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Thread: A waste of fabirc?

  1. #1
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    First I would like to say thanks for all of the invaluble tips that I get from this site. It has made me a better and smarter quilter in soooo many ways! I don't post much but MUST read every day to make my life complete. LOL. I need to know if I am crazy or just plain stingy for thinking this way so please help! OK here goes. I made a queen size quilt from the Brasstown Star blocks. The pattern had me cut 4.5" squares from fabric 1, and from fabric 2 & 3, 2.5" squares. Take a 4.5" square, place a 2.5" square on opposing corners and sew across the diagonal of the small square. cut off the corner 1/4 away from the seam, flip and press, repeat on the remaining 2 corners. what you end up with is a 4.5" square with a 2" square in the center of fabric 1. Now as I was working on these blocks and my scrap pile was growing I got more annoyed that I was wasting so much fabric! With all that being said this is my question.... would you have altered the pattern and cut the pieces to the correct finished size and done it that way or would you have followed the pattern? With the prices of fabric these days that added up to a lot. I figured that I wasted appoximatly half of the fabric used to make these!!! I did finish the quilt but it costed me almost twice as much? After my very long winded explaination my question is what would you have done?
    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member craft phanatic's Avatar
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    I would have sewed those little matching triangles together and made a mini! Could have put it on the wall in the same room as the quilt and it would have matched perfectly.

  3. #3
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I keep my scraps and use them for paper piecing or other small projects, so I don't feel like it's a waste. I actually prefer to do my corners that way. I think I get better results because the stretch on the bias is reduced that way.

    If you have enough space, you can sew another seam about 3/8 from the first one, towards the outside corner and cut in between them. You'd end up with a bunch of small 1/2 square triangle blocks in addition to your other blocks. I got this idea from the pineapple quilt on Quiltville - http://quiltville.com/pineappleblossom.shtml

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    I did sew the little corners together and ended up with about a thousand little 1" squares because I couldn't bring myself to throw them away! Maybe I could use them after all. thanks!

  5. #5
    Super Member mimom's Avatar
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    I had a quilt like that, although my flying geese turned out nice I think if I ever made that pattern again I would use a different method with less waste. You might want to read the pattern and the cutting instructions next time you make a quilt from a pattern and make sure theres no waste. Fons and Porter patterns are easy to follow but have a lot of waste. The last quilt I made had you cut 2 12 7/8" strips wof for 4 squares and 2 12 1/2 " strips wof for 4 squares and 1 6 1/2 strip for for 4 squares. I changed it so I cut the 2 13" strips and cut out 5 13" squares then cut my 6 1/2 from one of the 13" squares then one 12 1/2 squares from the remaining 13" strip that saved me from cutting a 6 1/2 strip and the second 12 1/2 strip. total fabric save on that color was 19".

  6. #6
    Super Member Barb_MO's Avatar
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    mimom, that is using your head in the right way.
    Beewild, I have never using squares to sew in the corners instead of triangles. It not only waste fabric, it wastes time, and is more work...or that's how I see it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member scrapykate's Avatar
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    I like the double sew and cut that Katier825 mentioned. Will try that the next time I have directions like that.

    always learn something here!!

  8. #8
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    This pattern?
    http://www.strictlypetsupplies.com/_...k-Party-Series

    (and for the life of me I have NO idea why the Google search resulted in a link to a pet supply site.) :roll:

    You're talking about the Snowball blocks, right?

    The other way to make them is to cut the center square (Fab#1), cut 2 other squares (Fab #2 & #3) and cut them in half on the diagonal, and then sew those triangles to the four sides of the center square, to make a Square-in-a-Square block.

    Personally, I prefer the Snowball route (a pretty standard technique)...I don't EVER have to deal with triangles and a bias edge (not even if it's inside).

    And, btw, I only trim the underside of the smaller squares --- I always leave the center square corners intact. And I toss those little cut pieces. Others sew them together or use them as leaders.

    The added layer in that part of the block causes no problems or issues (maybe it would if you were hand quilting), and actually causes less distortion in the block by keeping it square.

    So, to answer your original question, in this case, I would have done it exactly as the pattern instructed. :lol:

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    Quote Originally Posted by beewild
    First I would like to say thanks for all of the invaluble tips that I get from this site. It has made me a better and smarter quilter in soooo many ways! I don't post much but MUST read every day to make my life complete. LOL. I need to know if I am crazy or just plain stingy for thinking this way so please help! OK here goes. I made a queen size quilt from the Brasstown Star blocks. The pattern had me cut 4.5" squares from fabric 1, and from fabric 2 & 3, 2.5" squares. Take a 4.5" square, place a 2.5" square on opposing corners and sew across the diagonal of the small square. cut off the corner 1/4 away from the seam, flip and press, repeat on the remaining 2 corners. what you end up with is a 4.5" square with a 2" square in the center of fabric 1. Now as I was working on these blocks and my scrap pile was growing I got more annoyed that I was wasting so much fabric! With all that being said this is my question.... would you have altered the pattern and cut the pieces to the correct finished size and done it that way or would you have followed the pattern? With the prices of fabric these days that added up to a lot. I figured that I wasted appoximatly half of the fabric used to make these!!! I did finish the quilt but it costed me almost twice as much? After my very long winded explaination my question is what would you have done?
    Thanks in advance for your advice.
    Pitch 'em. Unless you do scrappy. I don't worry about "wasting" fabric. If there are two different ways to piece a block, and one is easier than the other, I could care less how much fabric it "wastes". I don't consider it a waste. If it bothers you so much either save them and use them for something else, change techniques, or give them to someone who really will use those bitty pieces. Mine go in the trash. I've decided not to keep anything smaller than a fat quarter, and even then, I know I'm probably NEVER going to use them.

