This year I’m taking a deep dive into the world of fabric crumbs.
If you are not familiar with the term fabric crumbs are the small bits of fabrics leftover from when you cut out pieces for a project. Each person has their own definition of what size and shape a crumb is. For me it has to be at least ¾” in size. The shape can be square, rectangle or triangle. I am using a few irregular shaped pieces providing I can get sew a straight edge. General consensus is that the pieces are too small or difficult to sew with in a traditional project. Normally these pieces would get discarded, used as stuffing in projects or I used to donate them to a local pre-school for toddlers to use.
There are different ways you can sew with crumbs. You can join pieces together to form strips or blocks that you can use like regular quilt blocks. You can start with a centre piece and join pieces around each edge and work outwards creating a large piece of fabric. For the 3 projects I’m starting with this year I’m using a foundation piecing method. I have leftover scrap of denim which I’m using as a base and sewing my scraps together on top of that and flipping them over. I’m working on 6 pieces at once. I have a box of crumbs which I select from each time I’m adding a piece on. It is like a giant jigsaw puzzle except you don’t have a picture to work from. You look through the box and hold crumbs against the work until you find one that will fit that section. I’m stitching on 2 or 3 crumbs per piece before ironing all 6 pieces at once.
Generally with crumb quilting you have a slightly smaller seam allowance than the normal ¼”. In the past I’ve had issues with seams coming undone when I joined scraps with a smaller seam allowance. I’m using my seam ruler to mark the seam ¼” line on each piece then using the line to sew over. On this project I’m handing sewing all the crumbs on to the denim. Due to the piecing method I’m using I can’t chain piece the crumbs together so hand sewing uses less thread as I have very minimal thread waste knotting and tying off the thread after each piece is sewn. It is also a way to use up bobbins and spools which have small amounts of thread still on them. I love hand sewing so this project is very relaxing and fun.
So far I’m enjoying fabric crumbs. Moving forward it is going to be very hard for me to throw out any fabric crumbs as I now know that they can be used with a little planning and creative thinking.