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Goose in the Corner Quilt Block Tutorial

A mockup for the Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

Even though one of these blocks alone is kind of ugly, I was surprised that I've never seen the block before. It's very simple, so it seems like it should have been done before, you know? But failing to find any evidence of that, I'm going ahead and naming it the Goose in the Corner block. If you do know about an established name for this block, please please please let me know!

I made my original Golden Goose quilt with wonky blocks, but I buckled down and engineered a proper goose for this tutorial. This goose should meet up nice and pretty at the points. If you don't like precision piecing, you could do wonky geese, and I'll talk about those at the end. But I have to admit, the method I found for proper geese is so easy, the wonky geese seem slow and wasteful by comparison.

So: the proper goose.

You make this block with two squares. In this example I use a 9.5 inch foundation square and a 5 inch square for the goose. This makes a 9 inch finished square, as well as a bonus half square triangle block from the leftover fabric that would otherwise be cut away. I'll describe the process and then show you how to calculate the size of your squares to make any size block you'd like.

Fabrics needed for a traditional Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

You're going to draw two lines on the backside of the smaller (goose) square. I used a pencil. The first line goes diagonally from corner to corner.

Drawing a line from corner to corner for the Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

Then, draw another line 1/2" away from that line, using your see through ruler as a guide.

Measure a half inch from corner to corner for the Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

Arrange the squares right sides together as shown. Pin to keep them in place if you'd like, then sew along the drawn lines.

Sew on the marked lines for the Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

After both lines are sewn, cut between them using your rotary cutter.

Cut on the middle marked line for the Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

Press open your blocks. Ta da!

Two finished Goose in the Corner Quilt Blocks

Sewn together these geese met up almost perfectly at the corners without any pinning or fretting from me. You can see maybe 1/16" space between mine. That's close enough for me.

Two traditional GoGoose in the Corner Quilt Blocks sewn together.

If you'd like to calculate your own Goose in the Corner, do this:

Desired finished block size: x

Size to cut foundation blocks: x + 1/2"

Size to cut goose squares: (half x) + 1/2"

My graph paper assures me this works for all size blocks. EQ7 was absolutely no help in the matter, in case you were wondering.

Are there other ways to measure and cut this block? Yes, but they didn't give as consistent results as this method, the math was trickier, and the measuring and cutting were complicated. Furthermore, I love that the above method takes care of the leftover foundation square triangle right from the outset, and you get a premade HST block for whatever you want to use them for in the future.

Utilizing the scraps cut off from the Goose in the Corner Quilt Blocks to make a scrappy block.

Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran refer to this as having a "parts department" and I love that concept. If the extra HST blocks sound like a bad thing to you, you could draw and sew only the corner to corner diagonal line, then trim 1/4" from the seam and discard the leftovers. Or you could even develop your own approach to the block!

And how about that wonky goose?

Desired finished block size: x

Size to cut foundation blocks: x + 1/2"

Size to cut squares for goose triangles: (half x) + 1 to 1.5 inches. Precision is not important. Go ahead and cut it out with scissors if you want. Cut this square in half along the diagonal for two triangles to make two separate blocks.

Fabrics needed for the wonky Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

I start by laying my triangle on the foundation block, angling it the way I want and making sure it extends beyond the foundation block by 1/4" or more on each edge. (oops! Fabric change!)

Testing the triangle for the Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

Then I move it about 1/2" outward, toward the corner, to allow for a seam allowance. Or, I should have moved it 1/2" outward. Looks like I only moved it 1/4" here though.

Testing for the Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

At this point I gently flip the triangle back, so the fabrics are right side together and the goose is pointing away from the corner. I sew along the edge of the triangle with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Flipping the triangle down for the Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

I press the block and trim the excess goose fabric using the foundation square as my guide. Then I flip the goose back again and trim away the excess foundation fabric 1/4" away from the stitching.

Trim the sewn square for the Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

Sometimes, despite taking those above steps to avoid this, I find that I just barely didn't cover the entire corner with my goose triangle. If it is just a bit off and the gap won't extend beyond the seam allowance, I usually go with it instead of redoing it. And, instead of cutting away the corner of the foundation block from underneath I leave it there, to act as my true edge when piecing.

Trimming the triangle for the Goose in the Corner Quilt Block

Wonky geese may overlap or not touch each other at all. I enjoy that kind of variation.

Finished Goose in the Corner Quilt Blocks are sewn together.

So that's it; simple instructions for a simple block! Of course, try a practice block or two before you dive in with yards of fabric. Please feel free to ask any questions about this tutorial, I'm happy to help you enjoy this versatile block! Need ideas for using this block?

This blog post originally appeared on the A Few Scraps blog on February 21, 2011

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