What is A Flying Geese Quilt Block
What Does the Flying Geese Quilt Pattern Mean
Learn how to make a spectacular quilt with just scraps and this free quilt pattern. No-Waste Flying Geese quilt blocks are a great way to use up your scraps. This simple rectangular block consists of three triangles. The larger center triangle represents the flying geese, and the two smaller triangles to each side represent the sky. Historically, the flying geese in most quilts pointed north or to the top of the quilt. This directed escaping slaves in the direction of the underground railroad and ultimately to their freedom.
While often used as the main design quilt block, the flying geese block is also frequently used in quilt borders. When sewn end-to-end, the long strip of flying geese blocks make a beautiful patterned border ready to add to your quilt.
How to Make a Flying Geese Block
The flying geese block should be in every quilter’s ‘toolbox’. The ease of making this block puts it at the top of the list for many quilters to use. Plus, the flexibility of designing a quilt with this block makes it very appealing to quilters.
A single flying geese block may be used alone where a rectangle is placed within a quilt design such as stars. More commonly, these blocks are paired together in the same direction to create the look of geese flying overhead. There are a multitude of traditional blocks that use the flying geese blocks, as well as some beautiful modern layouts. The blocks can be as simple as making them all from just two colors or going scrappy and mixing it up.
Moda Fabrics Flying Home Quilt Pattern
Here’s a free flying geese pattern from Moda Fabrics. The Free Flying Home Quilt Pattern is made by creating four duplicate squares and piecing them together. The trick is the turn each block takes as it rotates around the quilt. This is an easy pattern to follow. So grab your fabrics for a fabulous flying geese quilt and master making flying geese four at a time with the tutorial below! Then choose to go scrappy or select a favorite bundle of fat quarters for an easy quilt.
How To Make A Flying Geese Quilt Block Tutorial
Flying Geese Quilt Block Tutorial
The flying geese block is made with a simple triangle that is twice as wide as it is high. Traditionally, this block was made one at a time with each triangle cut individually. Today, we have some flying geese shortcuts that not only make the process easier but also improves accuracy. It’s a perfect quilt project you’ll love!
How to make No-Waste Flying Geese
4 Flying Geese at Once
Once you learn how to make flying geese 4 at a time you’ll be making lots of flying geese quilts! The no-waste flying geese method is a creative way to use your scraps.
Also known as the 4 flying geese at once method, you’ll appreciate how little waste there is compared to the traditional method. Plus, the accuracy of each finished block is spot on.
What are the Measurements for a Flying Geese Block
The traditional size of the flying geese block is twice as long as it is wide. That makes this block very easy to make in any size from tiny to huge! The no-waste method is easily adjusted to your desired size using the following adjustments. Note: Round your final measurements up to the next 1/4″. Best to go bigger and trim than be too short!
No Waste Flying Geese Formula
- Determine the desired finished block size, remembering that the length is twice as long as the width.
- Cut the Flying Geese square 1 1/4″ larger than the finished length of your desired block.
- Cut the four smaller Sky squares 7/8″ larger than the finished width of your desired block.
Here are measurement examples of two common size blocks I use:
- 4″ x 8″ Flying Geese block: 9.5″ large square and four 5″ smaller squares
- 2.5″ x 5″ Flying Geese block: 6.5″ large square and four 3.5″ squares.
No Waste Flying Geese Method Tutorial
Determine the size block you want to make keeping the shorter side half the length as the longer side as shown in the No Waste Flying Geese formula above. Cut the blocks needed and follow the diagrams below to piece your blocks. The video above shows these steps along with verbal instructions including some useful assembly tips.
Draw a diagonal on the wrong side of each small block from corner to corner. This will be your cutting line so place your small squares with the lines facing upward.
How to Trim Finished Block
To trim your finished blocks, place each on your cutting mat keeping it aligned with the grid lines. Place your cutting ruler on top of your block. Always make sure the top of the block has a minimum of a ¼” seam allowance above the center point of the flying geese. This will ensure your point doesn’t disappear when it’s sewn.
When measuring the length, center your ruler so you are cutting an equal amount from each side. Don’t just trim from one side as you’re Flying Geese will be off center.
How to Make a Scrappy Flying Geese Quilt
For a scrappy look, make only one set of four flying geese blocks from each different fabric. It’s easy to mix up four blocks within a scrappy quilt. Watch this Scrappy Flying Geese video for more ideas.
For an even scrappier look, use four different smaller squares for each large block. Be sure you keep plenty of contrast between your geese and the sky or the the block will get lost!
Flying Geese Shortcut for Easy Assembly
Make it easy! As you are joining rows of flying geese blocks, you can eliminate lining up the side points by adding a narrow strip or sashing between the rows. A simple 1″ to 1 1/2″ strip sets each row of beautifully and makes sewing those points so much easier!
Enjoy making your own Flying Geese Quilt and be sure to share at #LeaLouiseQuilts.