Giant No-Waste Flying Geese with Layer Cakes
Huge Giant Mega Flying Geese Quilt Block Tutorial
What if a person werta make the mega flying geese block using the No-Waste Flying Geese method (which is found all over the internet) and precut 10″ squares? Well… that just might work!! I tested my idea and I’m happy to report the easy-peasey, HOLY-HUGE-BLOCK, Batman!, flying geese quilt block tutorial.
How big are we talkin? Ok, each traditional flying geese block (flying goose???) will measure 9-1/2″ x 18-1/2″ before is it joined into the quilt.
Decide on the Size
(This is the size I used for my rough-draft, bohemian, test quilt. I also used the bigger pieces from my fabric stash and scrap bin.)
Finished Quilt Size: 54″ x 54″
5 LARGE squares 19-1/4″ (purchase in three, 2/3 yard increments)
20 squares 9-7/8″ (cut from layer cake squares OR 5 fabric pieces cut 1/3 yard each)
You will make 20 geese units. You only need 18. Use the extra two on the back.
(This is the size I used for my Kaffe Fassett fabric version, shown at the end of this blog post.)
Finished Quilt Size: 72″ x 90″
10 LARGE squares 19-1/4″ (OR 3-1/3 yard. If you are making a “scrappier” quilt, purchase in five pieces, 2/3 yard increments)
40 squares 9-7/8″ (cut from layer cake squares OR 10 fabric pieces cut 1/3 yard each*)
*If you are using cut yardage for your 40 squares: From each 1/3 yard piece of fabric, cut 4 squares 9-7/8″ x 9-7/8″
No-Waste Flying Geese Method
For each no-waste construction block, you’ll need:
- 1 large square
- 4 smaller squares- For best results, trim 1/8″ off two sides of each 10″ square to create the 9-7/8″ squares. If you skip this step, and I know you want to, you may need to do more work in the squaring-up process once the geese unit is completed.
Mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of each smaller square using a non-permanent fabric pen.
Lay two smaller squares in opposite corners of the larger square. Make sure to match right sides and make the marked diagonal lines appear to connect across the entire large block. Pin.
Notice the cut edges meet at the outer corners.
Use a 1/4″ presser foot to stitch 1/4″ away from the marked line.
Flip the entire large square and stitch 1/4″ away from the marked line on the other side.
Cut the two halves apart with a rotary cutter.
Open and press seam allowances towards the smaller triangle.
This will create a crazy heart-looking shape, which is how you’ll know you are on the right track.
Match right sides and pin one remaining square to the corner. The diagonal line should point from the V of the heart shape to the outer corner.
Stitch 1/4″ away from the marked diagonal line on the right and left sides.
Use a rotary cutter to cut along the marked diagonal line, just as you did before.
Open and press seam allowances towards the smaller triangle.
Each geese unit is 18-1/2″ x 9-1/2″.
I mean HUGE! The biggest challenge with making the flying geese is finding a surface big enough on which to mark and cut, but even that can be done in halves.
Trim the blocks if necessary, but remember there needs to be 1/4″ seam allowance extending past the point.
Each time you go through the no-waste construction process you will create 4 gianormous flying geese blocks.
Stitch all the required geese blocks for your quilt size.
I recommend joining two flying geese blocks (with a 1/4″ seam allowance) to create an 18-1/2″ x 18-1/2″ square block to use in your design arrangement.
Traditional flying geese seem to fly in one direction, or at least fly in one direction per vertical column.
I decided to mix it up. You’ll notice I used 18 of my 20 flying geese. I’ll have two left over to work into the backing fabric. … or lets be real, this was so incredibly fast to make, I might save the geese to start a second quilt top.
Join blocks using an 1/4″ seam allowance. Pin at all intersections and points for accuracy.
Ok, these geese are bigger than the quilt-able area of the longarm. Wow. That is HUGE.
I picked a fast fast fast loop design, but neglected to realize with the geese being so large, I would have to roll the quilt up and down for each block. #learningcurve
I ended up using left over geese in the quilt backing: two, left over from the pattern directions and an additional four more from my “will this even work” block. I joined my geese and then framed them in fabric from my stash.
Here’s the front of the 54″ x 54″ quilt.
And a couple more quilting pics before I go to my leftover bindings pile to add a scrappy finish to this every-color-quilt with every-color-binding.
Since the “test” size worked, I decided to make the queen size quilt, too!! Y’all, I made this queen size in one day. This would be the perfect project to pack on a quilt retreat!
There’s so much Kaffe Fassett fabric from which to choose, but here’s what I bought:
- 5 pieces of yellows 2/3 yard each
- 5 pieces of blue/green/purple at 2/3 yard each
I cut my fabrics into the 19-1/4″ x 19-1/4″ squares and the smaller 9-7/8″ x 9-7/8″ squares. (as described in the directions above) I did sort the piles to keep some order to mixed up plan. I have the smaller squares flipped over in the photo so I could quickly mark the diagonal lines one their wrong sides.
Then, I followed the directions above to create the 40 flying geese blocks.
I did some serious assembly-line sewing.
When it came to piecing the geese together, I made sure to pin the seams, points and other intersections. I used the 1/4″ mark on my Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide. There are 120 points on this quilt and I really wanted to see them all.
I started arranging the blocks in every direction, just like the test quilt.
I am loving how this big ole 72″ x 90″ quilt came together. (Whoa, I need better lighting in the studio!)
I learned my lesson quilting the test quilt and decided to try an all-over, edge-to-edge design when I free motion quilted this big guy on the longarm.
Just a note- I saved all the extra fabric pieces when cutting and was able to eek out the binding (cut 8 strips 2-1/4″ x WOF) from the initial fabric purchase. Awesome!!
The quilt is so bright and festive thanks to the fabrics. I’m loving how it turned out.
Huge thanks to a couple of my friends, Sarah R and Stacy P, in the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild who inspired me with their half-square triangle version of larger flying geese!