June 6, 2017

Week 13: Long Time Gone Sew Along | Flying Geese with No Waste


Using Perfect Patchwork Template Set A, Triangles 4 and 6, to make Flying Geese



We cut exact-size pieces from 2-inch wide strips and sew them together… no drawing lines, no scrap, no throwing away almost half the fabric! (Click images for a larger view.)

As I suggested last week, I cut extra A6 pieces and A4 pieces when I had the fabric pressed and on the cutting table for Block 3 of Half-square triangles. Plus I had cut assorted light and dark 2-inch strips when I had other fabrics out other weeks. So, I just went to my stack of assorted strips and picked out pieces. I decided to make the 4 geese that promenade at the center of each 8 geese block more distinctive in order to add interest. Pulling them from the same color family was just enough to add interest without being overwhelming. I chose to emphasize my original green, purple and orange color scheme.

Making Geese for the 6-inch Blocks

I did the set of 16 Flying Geese first as I was very anxious to complete section 2 (page 27). If you've been reading my blog, you know that I am machine quilting in sections and that I have already layered and quilted sections 1 and 4.

Knowing I would ultimately need 48 Flying Geese, but that I only wanted 16 at the moment, I made enough extra to have choices, but didn't make all 48. I always like to have a chance to change my mind.

To make the basic unit, chain piece A-6 triangles to one side of A-4 triangles. Press toward the small triangle, regardless of color. Repeat on the second side of each A-4 triangle.

1. Once the basic units are made, arrange them as desired and then join into pairs of geese.

2.  Flip the unit that is at the bottom of the pair over onto the top unit so you can see the stitching at the point where the two small triangles touch.

3. Align units and stitch. To preserve the lovely point on the Flying Geese unit, make sure your stitching line just touches the stitching at the point.

4. Press toward the Flying Geese unit with the A-4 triangle in the seam.

5. Join the 8 pairs of Flying Geese into a 6-1/2  x 12-1/2 inch unit as shown. Swirl press the center of each set of 4 to reduce bulk.

My Section 2

The 12-1/2 inch Block

When I started arranging my four units of 8 Flying Geese for the 12-1/2 inch (12-inch finished) block, I saw an opportunity for another secondary pattern where the corners come together in the center of the square. I needed to do some special cutting for that, but otherwise, the construction is the same, except it is twice as many units.

Making the Long Skinny Row of Geese

The first time I looked at the book, I had decided to substitute large A-4 triangles for pairs of A6 triangles on the long strip. Then one day when I looked more closely at the quilt picture I saw that was actually how Jen made hers! We probably both liked it for the same reasons. It has the same visual appearance with 15 fewer pieces to cut, and 15 fewer seams to sew and press. However, the sewing is different.

1. Arrange the A-4 triangles as desired. One row starts and ends with a dark A-6 triangle and the other starts and ends with a light A-4 triangle. Then arrange with A-4 triangles alternating, as shown on page 22.

2. Join adjacent triangles into pairs. The engineered corners should align perfectly. Press toward the darker fabric.
3. Keeping the units in your desired order, join the first 2 pairs of pairs in each row. Then add the remaining units and A-6 triangles.

4. Finally, join the rows to make the zig-zag effect. Don't go crazy over which way it should zig first. I chose to match the order in the color picture of the entire quilt on the inside cover.

More About Making the Flying Geese Units

Visit these other Long Time Gone Sew Along blogs, too, for tutorials, contests and other info:



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Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. Copyright 2016 by Jen Kingwell Designs. Available on From Marti Michell website, www.frommarti.com


  1. Thanks for all the timely tips!!!

  2. Your templates have transformed my flying geese making. After I cut and sewed my pieces together, I measured each one and did no trimming! Awesome.