No Waste Flying Geese Quilt Blocks

Technique #3: 5 Squares + 6 Seams + 3 Cuts = 4 Geese

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No Waste Flying Geese quilt blocks

No waste flying geese quilt blocks are a fast and easy way to stitch these units. Marking and stitching are kept to a minimum.

But what makes this method so special?

That's easy!

Most patterns don't call for a just a single flying geese unit. In fact many (like those shown below) require four or multiples of four.

And using this method, you create four identical units, all at the same time!

No special tools or specialty rulers required. Just your basic, everyday ruler— a square for cutting patches and trimming to size.

Sawtooth Star

Priscilla's Dream

It's a terrific way if you don't like paper piecing.

To make things even easier, I've created a cutting chart for you to download and print for a variety of sizes.


  • Fast, four at a time with fewer seams to sew
  • No special tools to buy
  • No paper to remove
  • No sewing on a bias edge


  • Not as scrap friendly, the four geese are identical and take a bigger piece of fabric
  • You must sew accurately; if you mess up, you've messed up four Flying Geese

Remember to download your free cutting chart further down on this page.

The Technique

This method creates four traditional flying geese blocks at a time, whose width is equal to twice their height. In this example, the finished unit measures 2" x 4" or 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" unfinished.

The No Waste Flying Geese Formula

Sky Fabric: Cut 4 squares equal to the finished height of the flying geese plus 7/8"

Goose Fabric: Cut 1 square equal to the finished width of the flying geese plus 1-1/4".

Always press towards the 'sky' fabric.

Step 1

Calculate the sizes of the sky and geese fabric for our 2"x4" finished unit.

Sky Fabric: 2" finished plus 7/8" equals 2-7/8"

Geese Fabric: 4" finished plus 1-1/4" equals 5-1/4"

Then cut 4 'sky' patches and 1 'geese' patch.

Personally, I like to cut my patches over-sized to start with, stitch the units and then trim them to the unfinished size. I find that adding 3/8" to the sky squares and 1/2" to the large Geese square provides plenty of 'fudge factor'. So I have cut the sky patches 2-7/8" + 3/8" or 3-1/4" and the Geese square 5-1/4" + 1/2" or 5-3/4" square.

Trimming instructions are included at the end of this tutorial

Cut patches for the no waste flying geese quilt blocks using the cutting chart

Step 2

With right sides together (RST) align one sky patch in each of two opposite corners—remember these patches are the red print.

To help the fabrics stick together, give this set-up a little press.

Now draw a line from outside corner to outside corner through the sky patches. (Though I've used a blue marker so it's easier to see the line here, usually I use a mechanical pencil because the lead never dulls and the line stays fine.) Your two smaller squares should overlap, just like in the picture below.

Sew 1/4" away from each side of the drawn line.

If it's easier you can always draw in the sewing lines with a Quilters Rule Quick Quarter ruler.

Mark and stitch the first two sky patches

I've used a blue marker so that it's easier to see the lines. Usually I
use a mechanical pencil, the lead never dulls so the line is always fine.

Step 3

Cut on the drawn line between the stitching lines with either a scissor or rotary cutter to create two sections.

Press flat to set the seam.

Press flat to set the seam

Open the sections, pressing with the seam allowances toward the sky fabric.

Open the unit and press towards the sky fabric

Step 4

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the two remaining sky patches. With RST, align a sky patch with the geese corner of the two sections. The drawn line intersects the corner.

Open the unit and press towards the sky fabric

The overlap of the patches—though it looks strange—is absolutely correct

Step 5

Sew 1/4" away from the drawn line for both sections. Again, you could use the 'Quick Quarter' ruler to quilting draw the stitching lines.

Cut each section into two pieces between the stitching lines.

Cut section in two between the stitching lines

One section cut between the stitching lines

Step 6

Press flat to set the seams. Open the sky patch and press with the seam allowances towards the sky fabric.

Open patch and press seam allowance towards the sky patch

Since these blocks will be trimmed to size at the end, I don't stop to clip threads as I go

Step 7

Repeat for all four no waste flying geese quilt blocks.

Four stitched no waster flying geese quilt blocks

These blocks are ready to be trimmed"

Trim the Finished Block

Measure your No Waste Flying Geese quilt blocks to confirm their accuracy.

If you've started with over-sized patches, as I have in this example, you'll need to trim the units to size.

Step 1

Find the center of the unfinished flying geese patch. (If you've downloaded the cutting chart, this number is in the column called 'Center'.) For our 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" unfinished size, the center is computed as:

4-1/2" divided by 2 equals 2-1/4"

Align the 2-1/4" vertical line of your ruler with the top center point of your goose.

Align the 45 degree line of your ruler with the seam line between the geese and sky fabric as shown below.

Measure and trim the first pair of sides

Step 2

Trim off the two exposed sides with your rotary cutter.

Rotate the block 1/2 turn, aligning the previously cut edges with the 2-1/2' horizontal line and the 4-1/2" vertical line of the ruler.

Take a quick check to see the that the 2-1/4" vertical line—the 'center' from the previous step—runs through the point of the goose.

Measure and trim the first pair of sides

Step 3

Trim the two remaining exposed edges.

Voila! A perfect no waste flying geese quilt block!

Measure and trim the second pair of sides

Trimmed and ready to be pieced into your next quilt!

Repeat for the 3 remaining units for 4 perfect no waste flying geese quilt blocks ready to be pieced into a block of your choice!

Download and Print Your Cutting Chart

To download and print our free cutting chart for No Waste Flying Geese Quilt Blocks in a variety of sizes, click the 'Stamp Out Math' button to the right.

The link opens in a new window. Click the printer icon and print a copy to keep by your sewing machine.

The chart contains cutting sizes with exact dimensions.

If you'd like to cut over-sized patches as in the tutorial, add a 3/8" to the small sky squares and 1/2" to the large Geese square.

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