Learn how to make a Flying Geese quilt block and master the 'connector corner' technique.
With connector corners, instead of cutting triangles and sewing on exposed bias edges, squares are used instead. Sew diagonally through the center of the patch, press and cut away the excess.
The result is a 'faux half square triangle' shape—with no bias edges to stretch out of whack.
For these Flying Geese you'll cut one rectangle and TWO squares to get the job done.
The math is super easy because the construction is based on the finished measurements of a rectangle. (But just in case, I've provided a downloadable cutting chart to keep handy for easy reference.)
This method makes one traditional Flying Geese block twice as wide as it is tall.
In this example, we're making a flying geese quilt block that finishes at 2" x 4" or 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" unfinished.
Calculate the size of the patches to cut.
From the geese fabric, cut one 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangle...
2 + 1/2" = 2-1/2" tall
4" + 1/2" = 4-1/2" wide
From the sky material cut two 2-1/2" squares...
2 + 1/2" = 2-1/2"
Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of the two sky squares.
I've used a blue marker here so that you can see the line better. On my projects I like to use a mechanical pencil. The lead never dulls so the line stays nice and fine.
With right sides together (RST), align one square with one end of the rectangle. The drawn line should bisect the corner as shown below.
Stitch on the side of the drawn line that is opposite the goose. This compensates for the 'turn of the cloth' as it is folded over onto itself in the next few steps.
Trim the square on the outside edge of the block to a quarter inch (to reduce bulk).
Press the unit flat to set the seam.
Then press the sky patch open towards the outside corner
With RST, align the second sky patch with the opposite side of the geese rectangle. The drawn line bisects the corner on the same side of the block as in Step 3.
Sew on the side of the line opposite the goose. Again, this compensates for the 'turn of the cloth' as when you fold the sky fabric back upon itself.
Trim the patch to a quarter inch on the side of the stitching towards the outside corner.
Press again—first flat to set the seam allowance.
Then press the unit open.
Your flying geese unit should look like this.
The beauty of this technique is the original geese rectangle is the correct size for the unit after it is stitched. That doesn't change during the process.
If you turn your patch to the back side, you shouldn't see any of the sky showing around the edges.
...you won't care to repeatedly stitch through an extra layer of fabric. It's tiring.
After you trim your seam allowance and pressed the patch open in Steps 5&6 above, if the patch perfectly meets the edges of the geese rectangle, you CAN CHOOSE to trim BOTH fabrics to a quarter inch seam allowance.
Then after you've pressed the second sky patch and confirm that it, too, meets the edges, you can trim both to a quarter inch.
No more extra layer!
If you're machine quilting or having your quilt quilted by a longarmer, the extra bulk doesn't present much of a problem.
But if you love scrap quilting, you might want to...
Instead of just trimming and discarding the excess fabric, you have another choice.
If your Flying Geese quilt block is large enough, sew a scant half inch away from the original sewing line, towards the sky part of the unit. (Scant half inch because you need enough for two seam allowances.)
With a scissor or rotary cutter, cut midway between the stitching lines to create a bonus half square triangle. Our 2"x4" finished Flying Geese quilt block provides two 1" finished HST units for very little extra work. The cutting chart that you can download indicates the largest bonus triangle you can get from a specific sized Flying Geese quilt block.
Store this HST bonanza in a separate box and trim as needed for upcoming projects!
The formula for this Flying Geese quilt block is straight forward. But sometimes it's nice to have confirmation of the calculations that you've made.
To download and print our cutting chart for a variety of sizes, start by clicking the 'Stamp Out Math' button to the right. This brings up the PDF version of the page.
You'll need to have Adobe installed on your computer. If you don't have it, click here for the most current version of Adobe and install it on your computer. (This link opens in a new window.)
Click on the printer icon on your computer to print. Then just keep a copy by your sewing machine. Easy Peasy!
If you use our tutorials to make your blocks and quilts, there are some easy ways to share your creations so other quilters (including me!) can enjoy the fruits of your labor:
I love seeing your work!
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