Ask Jo: That Crumb Quilt

Along time ago- well it was Fall of 2011- I made hosted a “crumb” along and showed people how I made this quilt.

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This was a quilt I made for my daughter Kalissa.

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You can see her name along the bottom of the quilt.

Well I recently have gotten some questions about the quilt.  That often happens if the quilt gets posted somewhere and more people find it.  I got an email from Kim asking lots of questions and I thought I would answer them all here on the blog in case anyone else is interested.

Kim writes:Love your crumb quilt!  I think it’s time to tackle my scraps so thanks so much for putting the detailed info out about how you constructed yours.  I love the wonky look and was worried about how to go about it being the perfectionist that I am! :)

I do have a few questions.
*I want at least a full, perhaps queen size.  What size is your daughters?  I’m not sure how many squares I need to plan on making to get it to full/queen.
*I have always secured seams when piecing quilt blocks but I can see that many will be cut off during squaring the blocks.  Do you not secure any of them?  What keeps them from opening up later?
*It also interests me to be able to use up odd threads! So you didn’t worry about bobbin and sewing thread matching?
*Did you use a 6 or 7 inch quilters square ruler for your blocks?  In one place you state to make a 7″ square and cut it down to 6″ square but the ruler has 7 1″ squares on it.
*I do not prewash my quilting fabric so my scraps will not be prewashed however, obviously the shirts/clothing will be.  I’m thinking this will be ok and add to the soft wonky texture after washing shrinks the unwashed fabric but would like to know what you think!
*Do you mix fabric textures such as cotton, blends, felts, etc…?
I know I’m already overthinking!  Thanks so much!”

Well how about I tackle these one at a time.

*I want at least a full, perhaps queen size.  What size is your daughters?  I’m not sure how many squares I need to plan on making to get it to full/queen.

Kalissa’s quilt is 90″ x 90″ now with shrinkage.  It’s in a 13 x 13 setting with an inner and outer border.

As you can see Kalissa’s quilt is WELL loved and has shrunk over time.  I love it!


*Did you use a 6 or 7 inch quilters square ruler for your blocks?  In one place you state to make a 7″ square and cut it down to 6″ square but the ruler has 7 1″ squares on it.

When I lay the ruler on the block it says 5 1/4″.  I am betting that I made the blocks at 7″.  Then I cut them down to 6″ for the quilt.  So finished in the quilt they were originally 5 1/2″.  Shrinking has brought them down to 5 1/4″.
The outer border must have been cut at 5″ and if finishing around 4 1/2″ or so.
*I have always secured seams when piecing quilt blocks but I can see that many will be cut off during squaring the blocks.  Do you not secure any of them?  What keeps them from opening up later?

Well…this answer is nope.  No securing of seams EVER happens with me.  I get a lot of charity quilts in and I often see that the quilters sewed 1/8″ around all of the blocks.  I would never take the time to do that.  If I see one that has opened I fix it otherwise I don’t worry about it.  Please note that I am VERY casual and don’t have a drop of perfectionist in me when it comes to quilting.  It drives Kelli crazy but I rarely even use a pin!!

*It also interests me to be able to use up odd threads! So you didn’t worry about bobbin and sewing thread matching?

I am a rare person…as I said, I am TOTALLY not a perfectionist.  Yes!! USE EVERY MISMATCHED SPOOL OF THREAD IN THE HOUSE.  Even on a normal day I sew with either tan or white or black.  That’s it.  If the tension on your machine is correct and the machine is stitching properly, the thread color doesn’t show.

*I do not prewash my quilting fabric so my scraps will not be prewashed however, obviously the shirts/clothing will be.  I’m thinking this will be ok and add to the soft wonky texture after washing shrinks the unwashed fabric but would like to know what you think!

Again…the non-perfectionist.  Don’t worry about it at all.  The shirt fabrics I used were from recycled clothing.  The red used was a non-washed Moda Bella Solid leftovers from other projects.  I don’t have a problem with how her quilt has laundered.  It shrunk a lot but that is mostly due to MANY-MANY washings.

*Do you mix fabric textures such as cotton, blends, felts, etc…?

STOP…I guess there is a little perfectionist in me.  I only used and HIGHLY recommend only using 100% cotton.  Of all the shirts I purchase for recycling, I only ever buy 100% cotton.  No other fabric was used in the quilt.  The backing was a 100% cotton sheet- 2 different ones actually.  It’s a recycled beauty for sure.

