How to Foundation Paper Piece Flying Geese

Kimberlee Tanner

Love flying geese, but don't like dealing with cut off points and skewed edges? Using foundation paper piecing to make your flying geese solves both of these issues! You can quickly and easily make a string of geese with perfect points, the exact size you need.


Flying geese are a very versatile block and used in so many designs, both traditional and modern. There are lots of methods to make them, and if you want to try another of our favorites, head here to learn how to make 4 at a time: 

Foundation Paper Pieced Flying Geese

When you foundation paper piece flying geese you are going to be sewing the fabric to a paper template. This allows you to get very precise points and sizing. It also makes it very easy to use very specific fabric placement quickly and easily. If you are looking for a certain fabric order or using different fabrics for the background squares, you can pick and choose exactly where each fabric will go.

How to Foundation Paper Piece

If you have never foundation paper pieced before, we have a full tutorial that walks you through the entire process: Foundation Paper Piecing for Beginners

Don't worry if you are brand new to this! Foundation paper piecing flying geese is one of the easiest quilt blocks to foundation paper piece. The process is nice and repetitive so it's a great way to learn the technique.

Foundation Paper Pieced Flying Geese Template

To sew along with us in the video, you can download the template below.

FPP Flying Geese Template

Love this method? We have a pattern available in the shop that includes 17 different sizes from 1 x 2" up to 5 x 10". Head to the shop to purchase them.

FPP Flying Geese Pattern

Printing the FPP Template

When printing the template, make sure to print it at 100% or choose Do Not Scale. This will ensure it is exactly the right size. To test, simply measure one flying goose rectangle. For the sample pattern, it should be 3 x 6". The outer line will measure 3 1/2" wide. 

Steps to FPP Flying Geese

After you have printed the template, trim around the outside to remove the extra paper. You don't need to trim it exactly, just cut off what you don't need. If you only need to use part of the template, you can simply trim 1/4" above the final goose that you need. (ie, if the template has 4 but you only need 2 trim 1/4" above the second goose)

Start at the bottom of the template with number 1. Remember, the middle sections are the geese, and the side sections are the background. If you are looking for a specific color placement, grab your colored pencils (not crayons, the wax will melt when you iron it) and color in the template to match what you need. This way, when you are sewing, it will be easy to remember which section should be which fabric.

Work your way up the template, adding geese as needed until you are done. Give the entire piece a good press with the iron and trim on the outer line. This will be your seam allowance. You can remove the paper now, or sew it into whatever design you want first, then remove the paper.

Tips for Easier Foundation Paper Piecing

1 - As stated above, color the template ahead of time so it's easy to know which piece should be which fabric.

2 - Lower your stitch length. Using smaller stitches makes it easier to remove the paper later.

3 - Have a cutting station set up next to your machine. A small cutting mat and ruler makes it very simple to trim as you go without have to stand up repeatedly. 

4 - Finger press your seams as you go and save the final press for when you are done. If you are really particular about your seams, you can iron each one. If you are doing this, put your iron close to your sewing machine so it's easy to get to.

5 - Have fun! Okay, so this is our tip for all quilting. Enjoy the process and don't stress it to much. 

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out!

Happy Quilting!

Kimie and Missy

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