Monday, June 28, 2010

Flying Geese Tutorial

**This tutorial contains chain piecing techniques to make multiple blocks.**

This tutorial will teach you how to make one Flying Geese block. By sewing two extra seams, you will end up with one Flying Geese block and two Half Square Triangle blocks. This allows you to use every bit of your fabric, and can provide enough blocks for a border or 2nd project. :cD

You will need two contrasting fabrics. In this case, I have cream geese with green and red backgrounds.

Cutting instructions
For each 2”x 4” finished block, cut:
• One 2.5”x 4.5” rectangle – this will become your “goose”
• Two 2.5” squares – background fabric
1. On the wrong sides of the two squares, draw a diagonal line down the center of the square from corner to corner. I personally don’t recommend using fabric with a directional pattern for the squares; however, IF you are using fabric with a directional pattern, take care to make sure your fabric will be oriented correctly in the finished block.

2. Measure a ½” from the diagonal line, and draw another line parallel to it on one side. These lines will be stitching lines.
3. Layer one square right sides together with a rectangle. Make sure the second line on the square is pointing towards the outside corner.
4. Stitch on the line (or just to the outer edge so you have a scant ¼” seam). If you are making multiple blocks, prep another square and rectangle and put them right behind the sewn unit so you are continuously piecing geese. You will end up with the goose/geese ¼ of the way done.
5. If you are sewing multiple blocks, cut each block apart and stack with the squares on opposite ends. It makes the next step easier.

6. Next, sew along the second line you drew on the square. You will have two seams ½” apart. To chain piece, continuously feed the units through your machine, but this time alternate the units so they fit closely together. Your chain will look a little like a braid (see picture). Once again, cut any chained blocks apart afterwards.
7. It’s pressing time! I’m not sure about you, but I like to press. (I’m weird, I know.) Press your blocks to set the seams, then carefully cut between the two seams you’ve sewn. This will give you one of your half square triangles. Press the remaining corner out and away from the center. You have half a goose!
8. Repeat steps 3-7 to make the other side of your goose. You should have one flying geese unit and two HSTs (or many geese and HSTs if you’re chain piecing).

Happy Geese Sewing!

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