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No waste fast flying geese quilt block method

No waste fast flying geese quilt block method

by Sarah Vanderburgh

This week we’ve been using the Performance 5.2 to create a quilted table runner in time for Thanksgiving. In yesterday’s post we pieced the top blocks for a fork and spoon using the Shoo Fly and Star quilt blocks. Today we’ll add a knife to our utensil set and assemble the table runner top.

quilted table runner patchwork utensil runner

Quilted table runner

Once again we’ll rely on the precise piecing features of PFAFF’s Performance 5.2 to help us get some pretty tiny points perfect on the flying geese inside the knife block.

PFAFF Performance 5.2

PFAFF Performance 5.2

Knife Section

knife section quilted table runner patchwork knife quilt block

Knife section

To make two knife sections units you will need:

from background fabric
2 strips – 2½” x 6½”
2 – 3″ squares
2 – 2″ squares

from utensil fabric
2 – 3″ squares
2 – 2″ squares
2 – 1½” squares
8 – 1⅞” squares

from geese fabric
2 – 3¼” squares

I’m going to use the no-waste, fast flying geese method for these blocks. I always get confused when picking out my fabric which one is the geese and which the background; the geese are the big triangle in the middle of the block, so in this case, the 3¼” squares.

fabric for flying geese blocks fast flying geese method no waste flying geese blocks

Fabric for one set of flying geese blocks

1. Make Fast Flying Geese

I like to use this no waste method of creating Flying Geese blocks when I have several I need for one block. These geese will finish quite tiny at 1½” x 2½” so every step is important. Cut your pieces as precisely as possible and trust the features of the Performance 5.2 to deliver precise piecing. Let’s get started!

You’ll need 1 – 3¼” geese fabric square and 4 – 1⅞” utensil fabric squares to make one set of four geese. We’ll be making two sets in total;)

On the back of each utensil fabric square, draw one diagonal line.
Place two of the squares, right side down, in opposite corners of a right side up geese fabric square – the drawn diagonal lines should go from top left to bottom right corner – the squares WILL overlap in the middle.

first step in making fast flying geese lay out background squares on top of geese

Utensil fabric squares on top of geese fabric square.

Sew ¼” away on each side of the drawn line – this is where the needle down feature, the straight stitch needle plate and IDT System help you make precise geese.

IDT System PFAFF feature Performance 5.2

IDT System engaged

Cut on the drawn line and press the seams to the utensil fabric triangles.

On one new unit, right side up, place a utensil fabric square right side down lined up with the bottom right corner of the geese side of the unit with the diagonal line going to the corner – the corner of the square will sit between the two triangle pieces.

second step fast geese block method

Utensil fabric square on new geese unit.

Sew ¼” away from each side of the drawn line.
Cut on the line and press the seam to the just added utensil fabric triangle.

Trim the unit to 1½” x 2½” – START TRIMMING at the open geese end of the unit (not the triangle tip!)

trimming geese unit trimming tip trim from wide end first

Trimming geese unit

Repeat adding the remaining utensil fabric square to the second unit to create a total of 4 – 1½” x 2½” Flying Geese units.

Make a second set of fast-flying geese using the second 3¼” geese fabric square and the remaining 4 – 1⅞” utensil fabric squares.

2. Make HST units

fabric squares for hsts

Fabrics for HST units

For the knife section there’re two different size HST units to make.

Use the 3″ background square and 3″ utensil fabric square to make 2 – 2½” HSTs.
Use the 2″ background square and 2″ utensil fabric square to make 2 – 1½” HSTs.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of each background square.
Pair with same size utensil fabric square, right sides together.
Sew ¼” away from each side of the drawn lines.
Cut on the lines and press the seams to the background fabric.
Trim each set to the correct sizes.

3. Assemble the knife sections

knife piecing guide layout

Knife pieces laid out for assembly.

Use the photo and layout the section pieces for assembly.

Sew the 2½” HST to the first geese unit, and the middle two geese units together.
Sew the 1½” HST to the 1½” utensil square; press the seam to the square.
Sew the top unit of HST and geese to the middle geese unit. Add the bottom HST and square unit.

This section needs to measure 6½” in height. I pressed the top HST seam to the first geese unit, then pressed the remaining geese unit seams to the bottom. The final seam between the HST and square unit and the last geese unit I pressed open.

If this fancy pressing still doesn’t get your height to 6½”, then trim from the bottom HST and square unit to get the correct length. One of my sections I needed to trim, the other I didn’t.

Repeat steps to make a second knife geese section.

background piece and knife unit final assembly of knife top section

Background piece and knife unit

Join a background strip to the left side of each section, pressing the seams to the background strips.

The completed knife sections should each measure 4½” x 6½”.

Assemble the Utensil Units

Sew the fork section to the knife section with the knife section on the right; press the seam to the background.
Sew the spoon to the right of the fork/knife unit: press the seam to the background.

units for utensil block pieced utensil quilt blocks

Utensil block units

Sew the Utensil top unit to a handle unit, pinning if necessary to make sure the handles line up at the base of the utensils where the two sections meet.
Press the seam to the handle unit.

Repeat with the second group of utensil sections to make a second utensil block.