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I’m a gal who loves to make quilts and I so want the people who get a quilt from me to use them.  Here’s Kalissa sleeping under her quilt back when I gave it to her.

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Even with ALL of the work that went into this, I want her using it.  If she “uses it up”…I’ll happily make another.

I had SO MUCH FUN making this quilt.  SO MUCH FUN.  This and the other two crumb quilts….

this one….Carver’s baby quilt.

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…and this one…..


…and this one…only more controlled.  This was an ABC panel quilt with crumb blocks added.

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These will forever be the favorite quilts that I’ve ever made.  By far, these were the most fun.

I actually have another crumb quilt that I’m working on now.  I pulled it out of my UFO pile.  It’s a little more controlled but still scrappy and oh so fun.

Enjoy your crumb quilt journey.  It’s one I am so glad I didn’t miss!  If you have more questions, feel free to ask.

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16 thoughts on “Ask Jo: That Crumb Quilt

  1. jean

    Those crumb quilts are amazing. I sew a lot the same as you. ..no securing seams, use up all the threads, mix different types of cotton fabric. Just love the “scrappy” life! lol

  2. KB

    Jo, I read the blog often, but I don’t comment much. I wholeheartedly agree that a quilt is meant to be used.

    I’d like to share a tip I received early in my learning to quilt days: For piecing, invest in a cone of off-white cotton thread and another in lighter-than-medium gray. That way you don’t need to worry about matching threads with your piecing. The off white works for all whites, creams, and lighter colors; the gray with all darker colors. So while I might agonize over the thread color when it comes time to do the quilting, I never worry about it for the piecing.

  3. Carol Lorraine Stearns

    You are a quilter after my own heart. I pin but sometimes just next my seams the way Bonnie Hunter suggests. Works for me. I make mistakes but often leave them unless glaring. Perfection doesnt exist in humans and it doesn’t exist in quilting! And I love scrappy! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Ellen

    With crumbs I use what I’ve seen called “mile a minute”, but this quilt inspired me to try it. I make 4-1/2 inch blocks and either frame them with a neutral, or alternate with the neutral.

  5. Colleen pflieger

    I agree Jo. I use up odd color threads. I never secure a seam. I never prewash! Oh my!lol. I am OCD (my sisters told me) but not it my scrappy quilts! I love them!

  6. Sandie

    Just had to add this about “securing the seams”. If you are using a proper stitch length that is the only securing needed. My machine is a Bernina and I use a 1.5 for all of my seams. On my vintage Singers, I used between a 15 and an 18. If your stitch length is short enough, there is no need for any additional securing of the seams.

  7. sandi

    Seeing your crumb quilt reminds me that I started it back when you ran it and it’s sitting in a box. Guess should get it out and start working on it again.

  8. mary

    I second Sandie ^, set your seam length shorter if you are worried about seams popping open. I have had it happen a few times on blocks that have been strip cut and when I check, it usually is a longer stitch lenght on them. The Crumb Along was so much fun, I can’t believe it was that long ago. I never did finish enough for a quilt so ended up using the blocks I did make as the centres for your Scrappy Baby Stars.

  9. Cindy

    I’m glad you had this blog today. I just ran across some crumb blocks that I started when you had your sew-along. I need to start working on them again, because I love this quilt. I do like the one with the string blocks included better. I knew that you had the tutorial for the crumb blocks under Quilting tab above, but I had to search for the tutorial showing how to put together with the string blocks. In case any one else is wondering, it’s the April 5, 2012 posting. Thanks for all the sharing that you do.

  10. Maureen

    Dear Jo,
    I was so impressed by today’s post. Kim had a lot of questions for you, and you took the time to answer each one. You also shared your enthusiasm for quilting and the joy it brings you. It’s part of why I enjoy your blog so much. And you’ve encouraged some of us to get our crumb quilts out and work on them!

  11. Sonja

    Thanks do much for posting about the crumb quilt. I just came across some blocks I started. I need to back on these. Thanks again.
    Love scrappy quilts!

  12. Mary

    Your crumb quilts are amazing, I am truly inspired. Seeing your settings gives me so many ideas I’m anxious to try.
    I started a crumb quilt years ago; it’s time for it come out and take center stage again.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilts
    Mary

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