Flying Geese units, like half-square triangles, are basic building blocks for many quilts. In some quilt blocks, like many star blocks, the Flying Geese may not be obvious, but once you start looking for them you realize they’re everywhere.
This method, demonstrated by Kathy Patterson from McCall’s Quilting, allows you to make four Flying Geese units at a time with no trimming and no waste.
Plus, using her formula you can make finished Flying Geese of any size. Determine the size of the finished unit and add 1 1/4″ to the length and 7/8″ to the height/width.
For each set of four Flying Geese blocks, cut one square at the size you calculated for the length (this is the “goose”, or center triangle). Cut four squares at the size you calculated for the height/width (these are the background triangles).
Kathy demonstrates the entire process in the following video. One thing you may notice is that she sews through a small scrap of fabric before starting on the block pieces.
The scrap will prevent those rare instances when the thread wads up as you start stitching from happening on the block units themselves. It’s a handy technique often used with chain piecing.
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