Welcome back! Or if you are just joining me, welcome! This month, Kate and I are exploring flying geese. No - not the ones with feathers. The awesomely versatile, terrifically directional flying geese blocks.
Do you love 'em? Do you hate 'em? Or just not sure how to approach them? Like HSTs (half square triangles), flying geese blocks are remarkably versatile and multipurpose. They can stand alone as individual blocks, they can create wonderful direction and movement when places in rows, or they can be combined with other shapes to create star points and other blocks.
Head over to Kate's blog to see how to handle construction when you need a huge stack of them. But wait - before you go, let me show you how to put together a flying geese (hmmm...shouldn't it be flying goose block when you just have one????) when you just need a few.
First - a few general guidelines. If you are creating your own design, the easiest ratio when working with fabric is that the finished length of the block should be twice the height of the block. For example, an 8" wide block should be 4" high finished. Yes, other sizes/ratios can be made, but that may require special rulers, paper piecing or templates.
Ready to start your block? Great! Let's make a 4" x 8" finished Flying Geese block. You will need:
(1) 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangle (flying geese "point")
(2) 4 1/2" squares (block corners)
Chalko liner (recommended)
Here are my cut pieces. My background (the black print) is cut 4 1/2" x 8 1/2". My pink square are each cut 4 1/2" x 4 1/2".
Mark a line corner to corner on the WRONG side of your 4 1/2" squares. I recommend a chalko liner because if you make a mistake, it is super easy to brush off the line and remark.
You may have noticed that I am using directional fabric. Yep - it's on purpose. I wanted to show you how to work with directional fabric, should you want or need to. Notice that my lines are running two different directions. I want to show you how the orientation of the fabric print affects the overall look.
I've done the "fold test" to see how my corners will look once stitched. Just like it sounds, the fold test is simply folding on what will be your stitching line (in this case, the line we marked on the wrong side of the square). As you can see, my lines are going in two different directions. Not what I want! So....time to redraw the line on one of the squares so that my lines will be going in the same direction. And before I stitch, I will again do the fold test. Saves TONS of time seam ripping (rip, rip, rip....yep, we all do it!)
That line we draw - that will be our sewing line! Match up the outside edges of the square and rectangle, RST (right sides together), and stitch on the drawn line. Actually, for more accuracy, stitch just a thread or two to the outside (the outside corner away from the rectangle) of the drawn line. This accommodates the thickness of the fabric when folded back (oops - spoiler alert!).
Want a bonus? Draw a second line 1/2" away from the first line - to the outside edge - and stitch on that second line as well.
Cut between the two lines. You now have 1/2 of your flying geese block done AND you have a bonus HST!
Press AWAY from the center. Place the second marked square, RST, on the opposite corner of the rectangle. The drawn line should go across the pressed seam line (as shown above).
Repeat the same steps: sew on the drawn line, and (if so desired) draw a second line 1/2" away, sew on it, and cut. Again, press AWAY from the center.
You now have a 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" (4" x 8" finished) Flying Geese block. And if you did the bonus steps, you'll have two HST units as well!
So NOW head over to Kate's blog and see how to tackle multiple flying geese units!
Thanks for sharing the quilting passion with me. Happy stitching!
If you are interested in having me teach at your shop or guild, please contact me!
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