I had a blog reader contact me and asked if I would do a tutorial on how I make my Red Diamond Crumb Quilt blocks. I’m so happy she asked while I was still in the middle of making blocks because it was easy for me to snap a few pictures as I went along.
To make the blocks I used a 1 1/2″ cut red square for the center. From there, I needed four triangles. These don’t need to be a specific size.
I save the triangles that come from sewing binding strips together.
As I bind quilts I collect the triangles and keep them in a jar like this…
I sew triangles to two sides of the square as shown below.
Then I trim the “ears” off.
Then I add triangles to the remaining two sides. Your piece will look kind of ugly like the one below.
I sometime randomly square it up with my scissors.
Sometimes I take a group of them to the cutting table and square them all up. Either way works.
Sometimes I sew them so all four corners are the same color and print. Sometimes I let them all be random. Either way works.
From there it’s just like piecing any crumb block. I start adding pieces to the sides.
Typically I add two pieces to each unit and then take it to the ironing board and give it a good press.
I often have a long strip and then cut it off with scissors.
You might notice in the piece below how the orange piece of the block has a wide seam. That’s totally okay.
I try really hard to use up a strip once I pick it up. You can see that the little white strip with the fishies is being used several times in an effort to use the entire strip.
I usually work with about four blocks at a time chain piecing and cutting the newly added strip as I go.
With this quilt, I am doing something a little different.
Often times when making a quilt we put similar fabrics far away from each other. In this quilt, I’ve been doing different techniques as you see with the fishie fabrics below.
After the blocks grow in size, I take them to the cutting table and measure. If they are bigger than 6″ x 6″, it’s time to trim them down.
I like to add little treasures to the quilts in the form of novelty prints…not all novelty prints but some.
Check out the selvage below. If you can’t read it, it says, “I sewed something”. I think it was supposed to say “I sewed something pretty”…but “I sewed something” was enough for me to want to save.
Can you see it in the block below?
Remember how I told you that I have been putting blocks with like prints together. Here are three blocks that I made and chain pieced together. They were the three blocks I sewed on.
These are going to be sewn together as you see them laid out below. I think it makes it harder to see exactly where the blocks connect.
If you prefer more of a video tutorial…I have that for you too. You can watch me in action. Just click the arrow and the video will play.
I love scrappy quilts like this. They just make me happy when I see them. When my husband was living and he saw a crumb quilt, he’d always say that my long-ago relatives would be so happy with my frugality. That always made me smile. I do have to say, I do really love making a quilt from bits and pieces that many would throw away. It makes me feel like a made a quilt for free!!
If you have questions about constructing the blocks please ask away. I love being helpful if I can.
20 thoughts on “Red Diamond Crumb Block Tutorial”
Are all of your red starting squares from the same fabric?
I think they are the same red fabric. This is a UFO so some of the first centers I did might be different red. If they aren’t, it’s a close red. I just used whatever I had and didn’t worry about that too much.
Oh no! Now I feel obligated to pull all those triangles out of the trash! ;)
I’ve been saving the smallest scraps for absolute ages (maybe 25 years?)…and your tutorial has now put some drive into me to actually MAKE quilts with those little pieces. I’ve cut down and been using scraps from my bigger pieces for a long, long time, but not the smallest scraps. Thank you SO much! This is coming from a quilter of nearly 48 years….I LOVE your blog, you are always so open to sharing and teaching others, and I totally appreciate you. Thank you!!
Loise D, I’m with you digging those little triangles out of the trash. I’ve got a basket of scraps that need a home and I think I’ve found one. I’m glad that that a foundation isn’t needed for these blocks. Thanks so much Jo for showing us how to make these little beauties.
Great video Miss Jo! My favorite is your spiderweb
FREE. Until you have to add batting, backing, and binding!! :P
My backing is typically a sheet from the thrift store for $2 so I hardly count that. The binding will likely be thrift store fabric too so that will probably be $1 for the fabric. I’m gal who quilts on the cheap. I can’t remember the last time I was in a quilt shop.
Jo, I love string piecing and have made a start at crumb piecing but not gotten far. I love the idea of a similar middle to each block as your red diamonds .
I like how you work things out. Crumb quilt it may be but a happier quilt I have never seen. There’s so.ething about using scraps turning them into something pretty and useful that satisfies my mind. Seeing how you do it, let’s me get on track again post moving again. Thank you.
Been saving a tone of these triangles and no thoughts on what I would do with them. So awesome!
Now I need to start saving triangles and great idea to have a one color starting point. Just love how your quilt turned out! Thanks so much for this tutorial!
Okay… I’m saving this post. It helped me identify the struggles I’ve had with crumbs. One… I might possibly have too small of scraps so they never seem to grow into blocks, but two… I need to focus on making FOUR blocks at a time rather than just sewing yards of chain pieced bits. If all I did was focus on four blocks at a time, I’d see progress. Thank you, Jo!
With crumbs or strings I always only work with three or four blocks at a time.
I have been saving triangles for years and occasionally take them out for a small project. This is a great idea to add in. I also recently came across your scrappy wonky flying geese method and had fun using some of the triangles in those too. I love your thrifty sewing – It’s a super inspiration! I teach here and there to kids and adults and always encourage the use of what you’ve got. My favorite quilts are scrappy and have lots of re-used textiles in them.
Thanks so much for sharing this. I watched the video the other evening and promptly started making blocks the next day. Today I finishes my blocks and after putting a skinny red border like yours, I put a piano key border around the blocks to finish it off. I kept the quilt on the smaller side and will send it off to Priject Linus after I get it quilted.
I have a beautiful large flower vase (it is very heavy clear glass) on my cutting table (a drafting table) that I throw small scraps into. Thank you have given me a great pattern for these treasures.
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Oh my – I’m in love with your quilt. Those red diamonds keep all the scraps together. I watched your video and adding to my list!
PS subscribed too!