Workshops » Sewfasst


No waste shortcuts for squares and rectangles units. Fast, easy and enjoyable piecing

Author: Barbara Dieges
Skill Level: All Levels

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No waste shortcuts for squares and rectangles units. Fast, easy and enjoyable piecing

Sewfasst calendar image

3 Lessons
Type: Ebook Workshop
Price: $32.00 $16.99
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Tags: patchwork, quick sewing, time saving, quick piecing


When piecing, do you dislike sewing individually cut pieces of fabric together, especially along bias edges? Barbara does, so she developed the Sewfasst techniques. With these quick strip piecing techniques, you will not waste fabric. You will save time and end up with Bonus Patches that can be used in the borders or in other projects. You will learn to make square diamonds, flying geese, quarter square patches, 4-patches and half square triangles. They are all sewn with squares and rectangles! We will look at a few of the many blocks that use these units and discuss how to adjust the sizes to fit your needs. Making the small class project is optional. Process is emphasized. Make samples or incorporate the techniques in a project of your choice. All levels of experience.

Supplies Required for Workshop


Finishes to 37 1/2" square

We will be working with squares and rectangles. Strips should be cut across the width of the fabric, from selvage to selvage.

At least three different values of fabrics are needed to make samples: light, medium and dark. Fat Quarters (18" x 22") or scraps with a minimum size of 6" square.

If you plan on making one of the projects, when working with the techniques use fabrics other than the ones used for the projects. This is the time to use scraps or left overs. Save the technique samples, by stapling them to the instruction pages or put them in clear sleeves. The point is to not use your "good" fabric, to "practice" the techniques.


If you would prefer to make the small quilt, shown on the right, or the tablerunner and place mats, shown above, here is what you will need, the colors I used are in parenthesis:

TABLE RUNNER (12" x 60") AND SIX PLACE MATS (12" x 15" each):

  • 3/4 yard Dark Fabric (Teal) 
  • 1-1/8 yards Background (Off-white) 
  • 7/8 yard Medium Fabric (Aqua) 
  • Backing 2 yards or so of Dark or Medium or use a fourth fabric
  • Binding 1-1/4 yards of Dark or Medium or use a fourth fabric
  • Thin batting Hobb’s Thermore suggested


  • 5/8 yard Dark Fabric (brown print--use a couple different coordinating ones, adding up to that amount) 
  • 3/4 yard Light Fabric for the background (beige print) 
  • 1/2 yard Medium Fabric (green print) 
  • 1/4 yard coordinating large print (brown/rust) 
  • Backing 1-1/4 yards fabric
  • Binding 3/8 yard of Dark or Medium or use a fourth fabric
  • Batting of your choice 45" square

Tools and Supplies

  • rotary cutting mat, cutter and ruler (ruler should have clear 1/4" markings)
  • White pencil that can be sharpened and a small sharpener or
  • Clover's White Marking Pen, makes a fine line on dark fabric
  • .01 PIGMA pen or .05 mechanical pencil
  • 100% cotton thread, preferably to match the lightest fabric. If you are just making samples, you might want to use up leftover threads
  • straight pins
  • small scissors for cutting threads
  • iron and ironing pad
  • sewing machine. Replace your needle.
  • Schmetz Jeans/Denim needles #80. We are not sewing denim, but these are sharp needles that will sew easily through layers of fabric.
  • It is also helpful to have a foot that gives a scant 1/4" seam, but is not necessary as long as you know where that point is on your machine. You can check the Library for hints on marking your machine.

*Optional: Quick Quarter Marker (1/2" wide ruler for marking 1/4" seam allowance) from Quilter's Rule. I urge you to get this tool, it is really helpful. The picture shows two sizes, the Quick Quarter Marker II is the longer one and the most useful. The tool also comes in yellow.

This is another scant 1/2" ruler from Omnigrid. The reason I say scant is that when lines are drawn a slight amount of width is added. This 12" ruler comes in a set with a 6" ruler.


Lesson One

  • Importance of 1/4" seam allowance
  • Use of seam guides
  • Sewfasst pieced 4-Patch units
  • Sewfasst pieced Half Square Triangles
  • Marking seam lines
  • Sewfasst Double Flying Geese

Lesson Two

  • Sewfasst pieced Square on Point
  • Sewfasst pieced Quarter Square Triangle
  • Assembling quilt center
  • Sewfasst pieced Three Quarter Square Triangle
  • Assembling the quilt top

Lesson Three

  • Review of blocks using Sewfasst patches
  • 4-Patch blocks and variations
  • 9-Patch blocks and variations
  • Resizing and evaluating blocks

Student's projects