Dec 29

Homeward bound block tutorial


As a part of Candi’s Quilt Challenge of the month, we were asked to make a tutorial on the block that we made for last month’s challenge.  My block from last month’s challenge is called Homeward Bound.

flying geese block tutorial

Candi’s challenge called for 12 inch blocks, but I think if I ever make a quilt with this block, I will want it to be a  16 inch block. The tutorial will be fore the 12 inch block, but I will leave links to the templates for the 16 inch block at the end of this tutorial.

First, you will want to print out one “Home Base Block” template (you only need one of these), one page with four “Straight Geese Block” templates (you will need all four of these), and two pages with two “Corner Geese Block” templates (you will need all four of these).  That leaves you with 9 total templates, plus some extra Home Base Block Templates for future blocks.

Before you go any further, measure these blocks to make sure the template is the correct size.  The outer line is where you cut your block (and your fabric).  The inner line shows you which portion will be seen in the final block, after quarter inch seams are sewn.  Each caption shows what size the template should be.

Home base block template, 3.5 inch by 3.5 inch square

Straight Geese Block Template, 3.5 inches by 5 inches

Corner Geese Block Template, 5 inches x 5 inches.

Cut out the nine blocks along the outer line.

Now, you have your templates ready!

The fabric choice in this block is up to you, but I used 7 charm squares for flying geese. I will refer to these fabrics as the “patterned fabric.”  I also used Kona Ash as the background, which will be referred to as the “background fabric” in the cutting directions.   These measurements are pretty close to the real dimensions; so if you need more wiggle room in your paper piecing, don’t be afraid to make the pieces of fabric ¼ inch to ½ inch larger than my suggestions.  Try making one block first before cutting fabric for all the other blocks.

Fabric measurements for 12-inch Homeward Bound Block:

Center “Home Base” block

Patterned Fabric:

-one 2 3/4  inch square to place in position 1.

Background fabric:

-two 2 3/4 inch squares cut in half on diagonal to make four triangles, to place in positions 2, 3, 4, and 5.


Four Straight geese Blocks:

Patterned Fabric:

-three (all same or each different) 4 1/4  inch squares, cut diagonally twice to produce twelve triangles to place in positions 1, 4, and 7 on all four blocks.

Background Fabric:

-twelve 2 3/4  inch  squares, cut diagonally once to make twenty-four triangles to place in positions 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9 on all four blocks.

Four Corner (diagonal) Geese Blocks: 

Patterned Fabric:

-three (all same or each different) 4 1/4 inch squares, cut diagonally twice to produce twelve triangles to place in positions 2, 5, and 8 on all four blocks.

Background Fabric:

-two 4 inch squares, cut diagonally to make four triangles to place in position 1 on all four blocks.

-eight 1 3/4  inch x 3 1/4 inch rectangles for positions 3 and 4 on all four blocks.

-eight 1 3/4  inch x 4 1/4 inch rectangles for positions 6 and 7 on all four blocks.

I’m going to refer you now to a site that describes the paper piecing process very well, so if you don’t know how to paper piece, click here.


For home base block, begin by using a glue stick to glue the patterened square in position 1.

For straight geese blocks, begin by gluing a patterned triangle to position 1.

For corner geese blocks, begin by gluing a background triangle to position 1.

Now, stop and check you stitch length.  The shorter the stitch length, the easier it will be to remove the paper in the end.  I like to have a stitch length of 1.5 mm or less.  For some machines, the stitch length goes back to the original setting each time the machine is turned off, so be sure to check it every time.
From here, begin sewing.  I numbered the template to show you which order to sew each piece.  Be sure to press the fabric out before the next step.  Here are a series of pictures of my blocks from step to step.
I may have done step 2 and 3 in the home base block in this first picture.
Be sure to clip off excess fabric (anything more than 1/4 of an inch away from each sewn seam) before the next step.  Don’t worry about trimming off excess until after that side has been sewn.
When placing the triangles, be sure to center them in your template.  This will assure that you have a 1/4 inch seam on both sides of the triangle.
And fast forward until the end….
Trim off the excess with a rotary blade and ruler, using the outer template lines as your guide.
At this point, some people prefer to remove the paper from the block and proceed to sew the blocks together.  I actually don’t mind sewing through the paper to join my blocks together, so I usually don’t remove my paper until the block is sewn together.  Choose which method you prefer, and let’s make our final block.
Sew two Straight Geese Blocks to the Home Base Block, geese pointing toward the Home Base Block. Remove paper at seams.  Press seams toward Home Base Block.  Sew a Corner Geese Block to each side of a Straight Geese Block.  Remove paper at seams and press seams out toward Corner Geese Blocks.  Repeat that step with the remaining 2 Corner Geese Blocks and 1 Straight geese block.   From here, you can match your seams easily and lock them in place because the seams should be pressed in opposite directions.  Place a pin at each seam intersection, and sew the rows together, removing the pins as you sew.  Press seams outward away from Home Base Block.  I did not have a picture for these steps, but hopefully the final picture will help you figure it out.
flying geese block tutorial
And, you are done!  Way to go!  Your final block should measure 12.5 inches x 12.5 inches.
As I said before, I am planning on using this same block, but in a 16-inch size for a future quilt.  So, If you want those cutting instructions and paper piecing templates, I have those for you as well.
16 inch Homeward Bound Block cutting instructions–here
16 inch Homeward Bound’s Home Base Block Template–here
16 inch Homeward Bound’s Straight Geese Block Template–here
16 inch Homeward Bound’s Corner Geese Block Template–here



  1. candi says:

    Wow! I havent seen paper piecing done this way before. Its always been sew, press, trim, repeat and you end up with bits of paper and fabric everywhere. Love it!

    • Tanya says:

      I’m a no waste kind of gal. You can still do it the regular way, using scraps and what not. I just prefer maximizing my fabric 🙂

  2. Kati says:

    Found your tutorial! Love it! I can’t find you on flickr though. Your account must be too new. Find my account, and I’ll link you to our group!

  3. Julie says:

    Oh my goodness this is fabulous! I love everything about it, and I’m surprised by my love for the solids too as I’m usually not a fan.

  4. Shari says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the pattern and the awesome tutorial. Love your use of solids here.

  5. Pat says:

    Thank you sew much for this tutorial and pattern. I found your beautiful quilt on the Quilt Blogger’s Festival. Best of luck with the winning part … 🙂 Pat

  6. Jenniffier says:

    Amazing tutorial I was sent over here by Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild when I asked who made the quilt in one of their postings 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  7. Marie says:

    Thanks so much for this – I’m thinking a blue/turquoise/white combo would look nice and ‘snowflakey’ – can’t wait to try it! Happy New Year!

  8. Laila Skauge says:

    Wow! Gorgeous block! I love it!

  9. Karee says:

    Love your efficient paper piecing method! And woot woot for your flying geese!

  10. Kathy Casavant says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Rachel says:

    Great block. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Peggy says:

    Googles the block name and here it is! Thank you very much💞💞💞💞