Reducing Your Fabric Footprint

Fabric waste is my worst enemy, and I’m sure many of you feel the same way. I try to design my patterns so that you waste as little fabric as possible both during the cutting and piecing process. But sometimes, waste is inevitable to the design.

When I was working out the construction of Marvella, I tried my best to find a way to minimize waste when piecing the square in square blocks. For a few reasons, this waste was unavoidable, but I’ve come up with a method you can use to save some of that fabric from the graveyard.

When piecing the flying geese units for Marvella, follow steps 1 and 2. Then BEFORE you continue to step 3, do the following.

a. Mark a line ½” to the outside of the line you’ve just stitched on.

b. Sew along this second line.

c. Cut between the two lines. This will leave you with ¼” seam allowance for both pieces. Press seams.

d. You’ll now have a HST made from the fabric that would’ve been wasted had you just trimmed the excess.

For Marvella you’ll repeat this process for all four corners, which will leave you with four bonus half-square triangles (HST).*

While I have written these instructions specifically in reference to the Marvella pattern, you can apply this method anytime you use the stitch-and-flip method to create bonus HSTs out of what would’ve been lost.

*Please note that these are not the HSTs you’ll need for your Marvella blocks. But you could use them on the back or in another project.