quilting tutorial: flying geese made easy



I love the look of Flying Geese blocks, but it became such a chore when I had to make a lot of them for a big quilt.  I only knew two ways to make them, either by cutting impossibly small triangles, or wasting loads of fabric by using rectangles and squares. So, I didn’t use Flying Geese very much in my quilts.  That is, until I learned the third way: a really easy method for creating 4 Flying Geese units at once, using only squares.  With the step-by-step instructions below, I’ll show you how to calculate and construct Flying Geese units for your next quilt.

flying geese step by step

Process photo from @olivetreetextiles on Instagram, 2014


Step 1: Determine the size of the finished Flying Geese unit you want to create.

In this tutorial, I’m going to demonstrate the process for creating four Flying Geese units that measure 6″x3″ (6.5″x3.5″ with seam allowances included.)  Cut the squares as precisely as you can, and use 1/4″ seams throughout.  Precision is important to ensure a perfect finished block.

To calculate the dimensions of the larger print square:

Add 1-1/4” to the length of the finished unit measurement.

6” + 1-1/4” = 7-1/4” This is the measurement of the single large square used to create the printed center triangles.

To calculate the dimensions of the four smaller solid squares:

Add 7/8” to the final height of the finished unit measurement.

3” + 7/8” = 3-7/8” This is the measurement of the small solid squares used for the background.


Step 2: Cut squares to size and calculate how many units you’ll need overall.

One set of blocks, as shown below, will create four Flying Geese units.  To determine the total number of squares to cut for your project, calculate the total number of Flying Geese units required for your project, and cut the same number of small solid squares.  Divide the total number of units you’ll need by 4 to determine how many larger print squares to cut.

The print square shown measures 7-1/4″ and the solid squares measure 3-7/8″ each.

flying geese tutorial step 1

Step 3: Line up the squares.

Using the photo below as a guide, line up two small squares on top of the large square, right sides facing.  Using a ruler, mark a line down the middle of the squares with a chalk line or a pen.

flying geese tutorial

Step 4: Stitch along either side of the marked line.

Stitch 1/4″ away from the marked line on both sides.

flying geese tutorial

Step 5: Cut along the marked line.

Using scissors or a rotary cutter, cut along the marked line.

flying geese tutorial

Step 6: Press.

Press the two small triangles you’ve just created upwards, as shown below.  The resulting shape will resemble a heart <3

flying geese tutorial

Step 7: Line up another small square.

Take another small square and line it up along the corner of the printed fabric, shown below.  Mark another line down the center, and stitch 1/4″ away from either side of the line, as you did in the previous step.

flying geese tutorial

Step 8: Cut along the lines.

After stitching, cut along the marked line.

flying geese tutorial

Step 9: Press.

One you’ve cut these apart, press them open, and voila!  You have four Flying Geese units, created with no waste.

flying geese tutorial

Each block in this stage should measure 6.5″x3.5″, and when pieced together measures 6″x3″.

Continue this process until you have the number of Flying Geese units you need for your next project.