Hi everyone! Many of you know I was at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo this past weekend. Wow, was that fun! I really enjoyed meeting every quilter that found my booth. It was fun chatting with you and I am glad you find the time to read my humble blog. For those of you that were not there, here’s a few photos of my booth:
So now onto the topic of the day. In speaking with many of my fellow quilters at the show, I found that most of us like to use all of our fabric. I’ve done posts about storing and saving strips for future blocks. Since fabric is so expensive, we quilters are usually looking for ways to use every bit. Here I will be sharing two “use it all up” tips.
What do you do when you are making flying geese (the traditional way) and have to trim off the seam allowance? That’s fabric waste and I don’t like it any more than you do.
Inspiration strikes! How about making half-square triangle (HST) square units from the trimmed off seam allowance as you go? Eventually, you will have a batch of these squares and you can make something fun, like a wall hanging or a table runner!
This tip works best if your flying geese units are larger ones, for example 3 1/2 x 6 1/2″ geese. But if you are a quilter who likes working with mini pieces, you can go as small as you’re comfortable with.
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 HST 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 1/2 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 now that I have shared this tip, you won’t feel so guilty about making flying geese units the “old-fashioned” way. You will now be accumulating half-square triangle squares that you can put to use in another quilt!
If you have followed my fabric saving tips in the fast, but end up with odd pieces that you can not cut into strips, what can you do? Well, if you use applique on your quilts, by all means save these piece! I have tubs of scraps that I use to make flowers, leaves and other applique motifs. Here’s one of the tubs:
I have tubs for other colors too. I like having these scraps because I don’t have to cut into a new piece of fabric just for a small applique.
So, those are a few of my “use it all up” tips. Do you have any to share? let me know in the comments!