productivity, we all want it.

Step 1.

Begin with laying one 7 1/2″ square face up. Take one 4″ square  and lay it face down on one corner of the 7 1/2″ square, lining up the cut edges.  Lay a second 4″ square face down in the opposing corner. The 4″ squares will overlap.

Step 2.

Using a ruler draw a line from corner to corner over the 4″ squares. Proceed to  the sewing machine and stitch a scant 1/4″ on both sides of the drawn line.  Alternatively, you can draw a line 1/4″ on either side of the center and stitch just to the inside to create your scant 1/4″.

I used the Quilter’s Magic Wand ruler and a pink Frixion pen to make these marks. As you can see from the next pictures, the heat from the iron did remove the marks.

If you sew just to the inside of the marking lines, you will get perfect scant 1/4″ seams. The ruler I am using here is from Creative Grids. It is the 1″ x 12″. I use it all the time and have the 1″ x 6″ as well.

Step 3.

Using your trusty ruler and rotary cutter, cut on the drawn line. You should now have two triangles with pointy “ears”.  Press the seam toward the smaller triangles.

Step 4.

On each of the larger triangles place a 4″ square with the edges matching . You should now have one corner nestled between the two smaller triangles. Draw a line from corner to corner, then stitch on either side of the line. Again, cut on the drawn line. Press the seams toward the small triangles and voila! you have four flying geese.

Step 5.

It’s time to square up those geese. Don’t panic! In the last 5-10 years there have been many innovative ideas introduced to quilting. There is a tremendous variety of rulers to help you get perfectly squared blocks now.  For this application, my favorites are Bloc Locs and the Wing Clipper.  The Bloc Loc has a raised lip that nestles up to your seam allowance and keeps your block in place while you trim. They can be a bit pricey, but their accuracy is well worth the price. The Wing Clipper ruler is far more economical and allows for a variety of sizes in one ruler. The choice is yours. 🙂

Using your ruler of choice and a rotating mat if you have one (this is the one I have and I don’t know how I managed before), square up those geese. In just a few minutes, you have four perfectly squared flying geese blocks.

Be sure to let me know in the comments if this four in one flying geese tutorial helped you, or if you need any clarification. I would love to see examples of your flying geese!

Blessings until next week!

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