How to make no-waste flying geese (aka make four-at-a-time)

I have been a flying geese making machine this week. I only have myself to blame. I designed a quilt that called for 180 flying geese units. I know … that’s a lot.

I would be going crazy if I were making them the traditional, sew and flip way. Thankfully there’s a better way. I’ve included a video tutorial I made a couple years ago about how to make no-waste flying geese units. The original video was for a triangle boot camp class in which I made four different triangle units all from squares. You can check out the pattern that goes with those tutorials here.

flying geese, no waste flying geese, quilt tutorial

Here’s how it works. You cut one square that is 1 1/4 inches larger than the finished width of your flying geese unit for the large triangle. Then you cut four squares that are 7/8 inch larger than the height of the flying geese unit for the smaller triangles. Then through some clever arranging and cutting you get four flying geese with no waste. Just watch the video above for step-by-step instructions.

flying geese, no waste flying geese, quilt tutorial

I can’t stress enough the importance of trimming the flying geese as a final step. I know it is tempting to skip this step, especially when you have nearly 200 to do like I did. But getting all the flying geese to a perfect size makes the rest of the quilt go together so well and really makes for a nice square top.  That was particularly important in the quilt I just made because I used flying geese in the borders, so if I would have skipped trimming, then my quilt would never have turned out square.

What is the most flying geese you ever made for a single quilt?

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Comment (8)

  1. I would love to be able to print your instructions for the flying geese. Can you post it for me. The tutorial is great but I need to see it in print to follow in making it. Thanks

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