The utensil blocks should each measure 15½” x 12½”.

Assemble the Runner

Sew a utensil block to each long edge of the platter section along the utensil top edge. Press the seam to the platter block.

The runner will measure 15½” x 36½”.

layered and pinned runner prepared for quilting

Runner layered and pinned for quilting.

Layer the runner top right side up, batting and backing right side down. Pin to secure layers together for quilting.

PFAFF Performance 5.2

PFAFF Performance 5.2

The PFAFF Performance 5.2 showed off its precision piecing features while assembling the quilted table runner. The knife section has perfect little Flying Geese units and the runner is ready to be quilted. I can’t wait to show you the quilting in the next post!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3:  How to make precise points on your shoo fly and star quilt blocks



LINDA February 22, 2017 - 6:03 pm


Barb L November 13, 2016 - 3:57 pm

I love this — thanks for the great tips!

Quilting Tangent November 8, 2016 - 3:26 pm

Always nice to learn a different method.

Jane Tegeler November 5, 2016 - 3:57 pm

Thanks for the clear tut. Flying geese soar!

Dolores November 5, 2016 - 12:38 pm

Thank you for this. There are so many ways to incorporate flying geese in quilts. This makes it so much easier.

Joan November 5, 2016 - 1:44 am

Great tutorial. so easy to follow. Thanks so much. looking forward to the runner!

Linda Young November 2, 2016 - 12:05 pm

Cute project, I love flying geese!!

Jennifer October 30, 2016 - 9:22 pm

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca K. October 30, 2016 - 10:20 am

This is my fav method of making flying geese!

Mariana Galvagno October 30, 2016 - 6:23 am

This is so so cool! What a useful and great tip! Thanks a lot!

Art Wong October 29, 2016 - 2:02 am

Gorgeous work! Thanks for the clear instructions!

Wanda October 28, 2016 - 10:32 pm

Cool runner and great tutorial!

Karen Ferguson October 28, 2016 - 12:32 pm

I love new methods on how to make flying geese……thank you!

Sarah Vanderburgh October 28, 2016 - 4:16 pm

Thanks for commenting, Karen! Enjoy making some flying geese with this method.

Sandy K October 27, 2016 - 11:24 pm

I want to make this runner for my sister. The flying geese method looks to be fast.

Vicki H October 27, 2016 - 11:20 pm

I haven’t tried this method yet. Thanks for sharing it.

Kristine Clay October 27, 2016 - 8:59 pm

I love the utensils for a table topper!

Bonnie C October 27, 2016 - 7:44 pm

I have been making my flying geese like that for awhile now, so fast and easy. I do love the runner, might have to make one for my Mother in Law for Christmas this year.

Sarah Vanderburgh October 27, 2016 - 7:46 pm

Thanks for commenting, Bonnie. I’m glad to hear you like the fast method for making geese too. The runner would be an excellent Christmas gift!

Paulette M Smith October 27, 2016 - 7:42 pm

I so wish I had known how to do this for a quilt I am just finishing for one of my daughters. I own a Pfaff a little different than yours but love it. I had been playing with the idea of making another of my daughter’s quilt (which I have never duplicated a quilt before) because I had fallen in love with it’s ability to cheer anyone who sees it and I cringe because my points are no where near being as they should be, but I don’t mind my daughter seeing them. She knows I am not perfect but a lot of me went into her quilt and she wouldn’t have it any other way. I, however am now anxious to get back into my sewing room to see what it might look like using this method. Thanks for posting it.

Sarah Vanderburgh October 27, 2016 - 7:48 pm

Paulette glad you are enjoying a PFAFF! Please do try this method and see if it works better for you and your points:) Good luck and enjoy creating another happy quilt.

Deb T October 27, 2016 - 6:53 pm

Love your projects and their wonderful pictures!

Sarah Vanderburgh October 27, 2016 - 7:49 pm

Thanks so much Deb! Hope you enjoy making some of the projects too:)

Delaine October 27, 2016 - 3:22 pm

This is a new method of making flying goose units for me. Thank you for showing how!

Linda Webster October 27, 2016 - 1:40 pm

Thanks for the tutorial. Your points are perfect!

Sarah Vanderburgh October 27, 2016 - 1:58 pm

Your welcome, Linda! As for the perfect points – the PFAFF machine had a lot to do with that. This method works great for precise points but sewing the seams accurately is key and the Performance 5.2 did it’s job perfectly:)

Allison CB October 27, 2016 - 12:43 pm

This is such a cool method of making flying geese blocks – the runner is beautiful too!!!

Sarah Vanderburgh October 27, 2016 - 1:56 pm

Thanks Allison! I hope you give this method a try 🙂

Laura October 27, 2016 - 10:33 am

Great photos in this series. Really easy for me to see how things are done. Thanks so much.

Sarah Vanderburgh October 27, 2016 - 11:53 am

Thanks for the kind comment, Laura! So glad you are enjoying the tutorial 🙂

Summer October 27, 2016 - 9:37 am

The runner is gorgeous♥ I will be saving it to share in my weekend reading post on Saturday♥

Sarah Vanderburgh October 27, 2016 - 11:50 am

Thanks Summer! I’m glad you like it enough to share 🙂


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