Flying Geese

Starting on some test blocks for the perpetual calendar of 366 quilt blocks which use 5″ squares that I’m writing, I’ve realized it would be fun to share these blocks with you! By the time I’m done with some of this testing I will have enough blocks for a sampler quilt – so join in this with me and make your own Nickel Quilt sampler!

I also thought that having one blog post devoted to a basic unit would be a good idea, that way when a unit is repeated in another block I won’t have to enter all that basic information again, I’ll just refer you back to that day.

So today’s basic unit is Flying Geese

1. Select 5″ squares for the large triangles in the flying-geese units and trim 1/2″ from one edge.  In the opposite direction, cut the trimmed piece in half so that the two resulting pieces each measure 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″.  You could also cut these rectangles from 2 1/2″ strips.

2. Cut a light 5″ square into four 2 1/2″ squares. Yes – these squares could also be cut from 2 1/2″ strips.  Draw diagonal lines on the wrong sides of the 2 1/2″ squares.

3. With right sides together, place the marked square on top of a 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangle at the right-hand edge. Stitch one thread width to the outside of the diagonal line (towards the corner you are going to cut away).

If you would like to make use of the waste triangles this is a good time to sew another seam about 1/2″ away from the first seam (toward the corner you are going to cut away).

4. Fold back the seam toward the small triangle and check the alignment of the triangle with the edge of the rectangle.

5. After the alignment has been checked, trim away the waste triangle and press the seam open.

6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 to add a square to the left-hand edge of each rectangle.  Each flying-geese unit should measure 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ unfinished.

What we are looking for on this unit are nice points in the lower corners and a 1/4″ seam allowance at the top edge which will give us another nice point when this unit is sewn to something else.  For years I made these units and pressed the seam towards the smaller triangles, but when I started on the Nickel Quilts & Borders book I made the switch to pressing those seams open and those are the instructions I have given you here.

We will be using these in a block soon!