Free Tutorial - No Waste Flying Geese

techniques and tips Jun 13, 2016

Hi all!

Here in the Lower North Island of New Zealand, five quilt shops run a Shop Hop. It's a great way to visit other shops and see our beautiful countryside!

Rainbow    View from Fensham Reserve

I took these photos yesterday on my walk in Fensham Reserve, near Carterton.

On this year's Shop Hop we are giving the participants three fat eighths at each shop, plus a pattern to use them. Each of us has chosen a different fabric range, and you can pick which range you want to collect. My choice is Moda's Grunge Blenders in rainbow colours.  How great to have spotted the rainbow on my walk when I had already been planning a rainbow quilt!


I just love the textures in these fabrics!

So I have been giving some thought to writing my Shop Hop pattern. Here it is, Candy Drops in two different colourways. This pattern will be available soon on Craftsy, complete with Grunge fabric numbers.

Candy Drops Vanilla background             Candy Drops onyx background

There are quite a few flying geese units in this quilt, so a bit of maths later and  I figured out that the no waste method would get really good use out of the fabric. 

I decided to do a test block. I'm not using the Grunge for this block, I raided my stash and found a pretty fabric that I got in a swap during Gail Garber's class at the Taupo Symposium. Isn't it great when fabrics have so many memories?

Step 7

This method works really well if you need lots of flying geese in the same fabrics.

First, cut a square 1 1/4" larger than the finished width of your unit. So for example if you want your flying geese to be 6" by 3", cut your square to 7 1/4". (Note, if you are using this tutorial to make my Candy Drops pattern, the measurements will be different - please use the measurements in the pattern).

Now you need four squares of background fabric. These will be 7/8" bigger than the finished height of your units. For our 6" by 3" unit we will cut these squares to 3 7/8".

Draw diagonal lines on the backs of the background squares, and lines a scant 1/4" either side of these lines.

Place the background squares on top of the large square like this:


See how they overlap? This is important, and you will sew right through both squares.

Now when I make half square triangles like this, I sometimes 'cheat' and draw my lines quite a bit less than 1/4". That makes my squares come out bigger than I need, and I can trim them to size afterwards. Don't do that with this method! Believe me, I tried and it doesn't work. So you need to be a bit aware of the width of your pencil lines and ruler, and do this bit accurately.

Now stitch on the two outside lines.

Cut on the middle line and this is what you get

Step 2

Now you are going to press those little triangles out.

Step 3

Have faith, this weird looking thing will work!

Place another background square on the corner of each of these units.

Step 4

Stitch on the outside lines, and cut down the middle

Step 5

Press, and Hey Presto!

Step 6


Step 7 Step 7

You will get four flying geese units from each of these sets, a great way to make them quickly and accurately, just be careful with your drawing and cutting lines!



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