Block Basics: Flying Geese – Stitch-And-Flip

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Welcome back!

This is our second tutorial in our Beginner Skill Builder Sampler Quilt, and we are learning how to make a basic Flying Geese.

This particular technique is called the Stitch-and-Flip Method.

Flying Geese

A flying geese is when you have a triangle in the middle and a different fabric on each of those corners. It ends up being a rectangle, and more often than not, it’s twice as wide as it is tall.

I’ve always used flying geese to add points to the stars, but I soon learned that the actual “flying geese” is the triangle in the middle. Which totally makes sense if you’re actually referring to geese flying south in their triangle formation.

Stitch-and-Flip

The Stitch-and-Flip Method is a very traditional method and can be used on a variety of different things. If you’re not using it for flying geese, a quilter might call it “Snowballing”.

The idea is that you you’re cutting off the corner of fabric and replacing it with a new color. Creating a curved affect.

It’s super simple and can be done with a couple of triangles and a rectangle background piece. This will create one flying geese. (A lot of times we need multiple of flying geese that look the same, so you’ll just need to cut accordingly.)

When doing the stitch-and-flip method, you will start with a background fabric that you want your unfinished flying geese to be. We want our unflinished geese to be 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″. This means, we **shouldn’t** have any trim to do, though sometimes we do.

So let’s get started!

Cut List

  • 1- 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ background fabric
  • 2- 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ colored fabric

Draw a diagonal line on both of the colored fabric from one corner to the opposite corner.

Lay one colored square, right side down, on the background rectangle. The line should go from a corner to the middle.

Stitch right along the line you drew.

Fold the colored square right at the stitched line so that it lines up perfectly with the background corner. Finger press, then press with an iron.

Open colored fabric up and trim the background and other half of the colored fabric 1/4″ from the stitched line. Fold colored fabric back over so it’s once again rectangle shaped.

Lay the second colored piece, right side down, on the rectangle. The line should be going in the opposite direction of the first one, going from the top corner, to the bottom middle.

Stitch right along the line.

Fold the colored square right at the stitched line so that it lines up perfectly with the background corner. Finger press, then press with an iron.

Open colored fabric up and trim the background and other half of the colored fabric 1/4″ from the stitched line.

Fold colored fabric back over so it’s once again rectangle shaped.

Measure and Trim

Measure your flying geese. If done precisely, it should measure 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″. If it’s off a little bit, just trim it so it’s that size.

Beginner Skill Builder Sampler Quilt

If you are sewing along with me and making Beginner Skill Builder Sampler Quilt you will need to make 4 of these flying geese. I made mine all the same color, but you are welcome to sew them with different colors, it just makes them more fun that way.

If you have any questions, or if something’s not clear, check out the YouTube video. I go into more detail there. If still you have questions, please ask in the comments of this blog post or on the YouTube video and I’ll get it answered for you.

Let me know how they turn out.

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