Friday, December 03, 2021

Rhododendron Trail Mystery, Part Two!

Happy December, Quiltvillians!

I am so excited to have you back for our annual Quiltville Winter Mystery - 

I have enjoyed perusing all of the progress photos on Instagram and Facebook - everything is looking SO great, and you've been wonderfully creative with your posts.

We have a lot of newbies amongst us and I need to put out there once again some housekeeping rules.

Please do not post photos of your units on top of the lined side of your rotary cutting mat or next to a ruler. It gives away too much. Let's keep this a mystery, okay?

 (You can turn some mats upside down for no lines!)

When you are sharing your progress on social media please do not give unit counts, set counts, or sizes in your posts.

If people need to know the sizes they need to come print the instructions from my blog. Again, this is a mystery.

Here are a couple of examples of GREAT photos not on a mat, or next to a ruler giving away sizes:

Cyndi Hunter's!

No relation, unfortunately, but I'll claim her!

Cute cute cute fabrics!

Deb Hayter's!

She has used her pieced chain of Part One triangles as garland on her Christmas tree! LOL!  It looks super cute!

So to those posting to Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or wherever you spend your time - thank you for assisting me in keeping the mystery a mystery and not sharing sizes, measurements, unit counts or set counts in your public posts.  I really appreciate it.  And please help me spread the word in a kind way.  Thank you!

Okay - now that is out the way - let's do PART TWO!

Click HERE for Printer Friendly PDF version.

Gaggles of Flying geese!

82 with neutral on the right, 82 with yellow on the right

164 Flying Geese total.

Units will measure 2 1/2'' X 4 1/2'' unfinished and finish at 2'' X 4'' in the quilt.

ALL of my geese have scrappy pink center triangles, and scrappy wing triangles in yellow or neutral.  These are not sewn in sets - and you can duplicate your fabrics however you want.

How many different ways are there to do Flying Geese?


Some ways take more fabric than others (especially the ones telling you to go big to sliver trim down) and each person may find they have a different favorite method to get the job done.

Whichever method works for you - works for you.  There is no right or wrong way.

In traditional rotary cutting, you would start with 5 1/4’’ squares of pink cut on both diagonals with an X to yield 4 center triangles. 

For the wing triangles, cut yellow or neutral 2 7/8’’ squares from corner to corner on one diagonal yielding 2 triangles per square.

In my searching, I found a video from Fabric.com that presents 3 ways.  Click to Play:

*NOTE* Of course, this video preview is not available in the PDF version of Part TWO, so please re-visit this blog post to watch it as needed.

I also found a helpful chart for your reference that may come in handy:

These cutting sizes can be used for any of the three methods shown in the video above.

Stitch & Flip Basic Method

I know a lot of my readers prefer this method, and I have some tips for you, both on sewing and on pressing.

For each Flying Geese unit cut:

1 pink rectangle 2 1/2'' X 4 1/2''.
1 neutral and 1 yellow square 2 1/2''.

Place one of the squares with right sides together at the right end of the pink rectangle. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back side of the square as shown.

Things to remember - the drawn line is NOT your sewing line.  It is your FOLD LINE. DO NOT SEW DIRECTLY ON THE LINE.  If you do - your folded corner triangle will always be short and not reach where it needs to go.

Place your needle to the RIGHT of the line, into the seam allowance.  The left side of my needle is right up against the line, but now the fabric can fold up and over my thread and reach the edges of my unit.

Sew slowly, and carefully.

*Pressing Tip!*

Instead of pressing blindly from the fold toward the corner, align the edges of the triangle you are pressing even with the edges of the base rectangle FIRST.  Once these are even, press down on your unit.  This will block your unit to help it keep its shape and size.

Once pressed, fold the top triangle back, and trim leaving a 1/4'' seam allowance.

Repeat for opposite triangle.

For those who don't like drawing lines - this is where your Simple Folded Corners ruler or Simple Folded Corners Mini come into play.

Start as with the basic Stitch & Flip method above, but instead of drawing a diagonal line, place the 1/4'' line on the ruler (Mini shown) on the diagonal of the corner square and trim leaving 1/4'' seam allowance.

Remember to sew just shy of 1/4'' because the FOLD has to happen on the diagonal of the square for the wing triangle to reach where it needs to go.  A couple of tests should help you adjust where you need to sew to achieve unit size.

Sew the right hand wing triangles first and press them toward the wing triangle.  Then go back and place the left hand square on the unit, trim as shown and sew.  Press seam toward triangle.

My sample unit sewn with both the draw a line method and the Simple Folded Corners ruler method.

The method I use most for Flying Geese?  My Essential Triangle Tool, of course! 

Start with a 2 1/2'' pink strip!

Place the ruler at one end of the strip, and using the 4th green line for 4'' finished quarter-square triangles (Did you know that Flying Geese are measured by their long side, not their height?!) trim along both sides of the ruler.

Remember to keep that green line ON TOP of the fabric at the edge of the fabric, not below it on the mat.  There is a teeny little dog ear that will extend above your strip.

Pivot and realign the ruler with the line at the TOP of the strip set to make the next cut. 

Yes, that little blunt spot at the top of the triangle should be there.  It becomes a placement guide for the half-square triangle corners we are going to cut next.

Place a 2 1/2'' yellow strip right sides together with a 2 1/2'' neutral strip.

Cut matched pairs of triangles using the 3rd red line for 2'' finished half-square triangles.

This is the same cutting we did in PART ONE. Go back and revisit if you need to.

