Friday, September 16, 2011

Crumb Quilt-Along #2

Today I finally got to sit down and do my free-hand flying geese blocks for the crumb block sew-along at Jo's Country Junction. These were fun, but very slow to make. I'm trimming them with my six inch ruler which means that they'll finish at five and a half inches.

Here's a picture of the first one before trimming. I wasn't thrilled with it and resolved to attempt some smaller geese.


These geese are smaller and cuter.

Here's another photo taken after the blocks were trimmed.

I like them, especially the one with the smaller geese, but I find that I'm using more strips than crumbs. I read on Bonnie Hunter's website that she makes three and a half inch blocks. I think that would probably make it easier to use up more of the tiny scraps. Not to mention being unbearably cute. But you'd probably have to be really crazy to attempt a whole quilt made with such tiny blocks.

I was trying to explain crumb blocks to a friend when I suddenly remembered that this is not the first time I've worked on a crumb-like project. Years ago I was working on a "Mile-A-Minute" quilt, inspired by an article by Carol A. Coski in the Winter 2000 issue of American Quilter. Ms. Coski speeds up the process of crumb piecing by sewing her small scraps to a long strip of fabric and then cutting them apart to make little two patches.  These "twosies"are then rotated and sewed to another long strip and then cut apart to make "threesies. And so on and so on. Basically, you are making crazy patchwork fabric. (I tried, unsuccessfully, to find a website by the author which might explain this process in more detail. However, here's a link by another blogger giving a short tutorial for it.)

Here's a picture of the quilt top I pieced using this technique:

Here's a close-up of one corner:

The basic unit looked like this:

The sashing and cornerstones helped to stabilize the bias edges which some of the blocks had after cutting. Then I joined them into rows.

I never finished it because I decided that I'd rather have a lap quilt than a wall hanging. I even cut more sashing and cornerstones, but in all the bustle of moving (four years ago), I never got back to it. I'm thinking that perhaps I will sash the special crumb blocks that Jo is teaching us to make and add them to this quilt.

And after that, who knows? My mind keeps returning to the thought of those three and a half inch blocks. Maybe I am that crazy!


scraphappy said...

Three and a half inch blocks doesn't seem crazy. It sure would be a fun way to use up LOTS of tiny bits and pieces. Love the little geese. Everything is cuter when it is tiny.

Michele, a distracted quilter said...

How fun - I've been visiting your blog for years and now I see you love the crumbs too! Your tiny geese are very effective, makes me want to give the geese another try. I found a fantastic picture tutorial on Mile-a-minute style crumb blocks - there's a link to it on my blog (under tutorials) - only she calls it "crumb chaos".

Catholic Bibliophagist said...


Well, Bonnie Hunter has gotten me into making much smaller units than I ever would have imagined possible, so I imagine that sooner or later I'll be doing those 3.5" crumb blocks.


Thanks for the link to that tutorial!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I prefer the 3.5" blocks when crumbing - they actually work up quite quickly and make for wonderful quilts.

Kathleen said...

WOW, they're great and to think I can do 3.5. Right up my alley, love to do minitures.

Neabear said...

Fun blocks! ~Linnea

PS I cracked up at the word verification for me here.