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  • bethanyquilt

Free Flying Geese Tutorial

Here is a bit of information about how to free cut and piece random shaped flying geese. We are having fun with these in our Octagon Shimmer class at The Quilt Tree.

This is how we begin. Cut a triangle shape from your geese fabric. Cut 2 strips from your background fabric. You can see my goose is about 3" high. Cut the background strips wider - mine are about 4" high and about 7" wide. We are going to work on adding the left background strip first.

Slide the goose onto the background strip, keeping the bottom edges of both the goose and the background strip even. Slide it over far enough so that when you cut/copy the left angle of the goose, that cut will end at the top corner of the background strip. You can see this in the photo below - the ruler is at the angle of the left side of the goose and meets the top corner of the strip.

Here you can see the cut made. The little piece under the blue goose is waste.

In this photo you can see we are ready to sew. Flip the blue goose over to the left so the pieces are Right Sides Together.

In the photo below, you can see how the two pieces should be aligned. The red marker shows the seam to be sewn. Notice that we are creating a dog ear on the lower edge. This is so the bottom of the strip and the bottom of the goose with line up well. The two pieces should overlap so that the point where they criss-cross is where the 1/4" seam will be. The marker is pointing to this spot in the photo.

Here you can see the completed seam and see that the threads of the 1/4" seam are where the two pieces meet.

Iron the seam allowance so it falls under the background fabric. Now we can add the background strip to the other side.

To prepare to add the background strip, first trim off any piece of the background that extends past the angle of the goose. We need a straight edge to add the next piece. You can see where I am about to trim in this photo.

Now we are ready to trim the right background piece to the angle of the goose. Notice the point of my scissors marking the top left corner of the right background section. Keeping the bottom edges of the goose and background pieces in line, we will slide the goose section over the background section until we reach the point marked by the scissors.

Here you can see the goose section moved over the background section until the place marked by the scissors.

Now trim along the line of the right side of the goose as shown.

Here it is trimmed and ready to sew. The bit of a piece is the waste we just trimmed off.

Again, we have to follow the criss-cross rule for strange angles. I've marked the seam to be sewn with a red marker, and at the bottom edge we must be sure the two pieces criss-cross each other where the 1/4" seam will be (the scissors are pointing to this spot). Sew this seam.

Here you can see the finished goose strip. Again iron the seam allowance so that it is under the background strip. If the bottom edge is not even enough, you can trim it so that it is!

In this project we don't do any other trimming until all the geese are made and assembled together into the border. We expect that this border will be 8" - 9" wide and long enough to attach to the top and bottom of the Shimmer quilt. Let me know of you have any questions by emailing

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