A new crumb/string quilt

I’ve never been a big fan of crumb quilts but I’ve seen some interesting ones this past year and so I stuck this bin under my sewing machine and have been saving the bits too small to go back in my string bins. Last night I pulled out a pile of greens to start a new quilt.

I used the crumbs for the first 3-4 pieces in the blocks and then when the block grew too large I started using strings.

Although I’m not using her instructions for constructing the blocks, my inspiration is this quilt by Sandy Bonsib. I haven’t decided for sure but I may substitute hearts for the star blocks since this will be a donation quilt for HeartStrings.

There’s been some discussion on Stashbuster about crumb blocks not coming out the right size and Nancie posted that she makes a template to use to keep her blocks the right size. Since these blocks are going to be 9 inches (9.5 inches with seam allowances) my 9.5 inch ruler was perfect for this. As the blocks get close to the right size I can see at a glance where I need to add the last strip or two and even how wide I need them to be.


  1. Hi Mary, I am a friend of Laurie’s and I hope you don’t mind that I am popping into your blog! Your *crumb* blocks are an encouragement to me because I have started using up my *crumbs* because they are spilling over the sides of my plastic *crumb* tub LOL!As I am sewing up my crumbs in random fashion I had my own personal arguement about how they should look! My crumb blocks are very much like yours with the random sizes and shapes of crumbs…thank you for showing your crumb blocks! I wish I had been smart enough to make mine larger…I am going with 4″ and that is very small!! Happy quilting to you from ~ Barb

  2. That’s exactly how I did my Crumb Chaos blocks. I kept a 6 1//2″ ruler with me at the sewing machine, which allowed me to tell at a glance when a block was large enough and what width strip it needed in order to be big enough.

  3. I love this quilt! Watching you work with green crumbs reminds me of the green crumb quilt I made that my mother fell in love with and inherited! I cut a square out of paper the size of my finished block to use as a guide to show me how many more strips to add to my blocks–my blocks are 8 1/2″ unfinished.

  4. I love the green fabrics, especially the sunflower one. Such gorgeous dark deep greens. I think I’m going to have to invest in a 91/2 square ruler!

  5. It’s such a hoot to look at the scraps you’re considering “too small” – those are huge! I know, I know, I like tiny blocks. Glad you’re having fun playing – I like that one by Sandy Bonsib too.

  6. Mary, You are such an inspiration. I just don’t know how you get so many quilts done. Sorting out the greens gives such continuity to the scrap quilt. Thanks for another great idea!

  7. I have three of Sandy Bonsib’s books, and that is my favorite. I have a post-it note stuck on that page. I used to be in the habit of sticking a post-it note on each quilt I wanted to make as I “read” a quilt book. Too late I discovered that the sticky stuff stays on the page when the post-it note is removed. I no longer do that, but I still have hundreds of post-it notes sticking out of my books. I am looking forward to seeing your finished quilt. Sharon – ssauser@juno.com

  8. I too use a ruler to double check the size of my crumb blocks as I get close to the size I want. These are fun blocks for anyone to make! I made Wonky Log cabin hearts from that book and really like it!Cheers!Evelyn

  9. Hi Mary, Just wanted to say I’m thinking of making some crumb blocks (of one color scheme) and intermingle them with the crumb blocks I’ve already made….One of my church ladies likes to “have everything match” and I’m more a ‘random girl’, so she may LOVE this idea. I always bring lots of crumbs/strips to the monthly mtgs as we make lots of heartstring blocks for tops. Thanks for the variation from my usual blocks!

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