Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Flocks of Flying Geese

My little quilt guild is very small, so we don't have the budget to pay for speakers each month.  Instead, several of us teach different quilting techniques at the meetings.  It works really well.

This month was my turn.  I'd decided months ago to teach several different methods of making Flying Geese. 

I've searched out quite a few tutorials on different ways to make Flying Geese. I finally settled on using Martingale's How to sew flying geese - 4 techniques for my handout.  I liked Martingale's tutorial especially since it also had charts for different sizes of flying geese (saves lots of time not having to do the math). 

I made samples of each technique.  I added hand written notes for corrections or to make a technique more simple or include 'bonus' half square triangles. 

The 1st method, Traditional Technique: Classic Flying Geese from Cyndi Walker has an error in the instructions.  She tells you to cut the large square in half, to make 2 triangles.  You should cut the square in half, TWICE, to make 4 triangles.  Not a problem.  I just added a note to the instructions. 
Traditional Technique

The 2nd method is Flip, Flip, Finish: Flippy Corners Flying Geese from Cathy Wierzbicki.  This is my usual method.  I added a note to this on how to get 'bonus' half square triangles with the wasted corners.  I love saving those HST corner units.

Flip, Flip, Finish with bonus HST's

The 3rd method is Fast and Furious: Four-at-a-Time Flying Geese from Carrie Nelson.  I used this method (from another blogger) to make the Flying Geese for the crocodile for the Peter Pan quilts.
I used directional fabrics for all of my examples so that everyone could see what happens when directional fabrics are used (some go one way, some go the other way).  I also added notes to this method, to make it easier to stitch and get the scant 1/4" seams. 

Fast and Furious: Four-at-a-time

The 4th method is Paper-Pieced Geese: The Ultimate in Accuracy from Karen Costello Soltys. 

Paper-Pieced Geese

I'd found another paper pieced template a while back (yes, I know, there are thousands of them online and in books).  This one was a free daily pattern that I'd saved from last year.  You can sign up and get the daily pattern (only available for a while before it can't be downloaded, this one isn't available anymore, sorry).
Block of the Day paper pieced Skewed Geese

There are quite a few more methods out there, but, I was getting tired of making examples (and running out of time).

I did show a few tools to use for making Flying Geese.  One is the Flying Geese x 4 ruler.  I have the original version (patent pending 2000) and the current version ruler, too (I love garage sales and thrift shops ;)  These rulers show how to make Flying Geese in several different sizes.

Flying Geese x 4 ruler

I showed how to use the Quilter's Rule Quick Quarter ruler, for marking sewing lines on my corner squares.  I also showed 2 different Bloc Loc Flying Geese rulers.  Another product that I showed was Sew and Fold on a Roll Flying Geese border/Braid border.

Quilters Rule, BlocLoc & Sew and Fold paper

Earlier this summer, Quilt in a Day had a special on a Flying Geese ruler and pattern, Modern Migration Quilt.  Of course I added this to my pile of ideas.  This is on my 'to do' list.
Quilt in a Day ruler & pattern

I had one more way to show how to make Flying Geese.  In July, at my large quilt guild, I loved the way the speaker made her half square triangles.  I really wanted to take her class, but, I was going to Michigan that afternoon, for the Michigan TOGA, and just couldn't fit the class in.  The speaker was Annette Ornelas of Southwind Designs

some of the patterns I purchased at guild

Annette showed us how to make straight line piecing look like curved piecing.  After that program, I just had to show one more technique.  I pulled out some of the patterns, and tried her method.  You get a 3D effect with her method before you stitch the curves.
Annette's method, before stitching the curves

Great idea even before using the rest of her method.  Here is what it looks like when you stitch the curves.
Annette's method, before (left) and after stitching (right)

See why I had to add in this one last method?  Way cool!  Several of us purchased quite a few of Annette's patterns, and are planning a sewing day together, in Sept, to play with the patterns. 

I am supposed to teach these methods to another friend, later this month, then I'll figure out a fun way to use all of my Flying Geese in a project. 

I'm always on the lookout for new things to teach at guild.  If you have any ideas for programs, techniques, etc, please let me know. Thanks!


  1. Very informative. I think I've used all of the methods for flying geese except that curved one. I really need to check that out! I'm betting she rolls back the seam. ~Jeanne

  2. Sounds like a great program. There is always room for one more goose:)As for the fold back idea....I have used it and made a pinwheel wall hanging for an auction. Found the idea at Missouri Star I think.
    Have you done a flange binding? That would make a good program idea and technique.

  3. I teach a class on seven methods of making geese - enough techniques that someone can find the one that works for them. It;s an excellent improve your technique class.

  4. This post is a great tutorial on the methods you researched and taught. Lucky ladies of your small quilt guild to have such a thorough teacher. Very interesting the curve 3D method...makes me want to piece a block or two. Been awhile, so maybe I can get inspired with your program. Good Job!!!

  5. Excellent class! I use the flippy corner method and save the HSTs, too. They come in handy!


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