Can You Make Perfect Flying Geese Blocks?

Flying Geese

How many of you struggle with a certain block or aspect of making a quilt?

For some it’s matching up seams. For others it’s sewing the binding, another it’s pressing the seams and for me, it’s making a well pieced flying geese block.

I often have to press and steam and starch one of the sides in an effort to get it to lay right and sort of even. All the while hoping it will look OK when I sew it with my other blocks.

I’m going to share a technique I just recently learned about that was developed by Jodi Barrows called “Square in a Square.”

The whole process is quite amazing to me. And, it’s more than just making flying geese. There’s several different options that Jodi Barrows has developed and depending on what block you want to make you will use the appropriate option to achieve that block.

Square in a square ruler

There is a special Square in a Square ruler that Jodi Barrows has developed. It has markings for a 60, 90 and 120 degree angle. Each one is used in cutting your fabric using a specific option. There are youtube videos available that explain and show the process. I highly suggest viewing a few of them as Jodi explains things much better than I can.

Each option starts with a center block and strips on each side.

Block and side strips

I the picture above, I am lining up the 90 degree in the corner of the block. There’s lines on the sides that line up where my seam is at. I will cut this side and the one opposite the same way.

Cutting my block

The other two side will use the 90 degree in the corner but this time I will leave a 1/4 inch for my seam.

Position of ruler for cutting this block in half

After I cut my sides as needed, I put the ruler down the middle, positioned between the two points that do not have a 1/4 inch seam.

Two flying geese

I now have two flying geese by using the “Option 3” technique.

Look at how nice these came out. I didn’t have to spend a lot of time trying to iron point and triangle down. They look straight and the same size. My points are not going to get lost in the seam when I sew this block to another.

Block pieces for Ohio Star block

This is my secret for making nicely formed flying geese. Be sure to check out and watch Jodi Barrows video on youtube. You can also see her various books available on Amazon. The “Reference Book” is like the Bible to using her 17 options with the ruler. It also includes quilt patterns using the options.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on making flying geese and what you think of the Square in a square technique. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving as well as Happy Sewing!



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