Geese invasion

My sewing room has been invaded by wildlife: geese.

Fabric geese.

Sixteen of ’em to be exact. But I don’t mind because these geese come without the mess!

In the last post, I showed you a cool way to make flying geese units. I liked this method because there was no waste and it made four at a time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use this method when making the geese for my Cocheco Memories sampler because I chose directional fabrics for those blocks. I had to resort to the stitch-and-flip technique instead, which I will talk about today.

The math and the cutting for this method are simple: You need one rectangle and two squares for each unit. My sampler blocks finish at 9″ square. Two flying geese units make up one 9″ block, so each finished unit measures 9″ x 4½”.

goose block

I cut the rectangles 9½” x 5″ and the squares 5″.

Here’s the red stripe fabric for eight of the 16 flying geese blocks in the quilt:

 red fabric

I wanted the stripe running vertically and to be in the same position for all the red geese, so I made a template.

The line down the center aids in positioning.

The line down the center aids in positioning.

Once I determined what element of the stripe I wanted near the point of the goose, I marked it with blue painter’s tape:

template marker

I centered the template on the right side of the fabric and drew around all four sides with an ultra fine point permanent marker.

template on fabric 

I drew as many as would fit in one section of the yardage and cut them out with my rotary cutter and quilter’s ruler.

Because fussy cutting wastes fabric, I had purchased extra to make sure I could get eight identical patches from it. Your fabric will look like Swiss cheese:

fussy cut fabric

Here’s the rectangle:

red rectangle

I cut seven more just like it.

When it came to the blue fabric, there was a definite right-side-up feel to it, so I treated it as directional also. I think it was the red flowers—they just had to be facing up! I cut eight blue rectangles.

blue fabric

Next, I cut my background squares from a light gold moiré print:

background square

After that, I drew a diagonal line from corner to corner on all the squares. Because I wanted the moiré pattern to run horizontally, I flipped up the corner to make sure the square was positioned correctly before drawing the line.

square on rectangle

I did this for all the flying geese blocks, and ended up manufacturing them in an assembly line fashion.

goose right side

I started by aligning the raw edges of a square with the right end of one rectangle and pinning the square in place. Pinning is essential because you will be sewing along the bias and pins will keep things from shifting.

pinned and sewn

One thing that helps me achieve accuracy (besides cutting on the fat side of the line as referenced in the previous post) is to sew just outside the diagonal line drawn on your square.

goose line

Sewing outside the line (on the side of the square that will be trimmed off) will better ensure that the corner of the square will match up with the corner of the rectangle, keeping the unit true to size.

After stitching the square, position the ¼” line of your ruler on top of the stitched line


and trim the excess.


Lay the unit right side up on your pressing surface and press to set the stitches.


Flip up the corner of the square and press.


Repeat the same steps to finish the left side of the unit.

goose left side


finished geese

One of the disadvantages of this method is that you end up with a bunch of half-square triangles.

left over triangles

I can’t bear to throw them away, so I stitch them together and piece them into the back or save them for another project.

I’ll be back in a few days with more progress on this quilt. Thanks for visiting.


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