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Week 3 is live!  You'll be learning how to make the Variable Star block using Flying Geese this time.  It will look like this:

Since I've always shied away from general piecing, I've also stayed away from the Flying Geese block.  I can handle the first method - 2 squares, 1 rectangle and sew them on snowball style.  But everyone around here likes to make the 4 geese at once method (method 2).  I've always been intimidated by this method because I can't see the end result, so I have to follow the instructions and calculations faithfully.  I don't follow instructions well, so I'm uncomfortable.  But I did it a few times for this tutorial to make photography easier (need a set of partially made for each step to save time in the studio), and I actually started to get more comfortable with it.

Which method do you prefer?  Are there any cool shortcut tools out there that I don't know about?

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Replies to This Discussion

When I am making Flying Geese units I often use your second method, using the five squares of fabric, especially if I do not want to be wasting any fabric. I find it to be very fast and easy to make them this way.
Cat Lady, I agree with you and this is my preferred method of making flying geese units as well. The ruler for this method is fantastic with the measurement info already right on the rule for you for different sizes. Love the no waste method!!
I am not familiar with a ruler. Can you tell us more about it.
I just use the "simple" math to figure out what sizes to cut the squares.
Which is that "simple math"?? I use the Eleanor burns method, putting one square on top of the other RST and stitching diagonally, cutting as if it were 2 HST, ironing open, placing them again RST, but opposite colours, and then stiching again diagonally.
thedifficulty is calculating the squares size to get to the flying geese size I want.
Any help?
When you are using the four small squares, and the one large square to make the Flying Geese you use the math for making half-square Triangle units (HST) and quarter-square triangle units (QST).

The four smaller squares are used to make the HST "sky" units. To make a HST you add 7/8" to the finished size.

The larger square is the QST "goose." To make a QST you add 1.25" to the finished size.

Flying Geese are normally twice as wide as they are high.

So to make four finished sized 3" x 6" Flying geese blocks, you will need to cut:
--four squares that are 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" (3" finished plus 7/8") to make the "sky" HST.
--one large square that is 7.25" x 7.25" (6" finished plus 1.25") to make the "goose) QST.

Or in the example from the tutorial:

Start with the light fabric. Determine what size you want your finished flying geese unit and add 1 1/4". We are making a 9" finished variable star, so we want a 4 1/2" finished flying geese unit. 4 1/2" + 1 1/4" = 5 3/4" square of the light fabric. Cut one of these to yield 4 flying geese units.

Now the dark fabric. Determine the finished height of your flying geese unit and add 7/8". Our finished height is 2 1/4", so 2 1/4" + 7/8" = 3 1/8" squares. Cut four of these to yield four flying geese units.

Believe me, this is simple math, and my DH will tell you that I am not a "math" person. But it is math that help quilters make patterns any size they want to, or change directions in a pattern to work with our preferred method of doing things.
Thanks, Cat lady, for your help. I now realise that what I find difficult is following instructions in inches, as I use the metric system. It's difficult for me to figure out e.g. how much is 7/8" in centimetres. I keep looking at a conversion table, as I don't have a "visual" idea of what that measure is. For example, I already know how much the quarter of an inch is, as it`s the width of my walking foot, but the rest of the measurements is not a natural, intuitive orientation to me. I think I'll have to take time to convert the whole system in a way that I can understand it and feel comfortable with the measures.
Ahhh, that makes sense now. Ana Maria, if I were you, I'd continue to use the Eleanor Burns method, because hers are oversized, then cut down to the final size you want. That way you don't have to convert all of this "simple math" to cm.
hmmm. I never thought about it. Growing up in Canada i learned the imperial system. I was an adult when metric came in and i must admit i didn't really ever convert.
The majority of the world does use metric measurements though and it makes me wonder how some of the others on here adapt when their books or projects are in inches and they are used to cms.
Also, maybe some of our European friends could tell me. Are the books that are printed there in centimeters and meters or inches and yards?
I am going to try both!! Finally flying geese without paper piecing UGH!thank you so much!!! paper pieced flying geese made me toss a wall hanging into the back of a cupboard for a year LOL.Now it is out and I keep looking at it out of the corner of my eye---maybe now I can finish it without a headache LOL!
Great tutorial!!!!
I have used both methods you described. I like #2 the best. I find though when i am making them if i sew a scant 1/4" they turn out better when they are pressed and more likely to be the size i need. Better to trim down then to unsew,
Bonjour Karen!
I love this tutorial. I look forward to trying the 2nd method. I like the 1st method, but I can never get an exact measurement. So, instead of trimming off both the excess from the square and rectangle, I only trim the excess from the square. That way if I stitch slightly off the center diagonal line, then I can still use the entire base rectangle as the correct size. Take care and happy quilting
Thanks, That's the way I handle trimming off the excess. I hated to admit to it...thinking I wasn't doing the right thing...glad to know that others handle it the same way...Knowing that the original cut, is correct...Again, thank you...Anne


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