Flying geese blocks with two fabric placements, giving a different effect.
Flying Geese with different fabric placement

No Waste Flying Geese blocks are used as a building block for many quilt blocks and patterns. They are also used alone and can be made in varying sizes. An example of this would be the points in the sawtooth block.

The blocks also can look very different depending on the fabric choices that you make. You can also build different blocks with them, and sometimes you would not even know it is a flying goose block!

There at least 3 different methods for making them. I have used the Corner Triangle method, but you trim the corners off and some think this is a waste. I have the trimmed corners off and sewn them together to make half square triangle (HST) blocks.

Being the frugal fabric addict that I am, I recently started using the No Waste technique for making Flying Geese and this is by far my preferred way to make them.

Let me explain; this method is not only no fabric waste, it is very efficient. You complete 4 blocks at a time. Since I am kind of big on efficiency this works great for me. Most of the time you need flying geese blocks in multiples of 4 or more.

This tutorial will teach you the No Waste Flying Geese technique first and then also the Easy Corner Triangle method.
I have included a chart with the common sizes for both methods. You can get a printable version here.

No Waste Flying Geese Method

For the purpose of this tutorial, we will use 1/4” seam allowances and we will make No Waste Flying Geese that measure 3” x 6” finished.

Step 1

Choose fabrics for the main triangle and the points.  Depending on how you are using the block will determine where you want your background fabric.  Sometimes my main triangle fabric is a background colour and the points a medium colour. Or in this example, I am using lighter and darker fabrics.

Step 2

Cut your large square 7 1/4″.  Then cut 4 smaller squares 3 7/8″.

Fabrics cut to make No Waste Flying Geese Blocks

Step 3

Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the 4 small squares, from corner to corner.

small squares for No waste Flying Geese quilt blocks with the diagonal line drawn on the wrong side.

Step 4

Place 2 small squares on the large square right sides together on 2 corners diagonal from each other, so your drawn line matches up.  The 2 squares will overlap a little in the middle.  Stitch 1/4″ from the drawn line on both sides of the line.  Press to set the stitching.  Cut on the drawn line and press the 2 smaller triangles open.

Step 5

Then place a small square on each remaining corner, matching edges.  Stitch 1/4″ on both sides of the drawn line.  Press to set stitches.  Cut on the drawn line, and flip the triangles up and press.  It’s magic! You should now have 4 flying geese blocks! I found this method so efficient and economical. You make 4 blocks at once and in less time!

A quick and fun project for the Flying Geese Blocks is to take 2 blocks and stitch them right sides together on the point side. Then when you open them up they have an envelope shape and you can use them as a Love Note coaster for Valentine’s Day!

Then square it up and finish it in your favourite way! I used 4 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ geese blocks and squared them to be unfinished at 4 1/2″. These make a nice coaster for your Valentine’s Day dinner table!

I cut a piece of batting and 2 backing pieces measuring 4 1/2 x 6″. then I folded them in half and overlapped them on the back. Placing the backing and the front right sides together, I stitched around the edge using 1/4″ seam. Then you turn it and press and it is finished! You could topstitch the edge if you wish. You can get a PDF printable here.

No Waste Flying Geese in Common Sizes

Size Large Square 4 Smaller Squares

1 1/2 x 3″ 4 1/4″ 2 3/8″

2 x 4″ 5 1/4″ 2 7/8″

2 1/2 x 5″ 6 1/4″ 3 3/8″

3 x 6″ 7 1/4″ 3 7/8″

3 1/2 x 7″ 8 1/4″ 4 3/8″

4 x 8″ 9 1/4″ 4 7/8″

Get a Printable PDF of this tutorial here.

Easy Corner Triangle Method

In this method you will cut 1 rectangle and 2 squares for each Flying Goose block.

Step 1

Choose your fabric and cut your pieces. We will make a 3″ x 6″ block. Cut 1 rectangle measuring 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″. and cut 4 squares measuring 3 1/2″.

Step 2

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the 2 squares. Lay one square on the corner lining up all the corners and with the diagonal line going from the centre to the outside corner. Stitch on the line.

Step 3

Press to set the stitches. Trim the corner leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Then use the square for the other corner, stitching on the line and trimming. Press the seam towards the corners. Repeat for as many blocks as you need.

Easy Corner Triangle Common Sizes

Finished Cut 1 rectangle Cut 4 squares

1 1/2 x 3″ 2 x 3 1/2″ 2 x 2″

2 x 4″ 2 1/2 x 4 1/2″ 2 1/2 x 2 1/2″

2 1/2 x 5″ 3 x 5 1/2″ 3 x 3″

3 x 6″ 3 1/2 x 6 1/2″ 3 1/2 x 3 1/2″

3 1/2 x 7″ 4 x 7 1/2″ 4 x 4″

Get a printable PDF of these charts and Flying Geese tutorial here.

Here is one use for these Flying Geese Blocks. Make Sawtooth Star blocks with them like this one! Get a printable tutorial for the Sawtooth Star block here.

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