Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My "Flying Geese" Experience!!

Our on line Small Quilt Group is having two signature block swaps, to be completed by September.  One is a 4 1/2" x 4 1/2 " Snowball block, and the other one is a 6 1/2 "x 6 1/2 "Flying Geese Block. 60 blocks of the Snow Ball and 60 of the Flying Geese.  Yes, I opt to be in both block swaps.  I didn't want to miss out on any of the ladies' blocks that are going to be in the swap.  Not all are in both swaps.  They have become quilting friends over such a short time that I have been involved with the group.  I look forward to my e-mails and "quilt talk"........... I am retired and this is my time to enjoy what I enjoy most, besides being with my family:)

So, here is my flying geese experience........... First I tried making the size of the flying geese the "old way"; using a rectangle of one fabric and two squares of a contrasting fabric.  You mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of each square then align the square to one end of the rectangle. After putting in many hours, it seemed like many hours, I didn't like what I had and it took "forever".

Then.....finding U-tube videos to make 4 flying geese at one time.......more math....... Another day of not really liking the finished product.........I didn't have that perfect square in the middle of my signature block, it "bothered" me.

After reading many e-mails from the group, a few were saying they were using the Eleanor Burns' flying geese ruler; I thought, this is the way to go.  So, off I go to Joann's Fabric Store to purchase one of these.  Of course, I am not as organized as I like to think I am............I buy the wrong size.  DAH!!  Back to Joann's.....

Can't wait to try out my ruler.......... read the instructions, watched more U-tube videos, I had it down pat.  Not pat enough.  Another day of sewing..........still not a good finished product. What the heck was I doing wrong?

Many e-mails later, and a lot of helpful hints......still not clicking with me............ Then one late evening....it finally came to me out of no where.......... what the heck was I thinking..........I wasn't trimming one edge of my flying geese......which when you put it in your seam.......it doesn't come out even.  Another DAH moment. I was trying to give myself some wiggle room to make perfect 6 1/2 inch blocks.........it doesn't work that way.......

So here is my take on Eleanor Burns' great flying geese ruler........with her instructions...

You have to start with an assortment of snacks....Swedish Fish & M&M's, just in case you can't get out of your craft room! (This is from me)

I am using the ruler size to make a finished size of 2" x 3" 1/2 geese.  So, you start with a 6" square and a 4 1/2" square.  Place the smaller square right sides together and centered on the larger square...Press

Draw a diagonal line across the squares and a 1/4" line on each side of the middle line.

Sew a scant 1/4 " on these lines.  Which means one thread width from seam.

Cut on your middle drawn line.  Go ahead, it will be fine:)
It's a little blurry.. but you'll get the "picture":)

See!  Looking Good!

Now... Press seam allowance to larger triangle.

Place squares right sides together so that opposite fabrics match....

Match up the outside edges...Notice that there is a gap between the seams...  The seams do not lock.

Draw a diagonal line across the seams....pin.  Sew 1/4" from both sides of the drawn line.  Press to set seam.
Cut on the drawn line.

Clip the seam allowance to the vertical seam on each piece.  I made a cut on the "sky" piece on each half, pressed to opposite sides......lays flat. Turn to right sides and press good points on "geese"....

Line up the dotted line with the peak of the triangle for the 1/4" seam allowance.  Cut the block in half to separate the two patches.

Turn ruler around and trim other side.

Now this is where I made my initial mistake.  I did not trim the bottom of my geese!  DAH MOMENT!


I really have enjoyed making these little guys.  I also found, that if I did them in blocks of 10 geese at a time, I could chain piece them...... and it seems to go quicker this way.  I still have to finish adding the rest of the block around these guys.......... but I have quite a few weeks to get that done............ You know, The Texas Invasion is going to take up a little of my time.........but I will be able to retreat to my sewing room.....

Until next time........



  1. I have been searching the web and through a dozen quilting books tonight for just this information! Thank you Sharon for your tried and true directions and pictures. I still need to find a pattern for a 3 1/2 by 6 /12 flying geese block or two sewn together measuring 6 1/2 x 6 1/2. Also need to go to JoAnn's for that special ruler...now what did I do with my coupon! Kudos Sharon!!!

  2. "I am a smiling"....to know that someone actually read my blog and found one of my entries to be of help. Thank you, thank you......... Sharon