October 14, 2015

Chart 6: Eliminating Seams and Coral, Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


Make Flying Geese the No Waste Way

In the previous block, Belle, we added some seams, but in this block we definitely recommend reducing the number of seams. By replacing eight A-6 triangles with four A-4 triangles, we can make classic Flying Geese units and eliminate the extra bulk created where seam allowances would meet.

Most of the Flying Geese Units in this quilt will be made with size-specific templates as in this block. (Please read the information following the link to the conversion chart about our Multi-size Flying Geese Ruler.) 

My personal grainline goals for any quilt are:
  • Straight grain on the outside of the sub-units whenever possible
  • Straight grain on the outside of the block whenever possible
  • Definitely straight grain on the outside edges of the quilt
Why?  To prevent rippled edges and stretching.

Straight grain can be either lengthwise or crosswise. Obviously, you can't have lengthwise grain on all 4 sides.

Having said all that -- Design overrides grain!  The only reason I can think of where you "need" a bias edges on the outside of a unit or a block, is when you want to make a statement with a directional fabric such as a stripe.

The A-4 triangles in the Coral block will be cut with the hypotenuse (long side) on the lengthwise grain, which is parallel to the selvage, for the firmest edges.

Measure the strip width "the Marti Way" using square template A-5.

Here's my Coral Block    

Click the link to download the Template Conversion Chart for this block:

for Block #24, Coral

In addition to our template conversion PDF download, you will want to read Gnome Angel's tutorials for these blocks.

Speaking of Making Flying Geese Units

We make a specialty Flying Geese Ruler with which you can use to cut both the small and large triangles needed for five popular finished Flying Geese sizes, from 2-1/2 x 5 inches to 4-1/2 x 9 inches.

This ruler will also cut the triangles needed for the zig-zag layout Laurie has selected for this quilt, starting on page 260 in the book.

Cut strips the perfect width, then use the same ruler to cut the small triangles…

    …and the large triangles!

Making Flying Geese units couldn't be easier or more accurate.

For smaller sizes of Flying Geese units, we recommend using the size-specific templates, as in this block. In fact, if you own our book, More Bang for the Buck, you will see on page 29 a chart with 26 additional sizes of Flying Geese, cut with right triangle templates in various Perfect Patchwork Template Sets.


  1. So glad I decided to break out all my FMM templates for this challenge! Everything is working out great!

    1. Wonderful! Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

  2. Living with my adult child and his family due to a serious illness and have only very limited access to a printer. Making these blocks would be impossible without your blogs and conversion charts and the awesome templates. Am enjoying hand piecing and the templates. I have template sets a,c, b, d, n and s. Going to order the flying geese ruler. Wondered if there are other templates sets that would be helpful? I think I saw a mention of the log cabin rulers in one post. WIl those be used again? Thank you!

    1. Hi Denise -- I haven't made all the blocks yet, but I've used Log Cabin Ruler #8037 in a few of them so far, and I've used the small Kaleido Ruler, too. Because some of our tools have been on the market for as many as 20 years, I always try to mention other tools that would be handy, for those people who may also own them. You don't have to have all the tools mentioned in my earlier blog post but I'm sure you will find that you'll use the ones you have purchased for many other projects, too. The Flying Geese is really handy, there are Flying Geese units in so many quilt designs. I think you're going to love it!