Flying Geese Blocks No Waste Method

May 13, 2010 § 10 Comments

I think it’s funny that this method is called the “No  Waste” method because it uses the exact same pieces as the Traditional Method.  In fact, all three methods of making Flying Geese blocks do not “waste” any fabric.  Nevertheless, it is a clever method.

I know that at least a couple of you have mentioned that you have trouble making accurate blocks with this method. And I think I know why.  And for those of you who have never tried this method, give it a go.  It’s always good to know one more way to do something.

I do have to admit that this is my least favorite method.  I really like chain-piecing when it comes to making the same thing over and over.  I like it because my hands can be doing one thing while my mind is off thinking about something else.  It’s therapeutic for me to sit and sew while my mind wanders off to another place.  This method doesn’t allow for that wandering. There is a lot of stand up & cut, sit down & sew, then stand up and cut & press, then sit down & sew. If it’s exercise you are looking for… then this method is for you!

1.  I used the same cutting layout as the Traditional Method.  Start by cutting the four 6 1/2″ squares for the corners of the block. Then, for our crazy Flying Geese Quilt, cut four 5 1/4″ x 5 1/4″ “geese” squares from your fabric.  (Note that from a fat quarter you can only cut 3 squares and will need to either find another method or more fabric to make the last 4 flying geese.)  Cut sixteen 2 7/8″ x 2 7/8″ “sky”squares from your background fabric.  You will need 14 flying geese for your block and set 2 aside for the sashing.

I didn’t make a mistake cutting the squares this time. (yay!) And then I used the ruler to cut more geese out of the remaining scraps. Surprisingly I got 21 flying geese from my fat quarter. Make a mental note of this for a later discussion.  It’s the most flying geese I’ve gotten out of a fat quarter yet.

2.  Using a pencil, mark the diagonal on all of the background “sky” squares.

3.  Here’s where it starts to get crazy or clever, depending on how you look at it.  Place two of the background squares in opposite corners on top of the “geese” fabric.  Stitch 1/4″ on either side of the line.  Then cut the square in half, directly on top of your pencil line.

If you have trouble with this method, I think this is the point where things can go awry.  Because we are sewing on the bias, and trying to follow a pencil line, it is really easy to get quite a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. So much so that it can distort your final block. My sewing machine makes a scant 1/4″ seam allowance anyway. So be very, very careful that you are sewing as accurately as possible.

4.  Press your seams open so that the pieces now look like hearts.  Then place another background square on top and stitch 1/4″ on each side of the diagonal pencil line.

5.  Cut the pieces in half directly on the pencil line, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

6.  Press the seams open to yield 4 flying geese blocks.  Then continue on with the directions from the Ruler Method to sew the geese together and complete your block.

And for those of you who noticed that my first two blocks were not arranged the same as my EQ mock up, here it is with the flying geese tops pointing towards the center rather than away from the center. I think the first two blocks I unconsciously placed the bottoms of the geese together because look what happens in the middle.  Two corners or points of the flying geese are meeting and making thicker seam allowances. In my subconscious I was avoiding making the points meet to reduce the bulk.

Besides, I think it will be more fun to mix the blocks up and have them going in both directions.  Right?  Sure…

- – – – – – – – – -

Okay, that’s three different methods so far to make the same flying geese block.  There is one more that truly is a wasteful method. But… if you were inclined to make teeny weeny little 1″ x 2″ blocks, then this next method is the least fussy. But it does waste fabric.  I think I will wait until next month to explore that method because you really don’t want to use it on these big blocks.  And when all that fun is over, I’d like to summarize and analyze all the methods in regards to pros, cons, and efficient use of fabric. Stay tuned for more flying geese madness.

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