Waste Not . . .
When you were in seventh grade, the first year of junior high school, you had home economics class for two back-to-back periods each week. You'd have this required class for the next three years, and the first third of each year was where sewing was taught. The home ec teacher was a witch and all three thirds of the year were deadly. Miss T was the one who early on said to you more than once, "You'll never be any good at this."
The other memorable thing she said was, "Don't waste fabric!" When you placed your pattern pieces on the "material," you couldn't cut until she inspected to make sure that each piece was as close as possible to the next. There was a lot of repining.
You survived the three years of home ec, earning no higher than a "C" in any report period. And after that you swore off sewing, cooking, and all the other things you would never be any good at.
Then, when you were about twenty, you went looking for a particular piece of clothing you couldn't live without. You needed a camel-colored jumper and none was to be found. But your mother, an excellent seamstress who couldn't understand your aversion to home ec (she never met Miss T), offered the use of her machine and went with you to pick out fabric. It had been a good many years, and your skills were rusty, to say the least. So you accepted your mother's guidance, cleaned off the dining room table, laid out your fabric and began to pin. Almost instantly, your mother was at your elbow. "Don't waste fabric!" And you dutifully moved your pieces until they were barely touching each other.
Neither Miss T nor your mother ever made a quilt (well, so far as you know in the case of Miss T). You never knew what they did with those tiny, irregular pieces of fabric. You knew they had both lived through the Great Depression, so you cut them a break. But when, many, many years later, you made your first quilt (Eleanor Burns, Log Cabin, Quilt In A Day), you just knew that the ghost of Miss T was watching you and would swoop down at any minute.
Years later your interest turned to paper piecing. "It wastes fabric," you were told. You paused. You thought about the bags and bags of fabric scraps you've given to Ruth over the years. You thought about the multiple Rubbermaid tubs of fabric left-overs currently residing in your studio. You did it anyway. In for a penny, in for a pound.
Then one day, even as you were trimming and pressing, you got a text message from your friend. Kathy had written, "Favor? I have been using my fireplace a bit and teeny snips and pieces of fabric are great fire starters. Would you save the unusable scraps for me? I do pick up."
At last your mind is put at ease. You know now that when you meet St. Peter and he says, "So, you fed the hungry and you comforted the dying. But what about all that wasted fabric?" you can say, "It kept Kathy warm."