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Thread: Help with Flying Geese - Questions on Size of Block Before/After Sewing into Quilt To

  1. #1
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Phoenix, AZ area

    Help with Flying Geese - Questions on Size of Block Before/After Sewing into Quilt To

    Flying Geese seems to be a popular question today.

    My understanding is that a flying geese unit is twice as long as it is high. But I'm confused. Is this before it's sewn in to the quilt or after?

    Yesterday, I posted this thread with a picture of the block I want to make.

    My finished center block (after sewing it into the quilt) will be 7 x 7 so I would cut the block 7.5 x 7.5. I thought that the flying geese blocks should be 3.5 x 7 after sewing into the quilt - twice as long as it is high. So my finished unit before sewing into the quilt would be 4 x 7.5.

    Then I was looking at a post that referenced flying geese rulers. All of the finished units (before sewing into the quilt) seem to be twice as long as they are high. For example: Eleanor Burns has a ruler that's 4 x 8 finished size (before sewing into the quilt). But then after sewing into the quilt, the block would be 3.5 x 7.5.

    I'm so confused. I'm creating my own pattern so don't have direction on this. I guess I could do this however I wanted but I want to be sure to do it "right" so that it looks well-balanced.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    MTS is offline
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Hi Cathy -
    First - FINISHED means AFTER it's sewn into the quilt.
    The block BEFORE it's sewn into the quilt is referred to as UNFINISHED.

    Really, really, really important distinction.

    I don't use EB rulers (as I prefer to draft my own sizes), but if it says 4x8 FINISHED, then it started out as 4.5"x8.5" UNFINISHED block. Unless, of course, EB has her own terminology. Which isn't very helpful.

    The problem with rulers like that, though, is that people then never really understand the math behind it, and then can't make their own custom sized FG unless there is a ruler for it.
    That's why I prefer to do my own.

    Traditionally FG blocks are twice as wide as high. So you see a lot of 2"x4" and 3"x6" FG (all sizes are FINISHED).
    The creates one proportional image, and the math for figuring out the starting size of the pieces is much more straightforward.

    But there is nothing wrong with making a 4"x 6" IF that's the design and look you want.
    Or a 1.5"x8" FG block.
    Take a look a Caryl Bryer Fallerts quilts - she's got every imaginable size - and I seriously doubt that any of them are "standard."

    The math for the construction of the sky pieces - and the assembly is just a tad different because you'd be dealing with a rectangle, not a square. But that's a whole other thread.

    But if your own pattern calls for a 3.5" x 7" FINISHED FG, then you'd cut a rectangle 4"x7.5" and two 4" squares for the sky background.

    There are multiple ways to piece a FG block - rotary cutting the pieces, templates, rulers (like EB), and/or foundation piecing (usually great for accuracy if you have a stream of FG).
    Depending on the project, you might use one or all of the above methods.
    Last edited by MTS; 11-10-2011 at 12:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Phoenix, AZ area
    Thank you very much MTS. I appreciate your taking the time to respond.

    I've never created my own pattern before and I am feeling really lost without a patternmaker guiding me.

    All set now.

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southeast Wisconsin
    Good for you for doing your own. I have been quilting for a while and just recently got myself tangled up in finsihed vs. unfinshed for half square triangles (HST). I wound up making some samples until it was right for my quilt!

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