Today we will be working on a Flying Geese Tutorial. We used these in our Sew Sweet Simplicity Block of the Month, now available in our shop. So what does a Flying Geese Tutorial have to do with the BOM? Read on…
All of the blocks in the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM feature Flying Geese units. In this tutorial I’m going to show you how I make Flying Geese units, and also show you a great project for using those Flying Geese. This tutorial is going to show you how to make pretty large units, 4 x 8″ finished size (4 1/2 x 8 1/2″ unfinished). The ones in the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM are quite a bit smaller, but by making these fairly large you can put a quilt together quickly. So here we go:
Typically, a Flying Geese unit is a rectangle which is twice as wide as it is tall, for example 3 x 6 or 4 x 8. There are a few ways of making them. I like this way because it makes the unit a that’s little larger than I need, so I can trim it at the end and get a perfect unit. I find that no matter how hard I try to be accurate with my sewing, things still tend to get a little “wonky”! Do you have that problem, too?
Anyway, for each unit you will need a rectangle and 2 squares of fabric.
- Cut the rectangle 1/2″ larger than you want the finished unit to be. For example, if the unit in your project is 4 x 8″ (not including seam allowance) you would cut a rectangle that is 4 1/2″ x 8 1/2″.
- Then, cut your 2 squares 1/4″ bigger than the height of the rectangle that you cut- in this case, we cut a 4 1/2″ rectangle, so our squares will be 4 3/4″.
(In this tutorial, I’m making 2 units so I can sew them together into a block at the end, so I have cut 2 rectangles and 4 squares.)
Draw a line diagonally down the center on the WRONG side of the squares. It’s always good to draw a line with a ruler- it will ensure that you sew a straight seam.
Place a square on the rectangle, right sides together, lining up the bottom and side edges. There will be excess fabric from the square at the top. Sew on the line.
Flip your triangle up to make sure that it’s not too “wonky”- it should look like this:
Flip the triangle back down and trim away the excess fabric, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Then flip it open again and press.
Now you will repeat the same step on the other side of the rectangle:
Now it’s time to trim the unit. Trim it so that the top edge has a 1/4″ seam allowance:
And it should look like this:
Now, you may be thinking, “What about all that wasted fabric that I trimmed off?” Here is another trick- when sewing your squares to the rectangle, sew another seam 1/2″ from the seam that you sewed down the center (I recommend drawing another line to use as a guideline- you can see in the photo below that I “eyeballed” the seam and it’s far from straight!)
Cut between the 2 sewn lines, and your excess fabric becomes a half-square triangle unit.
Of course, it will be really wonky, but you can trim it down to make a perfect square. For these, I trimmed them to 3″ each. (For the block of the month, the units will be much smaller- if you use this trick your HSTs will be teeny tiny!)
Then you can use them in another project, maybe as a border, or arrange them into blocks:
Finally, I sewed those 2 completed Flying Geese units into an 8″ finished (8 1/2″ unfinished) block:
(The fabrics in the above tutorial and project are from 2 of my fabric lines, Joy Love Peace Noel and Oh Holy Night, for Henry Glass Fabrics.)
Click here for a PDF download of the above tutorial.