Category Archives: Free-Piecing

Red and White Challenge – Crumbs Pillow

Look what I made! This fun heart-shaped pillow is crumb-pieced from scraps of fabrics with only reds and whites. No pinks or browns, only shades of reds and whites. It was made for my friend Kim’s Project Quilting Challenge for this month. Of course, I got it finished in the nick of time.

heartonchair

When crumb quilting, I usually piece all my bits together regardless of color. Limiting it to only two was a creative stretch and I’m pleased with the final product. We’re not a pretty pillow household, so it’s in my etsy shop for someone to adopt and love.

Special pricing today only! The 25% off all made items ends with August. This pillow’s $42 but you can have it for only $31.50 if you act quickly. https://www.etsy.com/listing/201798075/pieced-heart-pillow-red-and-white-12×12?

heartback

Do you want to learn this technique? I’m teaching a class at SLO Creative Studio in San Luis Obispo, CA on November 7th. Sign up at http://www.slo-creative.com

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Crumb Quilting: Crazy or Improvisational?

Since the beginning, I’ve categorized my crumb quilts as crazy quilting. And looking at them, you can see why. Visually there’s a lot in common with crazy quilts…. at least initially.

 

I’ve changed my mind. It isn’t crazy quilting. Crazy quilts use many kinds of fabrics, showcase embellishments, and are usually foundation pieced. My crumb quilting has much more in common with improvisational piecing, which is a modern approach to creating shapes without using patterns or templates. Here, let me show you. This is an improvisational pieced block that I made for a recent group challenge.

 

I just cut and sewed things together in straight lines, over and over, until I liked the shapes it made and the overall look. It’s regular machine piecing. That’s what I do with crumb blocks, just on a smaller scale. Here is the back of a crumb block in progress. See?

 

This little epiphany will help me explain my process more clearly to others. Though the finished project may look similar to a crazy quilt, that’s not how you get there. Improv. piecing is a completely different way to do things. No wonder I was getting so many confused looks! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Sew a straight line to join two tiny pieces of fabric together. Press the seam to one side, doesn’t matter which one.
  2. Repeat #1 until you have a small pile of two-fabrics together (2’s)
  3. Sew two those new pieces you’ve made out of two fabrics together. Press. Now you have some 4’s.
  4. Repeat #3 until you have a small pile of four-fabrics together (4’s)
  5. Sew the 4’s together. Press. Repeat until you have a big enough piece for whatever you’re making. My large quilt has 3.5″ squares.
  6. Square it up! It’s going to be a weird shape after all that work so take your ruler and rotary cutter and cut it to the size you want.
  7. Use the cut-off leftovers to start the next block.

UFOs A-plenty

How many UFOs do you have? No, not the space ships, I mean unfinished objects. Mine are mostly sewing projects and I’m sure I have at least 30, though I haven’t done an exact count recently. This week I’ve been hopping from thing to thing, not quite satisfied to sit down with just one.

Please forgive my lack of photos this time. I took them… and moved the camera away from its cord… and promptly forgot where that cord is? I know, it’s where I left it. Wherever that is. So just use your imagination for this one and I’ll get back to photos on the next post.

Here are some of the UFOs I’ve been working on this week:

  •  A one block log cabin quilt with Asian prints.
  • Decorating my work apron. We’re required to wear one, but can trick it out however we want to. I’m adding pockets, making it shorter, and decorating it with some of my crumb quilting goodness. Yes, I’ll show you guys a picture soon.
  • Binding some place mats for the senior center.
  • Hand quilting “Estey’s Quilt”… It’s almost ready to show you guys! I spent several hours working on this at a car show. Thankfully, my husband recommended bringing along some handwork. I’m so glad he did because it would have been beyond boring for me without it!
  • Planning out a birthday present for my baby brother. He’s turning 14. I know, not really a baby anymore but he’s still my baby.
  • Making a red/blue/purple/black string quilt
  • Playing around with improvisational piecing
  • Pulling fabrics and otherwise planning a portrait quilt based on a wedding photograph
  • And, of course, working on the 4 subjects piece I wrote about in my last blog post.

Whew! I don’t know why I’ve been project-hopping like this but I’ll just go with it for now, especially since I don’t have any big deadlines coming up quickly. I’ll just enjoy dabbling in everything.