Our Technique of the Month students have been making Flying Geese this month. We looked at three different methods for making them and some of the blocks we could make – there are just so many to choose from, many based on the Sawtooth Star, but this year we made Dutchman’s Puzzle and Rambler. Each month I find two blocks – one fairly simple for the beginners and one slightly more challenging for those with a little experience or more confidence – to try. We used the ‘two squares and a rectangle’ technique as well as the ‘four at a time’ to make Dutchman’s Puzzle which allowed us to add in an extra colour in the centre.

Different colour placements can make a big difference to the look of a block.

Sometimes a quilt made all of one block in one colour can seem a bit lacking in something, but adding sashing in the same colour as the background allows the blocks to ‘float’, although you can then lose any secondary patterns that occur where four blocks meet. Adding cornerstones to the sashing can counteract this.

A busy block often looks better if set with alternate plain quilted squares. You could quilt the block outline in each plain square or counterbalance the straight lines with curves and wreaths. I’ve left the ‘quilting’ as heavy black lines so you can see it more clearly.

Rambler is a diagonally pieced block with lots of Flying Geese; we used both methods for these as well. There are so many different ways to colour this block – you can make lines of diagonal geese as here, or they can be coloured so they make ‘squares’ around the block – like the one at the top of this post. (You can have fun with ‘fussy cutting’ your prints too!).

The diagonal lines of Rambler lend themselves very well to being put together to make a quilt with all the same block especially if you turn alternate ones around. It mixes well with Dutchman’s Puzzle too. . . .

. . .  as shown with these two quilts here.

Last year our Technique of the Month class made medallion quilts with each border featuring a different technique.

Flying Geese make excellent borders for a quilt and can be mixed in with plain strips as well if you don’t fancy making the huge number you would need to go all round a king size quilt.  Sorry about the abrupt change of colour below – you may recognise the quilts below from an earlier blog post – I needed a couple to add borders to and these seemed ideal (apart from the colour!)

Would it be overkill to put a Flying Geese border around the Rambler quilt? Although I think you might you have had enough of making them by then.

If you want some Hints and Tips on cutting and making these units then you can find more information here.


  1. Carolyn Gibbs

    Another great post Chris – you are my kind of quilter. The second colourway of the Rambler block is really interesting – shows how a non-symmetrical choice gives a balanced yet interesting overall effect. I’ll see if I can remember to try this sometime.