Making flying geese

I spent last week editing my Cocheco Memories pattern. I rewrote instructions to feature more sensible construction techniques for a couple of the blocks, which required a bunch of new illustrations, which then required a do-over of the entire layout. It was a lot of work, but for whatever reason, it suits me and I enjoyed doing it—it’s weird, I know.

One of the sections I redid was for the flying geese units.

blue and red geese

Rhonda and Annlee have encouraged me to try the following technique, and to avoid the accusation of being too rigid, now was a good time to try it.

The method calls for one large square (the goose) and four small squares (the background). Here’s the math:

Determine the finished size of the unit. Mine measures 9″ x 4½”.

  • Add 1¼” to the 9″ measurement and cut the large square this size. For this example, my square was 10¼”.
  • Add ⅞” to the 4½” measurement and cut four squares measuring 5⅜”.

At this point, I will share a little secret with you. When cutting your squares, slide the ruler a hair to the right so you can cut on the fat side of the line. This gives you a couple extra threads of fabric in each direction that will be consumed when seams are pressed to one side but should not impact your finished size.

rulers

Here’s the large square:

This ugly fabric was purchased on sale years ago at a big box retailer and saved for making test blocks. This allows me to make all my mistakes before cutting into my good fabric.

This ugly fabric was purchased on sale years ago at a big box retailer and saved for making test blocks. This allows me to make all my mistakes before cutting into my good fabric.

On each one of your four small squares, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner using a very sharp pencil or a fine lead mechanical pencil. Try to make your line as thin as possible.

geese2

Next, using a 12″ x 1″ ruler, draw a diagonal line a scant ¼” on each side of the line you just drew, like this:

geese3

To get the scant ¼”, position the ¼” line of the ruler just below your original diagonal line:

The corner-to-corner line is shown in red for better visibility.

The corner-to-corner line is shown in red for better visibility.

Pin a marked square to opposite corners of the large square. They will overlap a bit, but that’s okay.

geese5

Sew along your scant ¼” lines on either side of the center diagonal line.

geese6

Press to set the stitches,

geese7

place it on your cutting mat and cut along the center lines.

geese8

Return to your iron and press the seam allowance toward the small squares. Your units will resemble a funky heart shape.

geese9

Take one of the heart shaped units and position a small marked square on the remaining open corner.

geese10

Sew along the scant ¼” lines,

geese11

set the seam

geese12

and cut apart on the center line.

geese13

Repeat the previous four steps for the second heart-shaped unit. You will end up with four geese units. Press the seam allowance toward the small triangle.

geese14

Trim your points and give all four units a quick, final press.

geese15

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Filed under piecing, rotary cutting

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