Making FLYING GEESE using the ELENOR BURNS method

I have used Eleanor Burns method of making flying geese for years. I have not made geese recently. When I joined the pod-caster quilter group making the EASY STREET MYSTERY QUILT I was using the Bonnie Hunter rulers. I was having the devil of a time ( see previous post) I finally figured out what I was doing wrong and corrected my mistakes. My mistakes were lazy quilter mistakes like not reading or following the directions. I also did not want to look through my junk to find my LITTLE FOOT presser foot which is one of my most accurate piecing foot. Once I finally broke down and corrected all my laziness my blocks came out much better with less effort. Bonnie’s RULER method worked fine for individual geese but I wanted to make my geese faster and easier.

I switched to using Eleanor Burn’s method but making adjustment to her directions for the 2 inch by 4 inch geese in order to get the correct measurements for EASY STREET geese size. ( 2inch (ht) by 3-1/2 inch(w.)

Here is my link to pdf files that give great directions for making FLYING GEESE using Eleanor’s method.


sky lg sq 6-1/2 inches
sky lg sq 6-1/2 inches

Large square is called the SKY and measures 6-1/2 inches square.

The smaller square will make the geese and measures 4-1/4 inches square.

When trimmed up they will make 4 flying geese measuring 2 inches by 3-1/2 inches.

I verified these measurements by making several sets of blocks using these measurements.

WORKS FOR ME! Let me know if it works for you and if you get the same results.


Mark the squares on the diagonal for sewing. You can mark just the diagonal and sew a scant quarter inch from the diagonal mark. OR You can mark the sewing lines using a QUARTER INCH RULER as shown in my picture. Do be careful of where you mark, as on one set I had pencil marks showing and graphite does not move readily.

CUT apart and press then align.
CUT apart and press then align.


Once cut apart you align the goose sections, there will be miss alignment on the sky sections with funny wings. Mark the diagonal again and sew scant quarter inch seams.

3aa--cut apart

Sew the diagonal seams then cut apart. Press carefully so the blocks are flat.


5 clip then spin the seams

Clip the seam on the back so you can press your seams in opposite directions. Press so the block likes flat.

5-TRIM UP TO  2 IN -h X 3-half  IN-w

Cut the blocks apart. Be sure you allow a quarter inch off the peak of the goose or your block will look blunted.

6-trim to size

TRIM UP the blocks to 2 inches and 3-1/2 inches per directions in EASY STREET part 2. I know some people do not like to trim up blocks but I prefer to have accurate size patches for piecing and this is one of the easiest way of achieving accurate patches while making multiples.

first run of flying geese

These are the patches I made using 4 different methods. I will be posting picture of other methods in the future…. MAYBE.


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I will be adding pictures to this post as I noted there are some steps missing.  Sorry about that.

jig jogs

WHERE THE JIG JOGS COME FROM : I made several geese using Bonnie’s method and got junky jig jogs in my geese. I could not figure out how I got them. I found I had to maintain the quarter inch seam very carefully.

jig jogs-circle



when you sew inaccurate you get jig jogs
when you sew inaccurate you get jig jogs



3 thoughts on “Making FLYING GEESE using the ELENOR BURNS method

    1. Try getting any of her older books that features flying geese … she give instructions in there. She gives insurrections for the geese there in the size needed. I figured out other sizes by experimenting as I did not have all her books. I also things she gives sizes and instructions in her flying geese ruler sets …. she has templates for squaring up flying geese in small, medium and large geese.

      Try her web site :

  1. I use the actual Eleanor Burns’ ruler for trimming, and it works great. My measurements were 6 inch for the big square and 4 1/2 inches for the small one. I like your pressing method to mark the diagonal. I’ve just been eyeballing it. My geese are done. In fact I miscounted big time, so now I have 150 of them!

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