Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Sampler - Flying Geese Tutorial

Sponsored by Connecting Threads!

Welcome to the first tutorial in our Spring Sampler quilt along!

Seven of the blocks in our sample pattern use the Flying Geese block - a block that's probably in the top five most common quilt blocks used.  There are probably about half a dozen ways to put these babies together, but in my experience, the following is the fastest way to make FOUR Flying Geese Blocks at once, with no waste and with no specialty rulers.

We're posting the tutorial ahead of the block patterns, just in case this is your first time using this method or you feel you could use a little bit of practice before putting your sampler block together.

Keys to putting together a successful set of Flying Geese Blocks are:
  • Careful Cutting
  • Sewing with a scant 1/4" stitch
  • Pressing {not ironing!!!} your block!
Here we go!  To make a set of four identical flying geese, you'll need:
  • 1 Large Block = Finished Width + 1 ¼
  • 4 Small Blocks = Finished Height + 

1.  Pin two Small Squares right-sides-together in opposite corners of the Large Squares, as pictured.  They should be slightly overlapping in the center.

2.  With a fabric pencil, draw a line from corner to corner of the Small Squares.

3.  Sew a SCANT 1/4" seam on both sides of the drawn line.  This means that your stitches should be just a hair under 1/4" away from the drawn line.  It's a good idea to do a test block and to measure.  You'd be surprised how much your machine might be off!

4.  Cut the unit in half along the diagonal line.

5.  Press along the block, as-is, to set the seam.  Then, press the fabric towards the smaller squares.
Note: It's really important to PRESS your block- lift your iron up and then put it down in a new spot.  Ironing your block - moving the iron around without lifting it up - can stretch and distort your block!

6.  Pin another Small Square to each of the blocks and draw a line from corner-to-corner.

7.  Sew a scan 1/4" seam on both sides of the drawn line.

8.  Cut the unit in half along the diagonal line.

9.  Press the block to, as-is, to set the seam, and then press the fabric towards the smaller square.

10.  Trim the dog ears.

11.  Tah-Dah!  Four identical Flying Geese Blocks!

If you'd like to get a head start on constructing Flying Geese blocks for the first few blocks in your Spring Sampler, you'll need 1 - 5 1/2" Large Square plus 4 - 3" Small Squares for each set of four flying geese.  Happy Sewing!


  1. Thank you! My flying geese are awesome--my first awesome flying geese. I have made other flying geese before, but they were NOT awesome. Now I want to make quilts with rows and rows full of flying geese! You may have created a monster here...

    1. Yay Dondi! I'm so glad you're happy with your geese blocks! Hope to see pictures of your new geese-y quilt!