  10. #10
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I would make a mini quilt too!

  11. #11
    Super Member bamamama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaigai
    Quote Originally Posted by beewild
    First I would like to say thanks for all of the invaluble tips that I get from this site. It has made me a better and smarter quilter in soooo many ways! I don't post much but MUST read every day to make my life complete. LOL. I need to know if I am crazy or just plain stingy for thinking this way so please help! OK here goes. I made a queen size quilt from the Brasstown Star blocks. The pattern had me cut 4.5" squares from fabric 1, and from fabric 2 & 3, 2.5" squares. Take a 4.5" square, place a 2.5" square on opposing corners and sew across the diagonal of the small square. cut off the corner 1/4 away from the seam, flip and press, repeat on the remaining 2 corners. what you end up with is a 4.5" square with a 2" square in the center of fabric 1. Now as I was working on these blocks and my scrap pile was growing I got more annoyed that I was wasting so much fabric! With all that being said this is my question.... would you have altered the pattern and cut the pieces to the correct finished size and done it that way or would you have followed the pattern? With the prices of fabric these days that added up to a lot. I figured that I wasted appoximatly half of the fabric used to make these!!! I did finish the quilt but it costed me almost twice as much? After my very long winded explaination my question is what would you have done?
    Thanks in advance for your advice.
    Pitch 'em. Unless you do scrappy. I don't worry about "wasting" fabric. If there are two different ways to piece a block, and one is easier than the other, I could care less how much fabric it "wastes". I don't consider it a waste. If it bothers you so much either save them and use them for something else, change techniques, or give them to someone who really will use those bitty pieces. Mine go in the trash. I've decided not to keep anything smaller than a fat quarter, and even then, I know I'm probably NEVER going to use them.
    Next time you make a quilt, Pitch 'em into a box.....I'll pay postage. I make lots and lots of scrappy quilts!

  12. #12
    Senior Member CompulsiveQuilter's Avatar
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    The way I see it, my time and the finished quality of my work is worth more than a yard of fabric. 'nuff said.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompulsiveQuilter
    The way I see it, my time and the finished quality of my work is worth more than a yard of fabric. 'nuff said.
    AMEN Sistah!!!!

  14. #14
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    Save them. Make small blocks, sash or border for a charity quilt.
    Pattern makers try to do the fast way sometimes regardless of waste. I often think those who "design" quilts for the magazines have an unlimited amount of fabric to use.

  15. #15
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    I am in the process of picking fabrics to make this block ( all from stash & scrappy ). I save my small pieces for a friend that weaves throw rugs. She has made me 4 small ones for all the scraps I have given her. They are very well made and hold up good, we have dogs.

  16. #16
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    I also do as craft phanatic does.

  17. #17
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    i checked out the pet supplies they handle thread patterns quilting notions etc besides pet stuff.

  18. #18
    Super Member mommafank's Avatar
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    I am certainly for saving them or sharing with someone who likes to make scrappy ones. I cannot bear to throw fabric away.

  19. #19
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    Go to quiltville.com for a whole lot of ideas. Bonnie Hunter is into being frugal with fabric and she has wonderful ideas.

  20. #20
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    Hey, slow down. As fabric becomes more expensive don't throw it away. That is money....saying you will never use it is like asking for trouble. The word...Never... always makes a fool of you. I just cut for a drunkard path and had so much waste that I took time to cut the pieces in to lovely squares and stored them neatly stacked in plastic snack bags ready for use, all washed, ironed and the same size. Such pretty colors could go into a border, in to a mug rug, into a doll quilt, a framed print, or matching pillow. Even if you send them on to someone else, do them the favor of keeping them neatly useable without having to iron out small pieces...that is treating a friend (and fabric) with dignity.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by craft phanatic
    I would have sewed those little matching triangles together and made a mini! Could have put it on the wall in the same room as the quilt and it would have matched perfectly.
    Yes, I did that for a long time, too, but then found that because the corners are on the bias, that they get wonky, so to keep it sqare, I only cut out the middle layer of fabric. That way, the 4.5 inch square keeps it true to size. Jan Krueger recommends this also.

  22. #22
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    If you have enough space, you can sew another seam about 3/8 from the first one, towards the outside corner and cut in between them. You'd end up with a bunch of small 1/2 square triangle blocks in addition to your other blocks. I got this idea from the pineapple quilt on Quiltville - http://quiltville.com/pineappleblossom.shtml[/quote]

    What a neat idea.

  23. #23
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Beewild, I used that technique for a Celtic Illusions quilt and was thankful that I did not have to deal with bias edges. I am now hand piecing the triangles together from the scraps as a filler project when I am in between big projects. I figure when I have enough of those blocks I will alternate them with solids and put everything together on a diagonal. I figure this way I got a quilt that I would not have ordinarily planned for!

  24. #24
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    You could save these leftover pieces for a scrap quilt.

  25. #25
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    I check out patterns, try it the way the instructions say to do it. If I don't like that way or think I can do it easier with less waste I'll try it again.

    I personally don't like triangles so will continue to do snowball blocks with the little squares in the corners. My small snippets, scraps and shreds go into a bag to be given to a lady who makes pet beds for the animal shelters in our area. If I have larger triangles I save them for another lady who loves scrappy triangles.

    I sew all my strip and square scraps together as I accumulate them becauese it drives me crazy to have a bunch of scraps hanging around. I can handle a stacks of blocks.

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