flying geese

How to Make Flying Geese

Flying geese are such a fun quilt unit— they add movement to quilts and are a great way to piece star blocks. But, they can have a reputation for going easily wonky. Let me show you my three favorite ways to piece these blocks— with no wonk in sight!

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Basic pieced flying geese are a fun and easy way to add movement to your quilts or make star blocks. Click to learn how easy it can be!
 

Personally, I think Flying geese are the most playful quilt unit out there. They instantly create movement and visual interest on a quilt, and it’s fun to play with size and color to create bold, fascinating patterns. Like half square triangles, there are probably more methods for making flying geese than I can count, but I’m simply going to share a few of my favorites. The only draw back of this darling little unit is that it can be a bit wasteful of fabric. The bits we will cut off are called “bonus triangles,” and if you’re very thrifty you can sew them together to make extra half square triangles.

Regular Piecing

Piecing flying geese using “usual” piecing takes a rectangle and two squares and goes together using stitch and flip triangles. The pieced flying geese unit will be the same size as the original rectangle. This is my go-to method for making flying geese if 1) I only need a few or 2) I don’t want to use any extra notions, etc.

The math is:
finished size of flying geese + half inch on each side = cut rectangle size
height of cut rectangle squared = cut squares size

Note: Flying geese are made in a 2:1 ratio

 
Basic pieced flying geese are a fun and easy way to add movement to your quilts or make star blocks. Click to learn how easy it can be!
 

Example:
2 inch x 4 inch finished flying geese = cut rectangle 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches
Cut two squares at 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches

 
Basic pieced flying geese are a fun and easy way to add movement to your quilts or make star blocks. Click to learn how easy it can be!
 

Now, the process: First, lay one 2 ½ inch square on the corner of a 2 ½ x 4 ½ inch rectangle. Sew corner to corner on the square from the top middle of the rectangle to the lower corner. 

Trim 1/4 inch seam allowance and press “wing” open.

 
Basic pieced flying geese are a fun and easy way to add movement to your quilts or make star blocks. Click to learn how easy it can be!
 

Repeat on the other side. If needed, trim carefully to 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches

 
Flying geese units add great movement to quilt tops and are perfect for piecing star blocks. Don't let working with triangles trip you up, though-- they can be quite easy and fun to make! Click to learn my three favorite ways to make flying geese!
 

Foundation Paper Piecing

Honestly, this is my favorite way to make flying geese! I know that may sound odd if you’re not familiar with foundation paper piecing or don’t particularly like FPP, but I just love how it looks! Admittedly, it’s not really worth tracking down or making a template for individual geese, but if you’re making strips of geese or a border, I think it’s a lot faster and easier (and so much crisper!). To learn more about foundation paper piecing, check out my tutorial here. 

Loved the Good As Pie Placemat in the video? Get the pattern here!

AccuQuilt

 
Basic pieced flying geese are a fun and easy way to add movement to your quilts or make star blocks. Click to learn how easy it can be!
 

I love using the AccuQuilt to cut and piece flying geese because they are so fast and so accurate. you can cut up to 6 at a time, and they just fly right thru the machine with no extra trimming or waste!

 

PS Don't forget to pin this post so you can find it later!

PPS put those gorgeous new flying geese skills to good use with my Good as Pie Placemat or Sirius Quilt Patterns!

 
Flying geese units add great movement to quilt tops and are perfect for piecing star blocks. Don't let working with triangles trip you up, though-- they can be quite easy and fun to make! Click to learn my three favorite ways to make flying geese!