Learning how to make flying geese is a must-have skill for a quilter. Unfortunately, these quilt blocks can be a bit tricky to master – especially if you’re a beginner!
I’ve tried every method for completing flying geese and by far the most accurate method is using foundation paper piecing. I consider these foundation paper piecing pads to be my secret weapon when it comes to perfect flying geese!
Foundation paper piecing is a method of piecing where you use paper to help you create the quilt block. This technique isn’t as scary or difficult as it sounds!
Learning foundation paper piecing on flying geese is a great way to get perfect flying geese AND build your skills as a quilter. This is the best first foundation paper piecing project for a quilter who has never used foundation paper before. If you’ve never tried to foundation paper piece, this tutorial will walk you through step by step exactly how to complete your first foundation paper pieced block.
There are many places to get the foundation papers, but my favorite is through Fat Quarter Shop. They have four different sizes available and the paper is thin and easy to tear (must-haves when doing FPP!).
I highly recommend investing in these if you can, but any paper piecing printout will work, too!
While foundation paper piecing can take a bit longer, it goes quickly once you learn the steps. The nice thing about these papers is that each paper creates two flying geese so you can easily work on two geese at a time. If you have a lot of flying geese to complete, these papers are great for chain piecing, too!
This is an in-depth photo tutorial, but if you prefer a video tutorial, check out my YouTube video below:
Let’s get started!
- Two contrasting fabrics
- Foundation paper
- Rotary cutter
- Glue stick or pins
For today’s tutorial, I am using the 1.5” x 3” Foundation Paper.
Each pad has detailed instructions and includes the measurements that your fabric needs to be. My placement 1 fabric (floral print) is cut into a 4.5” x 5” rectangle and my placement 2 and 3 fabric (solid white) is cut into 2 3” squares cut on the diagonal.
How to Foundation Paper Piece Flying Geese
Before we start, adjust the stitch length on your machine to 1.5. A shorter stitch length will be helpful at the end when we remove our foundation paper.
Step 1: Attach your placement 1 fabric to your foundation paper pad. To do this, center the wrong side of your fabric on the wrong side of your foundation paper. The “pretty” side of your fabric should be facing up.
Remember that we don’t want to cover the front of our paper with our fabric, because we need to reference the numbers and lines on the paper. Attach your fabric using glue or pins.
HELPFUL TIP: To know if your fabric is centered on your paper (covering all of the dotted lines), you can use a lightbox or a window to see through the paper and make sure your fabric is lined up properly.
Step 2: Fold the paper back on the lines between placements 1 and 2 on the foundation paper. To help you get an exact fold, you can line up a ruler on the line and crease the paper over the ruler.
Step 3: Trim the excess fabric ¼” away from the folded paper.
Step 4: Line up the edges of your placement 2 fabric with the placement 1 fabric. Center the placement 2 triangle on the placement 1 fabric. Unfold your paper and flip the paper and fabric over so you can see the diagram on the paper.
Step 5: Stitch on the line between placement 1 and placement 2. Start ¼” before the line and end ¼” after. Double-check that your stitch length is shorter than usual. It is recommended to use a stitch length of 1.5 for these foundation papers.
Step 6: Press the placement 2 fabric away from the center fabric.
Step 7: Repeat steps 2-6 for placement 3.
Step 8: Trim the blocks on the solid lines. Make sure you are following the outer lines of the flying geese, and do not accidentally cut on the inner triangles of the flying geese. Disregard the dotted lines when cutting.
Step 9: Remove the paper from the flying geese blocks.
Now you’ll have PERFECT flying geese. Isn’t it amazing? Even though this method can take a bit longer, I highly recommend using the foundation paper piecing pads if you need a little extra help getting your flying geese accurate. These were truly game-changing for me!
You can shop for the flying geese foundation paper at Fat Quarter Shop. They offer four different sizes and a value pack of all four sizes. I’ll leave the links down below: