Quilting Blog

How to Make Flying Geese 3 Ways

Did you know there are three widely used methods for making a Flying Geese unit? The step-by-step tutorials below take a look at each method. Try them all to find your favorite! 

completed flying geese unit

A free download of this Flying Geese tutorial is available in my Craftsy pattern store. It also includes two math charts for creating various size Flying Geese units.

Download Now »

Methods for creating Flying Geese

The traditional Flying Geese method

The first approach is known as the traditional Flying Geese method. It consists of three loose triangles sewn together. The stitching is done on the bias edges and can cause the unit to stretch if not careful. I doubt this method is used much in our modern quilting world today.

traditional flying geese unit with three separate fabric triangles

Corner triangle Flying Geese method

The second approach is called the corner triangle Flying Geese method. It consists of one rectangle for the “goose” and two squares to create the “sky.” No bias edges are produced using this style.

The corner triangle method is simple and easy!

1. Begin by drawing a diagonal line on the wrong side of both ‘sky’ squares

two fabric squares diagonal lines drawn on

2. Place one square even with the right side of the rectangle. With the fabrics right sides together, sew directly on the drawn line.

one square sewn on the rectangle fabric on the diagonal line

3. Trim away the excess fabric and press the “sky” into place

square sewn onto rectangle with excess fabric trimmed off

4. Add the second square in the same manner as above, but on the left side of the rectangle. Stitch, trim and press to complete the corner triangle Flying Geese unit.

second square sewn onto rectangle and completed corner triangle flying geese unit

5. Once the unit is complete, it should be the same size as the initial “goose” or rectangle measurement. Example: If the beginning rectangle size is 2” x 3-1/2,” the completed Flying Geese unit will also measure 2” x 3-1/2”.

The no-waste Flying Geese method

The last approach is called the no-waste Flying Geese method. No fabric is wasted and this method yields a total of four Flying Geese!

1. Begin with one large square for the “geese” and four smaller squares for the sky. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of all four “sky” squares.

2. Place two squares’ right sides together on top of the larger blue square. The smaller squares will overlap a bit and the drawn diagonal lines will act as one.

A large square fabric block with two smaller fabric blocks with a diagonal line drawn across them on top

3. Stitch a ¼” seam on both sides of the drawn line

stitching a seam one quarter inch from the drawn on diagonal line with a sewing machine

4. Cut the section apart using the drawn line as your guide.

stitched fabric squares cut in half along drawn on diagonal line

5. Press the “sky” fabric up. There will be two units that look like this.

two halves of sewn together fabric squares with smaller squares pressed up

6. Place the remaining squares on top of each unit as shown below.

smaller fabric square with drawn on diagonal line on top of sewn together half square

7. Stitch a ¼” on both sides of the diagonal line, cut apart on the drawn line and press.

smaller fabric square sewn onto larger square a quarter inch from drawn on diagonal line

Below are four completed Flying Geese made using the no-waste method.

four flying geese units completed with the no waste flying geese method

Here’s a look at a completed block taken from the Farmer’s Wife Quilt Revival. This block called Buzzard’s Roost uses both the corner triangle and the no-waste Flying Geese methods.

completed quilt block with six flying geese units

Top Flying Geese Quilt Patterns

flying geese quilt patterns

Explore popular patterns from the world's best designers.Get Patterns Now »

5 Comments

beth howel.l

enoyed am trying it

Reply
Elizabeth Saunders

The best pattern of piecing a flying geese I have come across! Thank you!

Reply
Ruth Lusher

A question. What formula is used for different size squares? Thank you for the information

Reply
Sally M

I teach the 5 ways to make flying geese–you’ve left out Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day method and the 3D geese (I got from Ricky Tims, not sure where he got it)

Reply
W

The comment you said about the traditional method “I doubt this method is used much in our modern quilting world” is quite presumptuous. Believe it or not there are some of us “traditional” quilters out there that use this method with perfection. Some quilters were actually taught by their mothers and grandmothers and not by the Internet. Quilting is not all about the “modern” methods.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply