No-waste flying geese

An easy way to sew a flying geese block is this no-waste method. Four same size blocks are made each time so if you have a lot of them to do, this way also reduces the time required considerably too!

As the finished block is a rectangle (normally twice the length of the height, such as 2″ x 4″) there’s a handy calculation you need so any size blocks can be made. Two different fabrics will be required. Looking at my finished blocks above, my ‘sky’ is the white self-spot fabric and my ‘geese’ are my hand printed fabric in shades of mauve and blue.

For this method, you’ll need one large geese square and four smaller sky ones. To your finished size large square add one and a quarter inch  (1  1/4″) so in this example, it will be cut 5 1/4″ square . The smaller squares need seven eighths of an inch  (7/8″) added (cut 4 x 2  7/8”).


I like scrap quilts so I am always trying to reduce my stash! Press and square up your fabric (here I’ve used some bias binding left overs!) I’m also making quite a few blocks so have cut more accordingly. I find it handy to write down how many I need – like making your own pattern instructions. Remember four small sky squares to every large geese square will give you four flying geese blocks. 

On the wrong side of your small squares, mark a line from one corner diagonally to the opposite corner. Once done, place one small square in one corner of your larger square and another in the opposite corner, right sides together and ensuring your diagonal marking lines up.

Sew a quarter inch (1/4″ ) either side of your marked line, firstly on one side and then on the other. The marked line will be your cutting line.

When done, cut along your marked line. You will have two lots of  large triangles with two smaller triangles. Press.

Now place a remaining small square in the remaining corner of your larger triangle, right sides together with your marked line running from the top corner to the centre between the two smaller triangles (as in the middle picture above).

Again, sew a quarter inch (1/4″) either side of your marked line and when both sides are sewn, cut and press as before. Trim your tails and square off if required. Your unfinished blocks (before sewing them together) should be half an inch (1/2″) larger than your finished size as this is the usual seam allowance.

And there you have it! Easy, no-waste flying geese!

The calculation of one and a quarter inches added to one large square and seven eighths added to four smaller ones is a standard you can use for any size flying geese you need if the width is double the height of your finished block.

I love that it produces four at a time and is also so easy to chain piece, making it even quicker if you have many to do!

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