Paper-piecing Curved Geese: A Tutorial

This tutorial is step one in the photo tutorial for making my Spiral Geese Mini Quilt Pattern.  You can also use this tutorial for piecing the geese in my New York Beauty Circle of Flying Geese Pattern.


Before you begin:

  • Cut all your fabrics out according to the pattern.  The smaller squares are for templates A & H and the larger squares are for templates B-G.
  • Shorten your stitch length to about a 1.5.
  • Print out your paper templates at 100%.
  • Please read through the entire tutorial before beginning (or at least read the tips at the bottom!).

I will be referring to the geese fabric as the “red fabric” (yours will probably be a color or a print) and I will be referring to the background fabric as the “white fabric”.

photo 1

1. Cut all your paper templates out along the gray seam allowance line.


2. On the BACK (unprinted) side of template A, place a red square (right-side-up) over triangle #1.  The fabric square should completely cover the entire triangle and there will be at least 1/4″ extra on all sides.

(I superimposed the template lines, so you can see the placement.)


3. Next, place a white square (wrong-side-up), so that edge is about 1/4″ over your first stitching line. (It doesn’t matter if you choose to sew the left or the right side first.) Pin through all layers.


4. Turn your template over and sew along your first stitching line.  Make sure you extend your seam about 1/4″ on either end and back-stitch.


5. Trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″.  You can use either scissors or a rotary cutter, but make sure you fold your paper template out of the way!


6. Flip your white square so the right side is out and gently press with a dry iron.


7. Next, place another white square (wrong-side-up) so that the edge is 1/4″ over the 2nd stitching line.   Pin.


8. Flip your template and sew along 2nd stitching line.


9. Trim seam allowance to 1/4″, flip and press.  Look, it’s a flying geese(or is that a goose?).


10. Now, place a red square (wrong side up), so that the edge is about 1/4″ over your next stitching line. Pin.


11. Sew it, trim the seam allowance, press it and continue repeating your steps until you have sewn all the geese.  Repeat for all templates.

photo 2

Trim the excess fabric off along the seam allowances.

You have completed step one!


  • If you have never paper-pieced before, I suggest you begin with template D, E or F. They are the largest and least curved.
  • Paper-piecing will feel very backwards at first.  I promise that it will get faster, as you get used to it.
  • Always make sure your fabric square will entirely cover the area you want it to, once it is flipped over. If you are worried, sew with a basting stitch first, check the fabrics and then sew it again on the small stitch.


On your curviest templates, you will want to make sure you end your stitches in the seam allowance. If you sew too far, you’ll sew right back into the geese.


You can see how I trimmed the seam allowance, so that it doesn’t extend too far.

I hope this is all clear!  Email or comment, if you have any questions.

Next up is Part 2: Reverse Appliqué (which will be the final step in completing the  Spiral Geese Quilt Top).


18 Responses to Paper-piecing Curved Geese: A Tutorial

  1. Hi Janice! Great tutorial and I love your quilt! Congratulations again (got my vote)! x Teje

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. Very clear and a great refresher for paper piecing.

  3. Thanks for this wonderful tutorial! … :) Pat

  4. Where do I go to print the pattern?

    • You can find it on Craftsy website under patterns, it is in the TRENDING section, which means it is quite the rage!

  5. Finally got the pattern, ( my computer’s fault, not Craftsy’s) and I am sewing on this now! I am so excited. Love this pattern and Mini’s are a favorite of mine… Thanks so much for sharing! You are the best!

  6. Wow – your directions are so clear – you explain it all so well! Great tutorial.

  7. Oh my gosh! I give you kudos for sewing this. I can’t even think about something so detailed in this heat that I am having. I would like to try something like this later – in the Autumn – when I can clearly think.
    Great tutorial, though. I’ve done a bit of paper-piecing lately and some of those small geese and small background pieces are a pain, I can tell.

  8. Pingback: Reverse Applique Tutorial | better off thread…

  9. Patty Wilckens

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. It is very easy to understand, considering I am a beginner.
    Will try TODAY!

  10. I found your quilt on a friend’s page. My mom is making it for me…it looks like a cochlea. I am deaf and have a cochlear implant…so this is very cool for me! Thanks for sharing!

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