Give Leftover Scraps a Second Chance

Running low on fabric for a quilt is scary! I used to think it was all for nothing, until I gave myself permission to piece the pieces and get on with it. I’m not perfect and neither are my quilts. You know the saying – finished is better than perfect? Amen!

I always try to use what I have first when selecting fabrics for a quilt, then I go from there. A lot of times, the fabrics I pick have been in my stash, just waiting for the right project for years. This means I can’t get more if I start to run low.

I recently chose this cheery, yellow floral for a pattern I wrote called Amarillo Garden. It likely dates back to the 1950s and I’d had it in my stash for about 8 years. It was a 36″ width of fabric, normal for the time, and I only had a yard and a half of it. I also was going to have to fussy cut it, which usually means you’ll need a little extra.

I decided to wing it.

Here’s how this works. On the left you see my scraps leftover from fussy cutting. I needed a few more small squares for this block in my Amarillo Garden quilt and these pieces were all I had left. Yikes!

What I do is match up the prints as best I can in order to create a less noticeable seam.

Are the seams visible in the block? Yes. You must get over this. Once the whole quilt top is finished, these pieced squares will disappear in the overall design.

In the grand scheme of this quilt, the pieced scraps will be hardly noticeable.

Line up the pattern in the print as bes you can.
Sew a quarter inch seam as you normally would when piecing.
Square off the blocks to the size necessary for the pattern.
Below is another photo series illustrating how piecing the pieces can help you finish a quilt when fabric is running short.
Now tell me, can you see the pieced prints in the grand scheme of this quilt? Hint, there are a few. This technique may not be for everyone, but as a frugal quilter who begins every quilt with using what I already have, giving myself permission to do this has been a game changer. 

Let me know in the comments…have you ever done this or is this something you can see yourself doing in the future?

Amarillo Garden Pattern

Love this pattern? It’s so much fun to make and quite easy to piece. Here’s the full on photo of this striking quilt. Click here to purchase the pattern.