Monday, November 26, 2012

Flying Geese Scrap Tip

Wow - hello, two weeks later!  I have been offline this week (and  owe a few back emails....)so that post I intended to do last Monday kinda went the wayside. I won't bore you with too many of the details but I'll tell you that it involved a ton of subbing, getting panicky over the arrival dates of ordered sewing supplies (which led to frantic sewing on all things I have right here so that when said arrivals actually happen I can hit the ground with the sewing machine running), an improv evening masquerading as a Bond girl/spy, and a day of guest directing for the upcoming Christmas dinner theatre of "Sorry! Wrong Chimney!" in Eston, SK, which was soooo much fun.  (PS - if you're looking for a pleasant drive, and a fun farce by really lovely and talented folks, you should totally go.  They've put together a heck of a show! Dec 6, 7, and 8) Phew! If you're exhausted just reading that, I don't blame you.  You can understand why I've been falling asleep a little before I go to bed lately.  :-)
Decent wig, eh?  (Save the ragged bangs.) Add in a very thick Russian accent, red lipstick and gold lame and you get the picture...  "Ah, pleh-zure to meet you, Meester Bond."
Anyhoo!  In my frantic sewing of things I can't share for another month, I did have the wherewithal to snap a few photos of a trick I came up with while working on my Swoon, since the project I'm working on has similar building blocks.

If you've spent any time reading this blog, then you know I love scraps and hate wasting even the tiniest of pieces when they can become something else.  Flying geese blocks have potential for a lot of waste. However, if you take a little bit of time (which is negligible if you're already marking lines), you can actually have the scraps sewn together before you even trim your geese.

This method only works if you're using squares and rectangles to build your geese. If you're using triangles, you've got different scraps entirely and will have to find other scrap-saving tips. :-)

Flying Geese Scrap Saver Tip:
Step 1) When marking your diagonal sewing line on your square, draw a second line 1/2" away from the first.

Step 2) When positioning the square on the rectangle, face the second line towards the corner of the rectangle as opposed to the centre side. If you've sewn flying geese before, you're familiar with which side is the scrap side.  You want the second line on the scrap side of things.

Step 3)  Chain piece:  Sew along the first line to make your flying geese block.  Turn your chain of geese around.

Step 4) Chain piece: Sew along second pencil line.

Step 5) Trim/cut your flying geese blocks between the pencil lines - 1/4" from each - to separate the block from the scrap.
It's tidier if you use a rotary cutter but scissors work, too.

Step 6) Viola!  You have both a flying geese block and a bonus half-square triangle ready to square up for use in another project.
For the record, on HSTs I recommend pressing seams open but as this was the ONLY one I pressed that day, I went with the quick press-to-the-side.  Geese I always press towards the outside.

The size of the half-square block will truly depend on the size of your flying geese but a reliable estimate is subtract 1" from the short side measurement of the geese block for your HST.  For example:  my geese block unfinished is 2.5" and the HST trims to 1.5".  Obviously it's small but if you're geese are larger, so are your HSTs.  The Swoon has 3.5" flying geese and my HSTs trimmed to 2.5"...  Regardless, they are already sewn and you don't have to mess with bias-cut tiny scraps.  Yay!!

Okay, off to return back emails and race out for batting.  I foresee many sore safety pin-poked fingers in my near future....


  1. Look at you all sassy! Love it. :)

    I did the flying geese trick when I made my swoon quilt, though I didn't think of it at first. I was just ending up with these piles of paired triangles when the lightbulb came on and I realized I could make HSTs! I made throw cushions with them. Would have been a shame to just throw them away, which is pretty much what the pattern was suggesting I thought!

  2. Glad to hear you are keeping busy. You look great as a Bond girl/spy! Thanks for the tip. Sometimes I do it, and I sometimes I get lazy and don't.

  3. I certainly love that picture of you, and imagine you with your accent. I would gladly drive to see that play--sounds wonderful. Why is California so far away from you anyway??

    Really great tip on the flying geese. I'll definitely use is in the future!

  4. Thanks for sharing!! Love the wig. You crack me up!!!

  5. I hear you! I've barely had time to breathe, never mind blog. You look great as a brunette! I recently dyed my hair a similar color. I'm working on two shows as well, one Christmas special esque type thing, and a dance performance for my job, so I hear you about the theatre! Your show sounds fun, wish I were closer! xoxo

  6. Cute pic. There is also another way to do flying geese which I just learned. There were no triangles to cut off so no scraps. Have a great week Carly

  7. this makes me very very happy! I don't do a whole lot of piecing but I hate random not quite matching triangles that are left after the geese. Very clever!

  8. Great tip! I have used this once before when making blocks for the modern siggy swap...a wonderful time saver with the added bonus of ending up with an extra block. Belated congrats on your Blogger's Quilt Festival win! I was so excited for you when I saw the list of names!

  9. Hi carly, it was nice to catch a glimpse of you the other day... Have fun with the sewing, Michelle

  10. Ha! You looks SCARY!! And where was this clever tip when I needed it this summer? DANG! I could have avoided all that extra sewing of tiny triangles after the fact. Regardless, thanks for this tip. I like a quilt project that results in a whole set of pieced pieces ready to put together into another quilt! BONUS!


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