Yesterday on QUILTsocial we talked about using panels to make a quilt. Today I’m using my Brother NQ900 sewing machine to show you how to make flying geese blocks the no waste way!
Step 1 Pick your fabrics.
The first thing to decide when you’re making flying geese blocks is what fabric will be the geese and which fabric will be the sky. The geese are the large triangles, and the sky is the small triangles on either side. I’m making three different colored geese but I’m using the same sky fabric for all of them.
Step 2 Decide on your size.
Decide on the finished size of your flying geese blocks. I decided to make them 6” wide – this automatically makes them 3” tall, as flying geese blocks are traditionally half as tall as they are wide.
Step 3 Calculate and cut.
Once you decide on your size, calculate the size to cut your fabrics. For this method, take the finished width of the block and add 1¼” and cut a square of your geese fabric to this measurement. Since I want my blocks to finish at 6” wide, I cut my square of geese fabric 7¼” x 7¼” (this is the black fabric in the photo).
Now take the finished height of the block and add ⅞”. Then cut four squares of your sky fabric to this measurement. My flying geese blocks will be 3” high so I cut four squares of my sky fabric 3⅞” x 3⅞” (this is the yellow fabric in the photo).
If you don’t want to do the math yourself, just type no waste flying geese measurements in your search engine and you’ll find many charts with all of the cutting directions listed.
Step 4 Mark the sky fabrics.
Draw a diagonal line on the back of the four blocks of sky fabric. These lines don’t show on the finished quilt so you can use any type of marking pen or pencil that you prefer. Mark the line from one corner to the opposite corner.
Step 5 Place the squares.
Pin two of these squares to opposite corners of the large geese fabric square, aligning two raw edges of the small squares with the raw edges of the large square. Also, make sure to line up the drawn line on the two small squares. Pin in place. Your two small squares will overlap a tiny bit in the middle.
Step 6 Sew ¼” away from the line.
Sew ¼” away from the line from one corner of the large block to the other.
When you get to the end, turn around and sew along the other side of the drawn line.
Step 7 Cut along the line.
Cut along the drawn line to separate the square into 2 triangular units.
Step 8 Press.
Press the small triangles and the seams away from the large triangle.
Step 9 Pin in place.
Pin the remaining two sky squares to these two triangular units. Once again align the raw edges of the small squares with the raw edges of the large triangle. Orient the square so the drawn line ends at the point of the large triangle.
Step 10 Sew.
Sew down both sides of the drawn line leaving a ¼” seam.
Step 11 Cut apart.
Cut these two units in half along the drawn lines to make a total of 4 units.
Step 12 Press.
Press the small triangles and the seams away from the larger triangles.
Ta-da!! Now we’ve got 4 identical flying geese units.
Repeat all these steps to make the total number of flying geese units you want for your quilt. I decided to make 24 flying geese units for my borders. Since I’m not putting them around the panel, it really doesn’t matter how many I have, but I’d like them to take up about half of the distance along each border. I think 5 blocks for each of the top and bottom borders and 7 blocks for each of the sides will work well. When you’re designing, remember that odd numbers of blocks or images are almost always better than even numbers.
To make 24 flying geese blocks, I’ll need 6 large squares of geese fabric (I’ll cut two from each of three fabrics) and 24 small squares of sky fabric.
Tomorrow I’ll use my Brother NQ900 sewing machine to sew these flying geese units into borders for my quilt.
Now that I’ve got all of my flying geese blocks made, the next step is to sew them together to make the borders. That’s what we’ll do tomorrow – see you then.