Because we are using the notched corners of these units as placement guides against the center pink triangles, cut 82 pairs with yellow on top.  Then cut 82 pairs with neutral on top. 

This way everything will align when we sew!

Place the right hand wing triangle and the pink center triangle with right sides together, aligning the bottom and diagonal edges. There should be just a bit of wing triangle hanging above the edge of the pink triangle as shown.

Stitch.  Carefully press seams toward the wing triangles.

Trim dog ear at the top even with the side of the pink triangle.  This will help with proper alignment of the left wing triangle.

Position the left wing triangle with right sides to the unit as shown.  The top flat edge of the triangle should lie even with the rest of the unit like this. Sew.  Press seam toward the wing triangle just added.

Make 82 with yellow on the right.
Make 82 with yellow on the left.

Units will measure 2 1/2'' X 4 1/2'' and finish at 2'' X 4'' in the quilt.

I know this sounds like a lot - but it's roughly 27 units a day for 7 days.  You can do this!

Remember - it's not a race.  If you don't finish this step, you can come back to it later.  There may be some easier parts down the way where you can double back and pick up here where you left off.  

So when Part Thee comes round, set this aside and move on.

You've got this!

If you are looking to enhance your stash for Rhododendron Trail - check out the fabric rolls at Cotton to Quilts!

Upon checking, they are waiting for more garnet fabrics to arrive, but have plenty of the pink, yellow and neutrals!

AND - did you enter the IronEZ Holiday Gif-Away yet???  Enter to win ON THAT POST.  Drawing to happen on Monday, 12/6/21

Even more: Use coupon code BH15OFF to save 15%!

Get two or three while you are at it.  You are going to LOVE keeping those spray bottles in line and off of your ironing surface.

Need more bottles? They are now selling the new fine-mist bottles in a 2-pack so you can have one at your stand up ironing station, and one by your machine for work station pressing.

Click on over to the IronEZ website where you will find limited time FREE SHIPPING (within the USA) in addition to your 15% off should you also wish to gift yourself or a quilting friend.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Today, Love and happiness resides inside and I am grateful for this day! 

 I love this arrangement in color blocks-Ideas are everywhere, aren’t they?

Have a lovely weekend, everyone. 

We'll see you back here next Friday, 12/9/21 for Part Three!


This mystery is given for personal use only.  No part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying for sharing, scanning or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

Please no uploading and saving of this file with intent to share, email or distribute, either digitally or in hard copy. NOT FOR RESALE.

Please send your friends to my blog to print their clues. Thank you!


  1. Thanks for all the tips when making flying geese, Bonnie. They seem to give me the most trouble when trying to get them the right size. I definitely need the practice and these beautiful colors you've chosen will motivate me to keep trying to get them right. I've tried different methods of making flying geese, but I like your essential triangle ruler method the best.

  2. Thank you for all you do! Love the Mysteries.

  3. Woohoo!! Let's get busy...thank you Bonnie.

  4. Flying geese are such fun, and versatile patchwork units! I love making them!!

  5. Excited to see we're continuing to use the same size pink and neutral strips that I over cut on part one. Loving working with your color choices this year. Thanks for all your hard work bringing us such beautiful, scrappy quilts.

  6. Terrific variety of methods on flying geese and all good options for someone.

    On a separate note, what beautiful machine are you showing us your examples on?
    Thanks for the fun, Bonnie.
    Anna in IL

  7. Thank you for the little extra hint on pressing flying geese. Love tiny units as they are the only way to use up my scraps. To think I used to throw them away!

  8. I've started so many mysteries and only finished 2...I love all of the the quilts especially the one during covid lockdown. I promise to finish this one!😃

  9. Thank you, Bonnie! Fun, fun, fun!

  10. All right, this should keep me busy! Thanks Bonnie!

  11. I love the way you include so many tips about cutting, stitching, and pressing. It makes me feel that I'm actually taking a class with you in person.

  12. Such pretty geese! I have enjoyed the creativity on the Part 1 as well. Gotta up my game. I cut exta pink and neutral strips too. Ready to get sewing. Happy Mystery Friday.

  13. Thank you. I love your mysteries. Well the end product - not so much the suspense of not knowing how in the end it will turn out.
    Which is why I love doing a mystery for a past year. And even if I kept the original clues, I buy the pattern, because your efforts are so worth it. Thank you so much for all you do.

  14. Thank you, Bonnie! Working away on your Mystery makes each Friday morning like Christmas morning and so helps with these cold gray dismal days! Cherry Boom Pauline (in my leafless cherry orchard on Lake Erie)

  15. Bonnie,I want to Thank You so much for this mystery.I have been in a slump for over a year. Just feeling the excitement in the air has brought me back in my sewing room.My husband was so happy seeing me cutting and piecing and telling him I have to go and see him later. So I guess thank you from both of us.🙂

  16. I always learn so much from your annual mystery quilts! It's like a free Bonnie Hunter Quilting class! Thank you!!

  17. The mystery is off to a beautiful start. LOVE Rhododendrons!!! SEW wishing that I had time to participate this year!

  18. This is just great. Thank you Bonnie for bringing so much joy into my life. I was fortunate to get the easy angle ruler and the essential triangle tool here in Switzerland as well as three (juhuuu..) of your books. Feels like Christmas and Easter combined. Much love from over the pond.

  19. Thank you, Bonnie for all the free patterns and mysteries!! Merry Christmas to you and your family!


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