Friday, March 9, 2012

How To Make A Flying Geese Unit

Flying geese are such a great building block in both traditional and modern quilting, and they're really easy to make once you can get your head around the math. I'll try to explain how the dimensions of a flying geese unit are determined, and then you'll be able to make them in any size you want. Woot!

One Flying Geese Unit

How To Make A Flying Geese Unit

Step 1:
Decide how wide you want your finished unit. Add 1/2" to this number to account for a seam allowance on both sides of the unit. For this example, I want to make a finished unit that's 8" wide, so my starting width to work with is 8.5". Make sense?

Step 2:
Now figure out the height of your unit. The height will equal HALF of the FINISHED width, plus 1/2" seam allowance. For the example, the height = half of 8" (the finished width) plus 1/2". So, a height of 4.5".

Step 3:
Cut a rectangle measuring the width from step 1 and the height from step 2. I cut a rectangle of 8.5" x 4.5". 

Step 4:
From a background fabric (navy blue in the example), cut two squares, all sides the same measurement  from step 2. I cut two squares that measure 4.5" x 4.5" square.

Step 5:
On the wrong side of both background fabric squares, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.

Draw a line.

Step 6:
With right sides together and the drawn line facing up, align one square on the left side of the rectangle you cut in step 3. The drawn line should go from the bottom left corner of the rectangle to the top center of the rectangle.
Pin to the large rectangle.
Step 7:
Sew directly ON the drawn line.

Sew on the line.

Step 8:
Cut 1/4" away from the stitched line, cutting off the corners of the two fabrics.

Cut off the excess.

Step 9:
Gently press the background triangle open.

Press open.

Step 10:
Repeat steps 6-9 to sew the second background square to the right side of the rectangle. The background squares will overlap at the top of the rectangle.

Pin on the second square.

Sew and cut off the excess.

Step 11:
Square up the unit to the dimensions you figured out in steps 1 and 2. There should be exactly 1/4" of background fabric above the point, so that when you sew this unit to another one (or to any other piece of fabric), the point won't be cut off. 

Press and square up.

Make sense? Not that hard, right? You can use this formula to make flying geese units of any size.

This little sample goose unit will be showing up again in a few days in a mug rug tutorial, so check back!

Happy Stitching!


1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I'm using this tutorial to make geese for a pillow cover. Your instructions and photos are so clear and easy to follow. Thanks Kelly!