I am so happy that so many people decided to join the “Crumb Along with Me” Crumb Quilt Along. I never dreamed so many people would be doing this. Thanks to Bonnie Hunter and her Quiltville website for the inspiration.
I am going to tell you right up front that crumb quilting is going to be a challenge for those of you who are are perfectionists. This is not an exact science. There are no real patterns. Crumb quilting vs regular quilting is like comparing color by number pages to art. Honestly when we are all done with this, no one’s quilt will look the same.
No rotary cutter or rulers are needed until the end when we square up the blocks.
I am going to start you out with some Flying Geese blocks. Here’s a look at one from my original quilt.
The little section of four triangles is what we will be making first. Once they are done, we will add the extra fabric to make the block at least 7″ square.
To start, cut four rectangles from your solid accent fabric, in my case, the red. Cut four squares approximately the same height as the rectangles, cut the squares in half. Don’t get out the rotary cutter…take a scissor and chop it. Look at my picture…nothing is uniform in size.
Ok…I know you are groaning. You want a measurement… I made my rectangles about, 2.5″ x 1.5″.
Layer a triangle across the rectangle as shown and sew. I do not use a quarter inch seam consistently. Typically mine is closer to 3/8″. Absolutely no thought went into the direction of the prints or the angles in which I sewed at. Clip the corners off as shown.
Iron open. See how silly shaped and odd they look. Nothing is uniform. That’s great!! For you perfectionists…now is the time to sit back, take a deep breath and trust me.
Now lay the remaining triangles on the other side and sew them down just as you did the first time. Check mine out…take a good look. The fabrics don’t match all the time. They look like a first grader sewed them. It’s okay. Trim the red corners off just as you did before.
Iron. Again, notice how uneven they are… Trim them up a bit. Not too much. Just enough so that you can sew them together. Leave the perfectionist out of this!
Sew the pieces together. Here you will see that I made up several sets. Each set is slightly different. Notice that my reds aren’t always the same shade. Some triangles are smaller. Some geese go in the “wrong” direction. Notice the mish-mash of fabrics.
If you want large geese, cut the rectangles bigger…if you want smaller geese, cut the rectangles smaller. If you want things more uniform, that’s your choice too. I am just trying to point out things that make my original quilt look like it does..random and haphazard.
The quilt we are making has 36 blocks in the center, a border and more blocks around the outside..maybe about 28 more blocks more (mostly star blocks). To get a variety of blocks, you only need 2 flying geese for the center section. I made up extra geese sets because I plan to add some in the outer border too. So make anywhere from 2-6 sets of flying geese. If you end up wanting more later, you can always go back and make them. If you make too many, you can always slap it on the side of a different block we make later on. There are no rules!
I am setting three geese sets aside to be used later and using three now. I am adding strips and crumbs of fabric to the geese to make them into a 7″ block. Here is another pictures from the original quilt to give you some ideas.
If you don’t have any long pieces in your crumb box, go raid your string piecing box. You’ll need a few longer pieces.
Start adding random pieces of fabric to your geese sets…As you are sewing them on, start sewing a few like sized crumbs together. We’ll need them later.
The blocks are gradually getting bigger. As I sew on a piece or two, I stop and iron them. I had a flying goose piece left over so I started adding pieces to it…notice it’s an arrow now. I’ll use that later too.
Remember those crumbs I was sewing together. It’s now part of the flying geese block. Once you have added enough pieces on to get your block to be about 7″, it’s time to trim it up. Lay your ruler on and square the block to be 6″.
Here are my two blocks. Keep those little pieces you cut off if they are big enough. We’ll use them in upcoming blocks.
You now have two finished blocks. If you want to be done for the week…be done. If you have extra time and want to get ahead for next week, here’s what you need to do….
Make more flying geese in sets of four. This time vary your colors. Don’t just use the constant color for the rectangles…use come light, some colored. The backgrounds of the geese don’t need to match. Just make them in sets of four in lots of different color combinations.
If you want to put stars around the entire outer border, you will eventually need about 28 sets…you can make them now or later. I think I am opting for a little of each…some now…some later. Remember as you are sewing, sew a couple of crumb pieces together as you go…we’ll be needing LOTS of little pieces sewn into strips before this quilt is finished. I sew mine as leaders and enders. If you aren’t familiar with that term take time to read about it here.
If you are crumbing along and want to share your progress, feel free to add a link to your blog here in the linky tool below. (It’s my first time using the link feature so bear with me as I learn.) You can add photos to our Flickr Group or on Jo’s Country Junction facebook page.
If you have questions, I will try to answer them through Jo’s Country Junction facebook page or the the comment section here…please be patient with me…I am learning too…See you next week when we tackle stars. If you can get through week one and two, it gets easier from there.