Here is a tip that I call “bits and pieces” because it’s a way to use more of that precious fabric! I thought about this when talking with a guild member at a recent presentation. She said she didn’t like the fabric waste that came with making flying geese units the way I made them in my patterns. So it inspired this blog post.
Make Half-square Triangle Squares While Making Flying Geese!
Last week I was making several large flying geese units for a quilt. This tip works best if your flying geese units are larger ones, for example 3 1/2 x 6 1/2″ geese. Start out with the rectangle that is 3 1/2 x 6 1/2″ and two squares that are 3 1/2″ square. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the squares. Once you have the square placed face down on the rectangle, sew along the drawn line and then sew another seam 1/2″ away from the first seam. If you want to mark that line too, feel free.
Then, cut the unit between the sewn lines:
Press open the units:
Once you repeat this step on the other side and press the units open, you will have a flying geese unit and two half-square triangle squares. You can use the HST squares in the project you are making the geese for, or save them for another purpose!
A geese unit that measures 3 1/2 x 6 1/2″ will yield two HST squares that can be trimmed to measure 2 1/2″ square. A geese unit that measures 2 1/ x 4 1/2″ yields two HST squares that can be trimmed to measure 1 1/2″ square.
What can you do with these HST squares? Make a pinwheel block with four of them or sew them together in a chain for an interesting pieced border. Or, just toss them in a container just for those HSTs. Then you can pull them out and whip up a small project with them. A candle mat, a small table runner or anything you can think of!
So, there you go! You won’t feel guilty about making those geese units and having to throw away expensive fabric. You will use every little bit and piece … eventually!