30 November 2012

Easy Street Mystery Clue 2

Bonnie has posted clue 2 of the Easy Street Mystery, you can find it HERE.
After a quick tidy up and a long walk with the dog I set to. This week we are to make 128 flying geese units; Bonnie uses the companion angle ruler, which I am sure makes them quickly and easily - but I don't have this ruler, so I made mine the traditional way. I thought it would be a good idea to do a short tutorial on this method here. I hope you find it useful.

Making flying geese the traditional way is easy as long as you cut and stitch accurately! They are made in batches of four, so that the outside edges of the finished unit will be on the straight of grain not on the bias. There is very little waste with this method - another plus!

To make four flying geese units, you need one square for the goose that is 1 1/4" larger than the finished width required, cut twice diagonally and four squares for the wings that are 7/8" larger than the finished height required, cut once diagonally - still with me?!

There is no squaring up or trimming with this method, I recommend you make one set of four first, to double check your cutting accuracy and your 1/4" seam; once you are happy go ahead and make the other 124!

Using Clue 2 as the example, we need to make 128 flying geese units that have a finished size of 3" x 1 1/2. Bonnie has purple fabric for her geese and black/white fabric for the wings, my colours are red and cream.

From your Purple (Red) Goose fabrics, you will need to cut 32 squares measuring 4 1/4" (3" + 1 1/4")
cross cut these twice diagonally to give 128  quarter square triangles.

From your Black/White (Cream) wing fabrics, you will need to cut 128 squares measuring 2 3/8" (1 1/2" + 7/8") cross cut these once diagonally to give 256 half square triangles.

I like to trim the dog ears before I sew, but you don't have to.

I usually chain piece in batches of about 20-30 at a time; add the right-hand wing to the goose first and carefully press the seam allowance towards the lighter wing, these triangles have bias edges so be very careful not to distort these out of shape with the iron - Press don't iron!

Then add the left hand wings, again press carefully towards the lighter wing triangle.

Double check your measurements! If you have cut/sewn accurately these flying geese units will measure 3 1/2" x 2" unfinished (they will finish at 3" x 1 1/2" once they are sewn into the quilt top)
Note how the tip/point of the goose is 1/4" away from the bottom edge, this matters if you don't want to chop off the points when you join these up!

I like to pin mine in sets of 10, it helps with the counting!

Keep them labelled and safe with the four patches from clue one, until Bonnie tells us what to do with them!


  1. Fantastic post, you are a good teacher.

  2. I just found your blog. I love your colour choices. I am cutting this evening so I can hopefully start tomorrow.

  3. I just found your blog. I love your colour choices. I am cutting this evening so I can hopefully start tomorrow.

  4. I make mine kinda like you do. I sew the right wings on first, then cut in half, then sew the left wings on and cut in half. This way I am working with a lot less pieces feeding them into the machine.

  5. "I like to trim the dog ears before I sew, but you don't have to." Could you please add more information on how you do this part?

  6. Very nicely explained. Easy to understand. The pictures tell it all. Thank you.

  7. One way to trim dog ears is to use Marti Mitchell' s template which allows you to suppress all dog ears

  8. Thanks for posting this tutorial. I do have the rulers but sometimes have limited time due to nerve damage on my right (dominant) hand. Cutting the small parts this way is faster and less stressful on my hands. I see you use a Bernina. Do you change the needle plate from the one that you can zig-zag to the single hole? just wondering how much of a difference it really makes.


  9. I love the red! What other colors are you using to go with it?

  10. Anonymous8/12/12 08:01

    Your geese are looking lovely. Clue 3 is here!