Machine Minute: No-Waste Flying Geese
Make a set of four Flying Geese blocks without cutting triangles or wasting fabric!
Hi, I'm Linda, and this Machine Minute is brought to you by Baby Lock and the Crescendo machine. Today I'm going to show you how to do no-waste flying geese. So flying geese is a traditional pattern where it's a rectangular block that is twice as long as it is tall. So we're going to show you how to do this by cutting squares -- and no triangles. So let's get started. So to make four flying geese blocks in one process, the first thing you need to know is how large your finished block is going to be. Again, this is that large section, which would be theoretically the geese and this is the sky. So whatever your finished width and your finished height are are going to determine what size you cut your squares. So to make these no-waste flying geese blocks (four of them at a time), you're going to cut a square from your main fabric (so that's the one you want in this space) that's an 1-1/4" larger than your desired finished width. So in my case, since my finished block is going to measure 3" wide, I'm going to cut my large square for this space, 4-1/4". Then I'm going to cut my small squares. Now the small squares are going to be using the height of the block, and I add 7/8" to the height of the finished block to cut my squares. So, again, my height is 1-1/2", so I'm going to cut those smaller squares at 2-3/8", which is 7/8" larger. So you're cutting one of your large blocks and four of your small blocks. You'll see that I've marked three of those small blocks. And that's my first step -- to make those diagonally from corner to corner. I'm going to show you how to mark diagonally in case you've never done this before. I just grabbed any ruler. I like to use a smaller one because it's a little easier on these smaller blocks. I want to position the ruler so I'm just to the edge of that corner diagonally, because I want to make room for my pencil lead. Hold it done and gently draw. You don't want to pull hard across, because you're going across the bias of the fabric and that's where the most stretch is. So you want to just very gently mark that line. The next thing we're going to do is position our two smaller squares on the large block. And you're going to position them obviously so that the corers are even, but so that diagonal line goes continuously across the block. Now we're going to sew a 1/4" on each side of that line. I've set my needle width at 1/4". I'm going to start sewing with that line that I've marked just under my presser foot. So I've sewn one side. I've got the knee lift on my machine so I can lift the foot and press it down again. It's so handy when I'm going piecing like this. I'm going to keep sewing down the other side again, keeping the 1/4" to each side of the drawn line. So you can see now that I've got the two lines of stitching and my pencil line. I'm going to come in with my ruler on my rotary cutting mat and I'm going to cut along that line. And I'm going to press back those small triangles. The seam allowance is going to go toward the small triangles. So now we have our third square that we've marked. We're going to set it on our oddly-shaped piece (if you look at it a little bit, it kind of looks like a heart). So you're going to set it on there and you'll see that you're in the right place because you want to make sure you're kind of evenly spaced between the two peaks you've just sewn on. You're going to pin that in place. I worry more about making sure the seam allowance stays put, so I make sure I have a pin there making sure I have that seam allowance in place. ?And then another one at the other end. And the again, we're going to sew in the same fashion that we did before to a 1/4" on one side of the line and a 1/4" on the other side of the line. So now we're sewn to both sides of the line. Again I'm going to cut on that line with my rotary cutter or you can use scissors. And then I'm going to press back that second piece. I'm just going to finger press it so you can see here. What you end up with is a flying geese block. Now in this case, I've just trimmed off the little dog tails and trimmed it up nicely. One thing to keep in mind as you're doing this if you're the type of person who likes to cut their pieces larger, you want to make sure that in this corner the seam comes right out to the edge of that corner and that you have a 1/4" from this point to your fabric edge. So if you're going to trim it up later instead of making it the exact size, those are the things to bear in mind. Once you go through this process with all the parts you'll end up with four flying geese with no waste or trimmed away fabric and you'll be ready to go with your project.