I always think everyone knows all the cool shortcuts and tricks and then I’m surprised when I talk about something and get those blank looks of whaaaaaat?
So it was when I talked about making Flying Geese and heard groans and those “I hate making those blocks and wasting all that fabric when you cut the corners” complaints.
Well, I don’t make FG blocks that way. I make them with the no-waste method, which has been around long enough that there is a ruler for it…of course! There are YouTube videos on how to use the Lazy Girl Flying Geese x 4 Ruler, but I’ll show you my little shortcut even using that. And then there is the old-fashioned math formula method, which is also a no-waste technique and also has lots of info available on the internet. Nobody likes doing the math anyway, do they? I don’t need to repeat everything here, but the math method does exist.
Here are the basics of how it works—to make 4 blocks at once, you need 1 large square and 4 small squares. The large square becomes the ‘goose’ and the small squares are the background.
Shortcut alert–they always tell you to mark a line diagonally across those squares so that you can sew along each side of that line. It’s so much easier to fold the squares and hit ’em with the iron–line made! I usually don’t do more than 2 or 3 squares at a time for a bit more accuracy. And why else would you have a 1/4″ presser foot if not to use it?!
You can chain piece them, up one side and down the other and then cut between the lines.
Press the background (in this case, light) squares up and lay out the next square onto this heart shaped piece.
Sew each side of that fold line again, cut and done! Chain piece, too, so it’s fast!
Tip: always line up the small squares with the outside corners of the large squares. Accuracy is useful with this technique. Sometimes my lines wobble a bit and I don’t rip, I just sew it again!
If you are accurate, you should have a nice, straight line across the top of your goose block, with 1/4″ seam allowance so you don’t cut off the point.
You can cut off the dog ears if you want. I usually don’t bother on a small art quilt piece, but I have done it on full size quilts. Maker’s choice! This method is so fast, it actually took me longer to take the pictures than it did to finish the blocks!
There are so many layout possibilities for the FG block! I just threw these up on the design board while I think about it.
Now all my Flying Geese hating friends, do you think you could show some love to this no waste, fast method of making this block? Four alike at one time, no waste, easy-peasy…could you ask for anything more? Go for it!