To determine what size of rectangle to cut, add 1/2” to the finished height and width of the Flying Geese unit. Cut two squares the same size as the height of the triangle. For example, for a 1-1/2 x 3” finished Flying Geese unit, cut a 2x3-1/2” rectangle and 2” squares.
Use a quilter’s pencil to mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of each square. To prevent the fabric from stretching as you draw the lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under the square.
Note: Instead of drawing a line, you may press the squares in half diagonally.
Tip for Overlapping SquaresWhen you’re using the rectangle and two squares method to make Flying Geese, why do the squares overlap at the upper point of the center triangle?
Once sewn together, this overlap is what creates the seam allowance along the upper edge of the pieced Flying Geese unit.
When you sew the Flying Geese unit into a block, this seam allowance will be taken in, leaving the tip of your triangle intact at the seam line. Without it, the tip of the triangle would be sewn into the seam and you’d have no sharp point at the top of the triangle.
With right sides together, align a marked square with one end of a rectangle; note the placement of the marked diagonal line. Stitch on the marked line.
Trim the seam allowance to 1/4”.
Press the attached triangle open.
Align a second marked square with the opposite end of the rectangle, again noting the placement of the marked diagonal line. Stitch on the marked line, trim as before.
Press the attached triangle open to make a Flying Geese unit.
To determine what size of quarter-square triangle to cut for the center of the Flying Geese unit, add 1-1/4” to the desired finished width of the Flying Geese unit.
To determine what size half-square triangles to cut for the small triangles, add 7/8” to the desired finished height of the Flying Geese unit.
For example, for a 1-1/2x3” finished Flying Geese unit, cut a 4-1/4” square, cutting it diagonally twice in an X to yield four large triangles.
Cut a 2-3/8” square, cutting it diagonally in half to yield two small triangles.
With right sides together, sew a small triangle to a short edge of the large triangle using a 1/4” seam allowance.
Note: The corners of the small triangle will extend 1/4” beyond each end of the large triangle.
Press the attached small triangle open, pressing the seam allowance toward the small triangle.
In the same manner, join the remaining small triangle to the large triangle.
Press the small triangle open to make a Flying Geese unit.
Trim the dog-ears.