Do You Save the Corners?

Do you save your corner trimmings?  I know I've mentioned many times before that for the most part I do. The only exception is if something is much smaller than an inch.  Anyway, I wondered just how much yardage one would throw out just from the trimmings.  I am working on a small baby quilt and decided this would be a great time to figure out the answer.

The (free) pattern I am sewing is called Charming Lucy by A Bright Corner.  The fabric line I am using is Stacy Iest Hsu's Best Friends Forever, along with a Moda Bella background.  The pattern requires 36 charm squares and utilizes the stitch and flip corner triangle method.  

On this particular pattern, you would discard about a 2" square on two corners per charm, or two 2" squares per piece.  That would give you a discard rate of 72-2" squares, or just under a quarter yard of fabric that you'd just toss out.  {Figured at 40 usable inches of fabric across the width, 20-2" squares per width, 3.33 rows, so 4*2=8" of fabric.} My cheap? frugal? thrifty? self does not like the idea of just tossing out something usable.  Consider how much you'd toss out if you were making something larger than a baby quilt!

The solution to this is to simply take the time to sew an additional seam on each square before cutting.  You can use your favorite marking method here.  For this one I drew a light pencil line 1/2" away from my actual seam line.  Just make sure you're drawing your line in the trim area so you don't accidentally cut your working piece.

Sew on the extra lines, then go ahead and cut off your excess.

You now have a bunch of cute little half-square triangles.  In this case, the gleaned HST came out at 1.75", but you can certainly trim them to be 1.5" or whatever other measurement you like.  And, of course, size will vary based upon the pattern you are working with.
Here are my 72 cute little HST.  This block layout, if trimmed and then sewn together, would be a 10 x 11.25" block.  If I left off a row, it would be a nice 10" square.  You could also make little pinwheel blocks from the trimmings.  There are so many possibilities here.
The moral of my story is to save the corners!  Sew beauty from scraps.

This week I also finished up binding on three of the five quilts that needed it.  Of course when I thought to take pictures it is once again gloomy and rainy. The first is the Vintage Picnic mini by Primrose Cottage Quilts.  The fabrics are various Riley Blake lines and the quilting pattern is a free block design that I made into a pantograph layout.  The finished size is 24" square.

The next two are some I made for Quilts for Kids.  They both are approximately 38" x 44". The patterns are both free on the Quits for Kids website and the fabrics are all from JoAnn.  

Finally, we had our first garden harvest, albeit a bit later than it should have been due to my not going out to check sooner.  Here is some baby bok choy.  Probably this should be called teen baby bok choy.  This is our first year growing it.  It tastes good--we've tried it sautéed and as part of a stir fry so far.  We preferred the stir fry since the pieces were smaller and easier to chew.  I definitely need to harvest it younger and also stagger the plantings.  We'll try again in the fall since this is a cool weather harvest and the plants are bolting (going to seed).

Linking to Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation.


  1. Most of my cutting happens via Accuquilt dies. I do save corners if they will fit into my smallest die. YUM! I've never planted that. I don't even know if I've seen seed packs locally here in Ohio. Looks like something I'd like that is green that is different from spinach and kale. Love your fabrics!

  2. You are making me think a little more about those scraps!! :). Love the charity quilts. Such bright and cheery fabrics. They will surely be loved by some little person.