How To Make A Crumb Quilt – Make A Scrappy Quilt Block

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If you are anything like me, you will have a tonne of fabric scraps left over from all your various sewing projects. I hate throwing any scraps away, don’t you? So today’s tutorial shows you a great way of using all these pieces of scrap fabric to make a crumb quilt as you go or a scrappy quilt. Crumb quilting is a great technique to help you use up all those fabric remnants to make new fabric. You could even call these quilts made from scraps a way of making trash into treasure. 

And whether you are a beginner sewing fan or an experienced quilter, these lovely scrap quilt ideas are therefore a great way of making something out of nothing!

Talking of turning trash to treasure, I am joining in with a sustainable challenge organised by Julie at SumOfTheirStories with this post. Each month, some lovely craft blogs come together to show off their sustainable makes, so do go to the bottom of the post to see what we have all made!

How To Make Easy Crumb Quilt Blocks

My sewing room has a large bag of fabric scraps in one corner, and I blog about these scraps all the time, so I honestly don’t know why I haven’t made a crumb quilting tutorial before. Crumb piecing to make crumb blocks and new fabric is such a simple thing to do. I even made a scrap dress fro my daughter a couple of years ago!

But did you know that you can also create gorgeous quilt blocks and crumb quilt patterns free with all those tiny scrap pieces. So it is time to get out your scrap bag and start sorting those scraps to get making these amazing crumb quilts ideas!

What Is A Crumb Quilt?

Crumb quilting is a sewing technique that sewists and quilters can use to make new fabric using small pieces of random scrap fabric shapes.

Unlike traditional quilting, where you will cut specific shapes of quilting blocks to create your quilts, crumb quilting takes a more random placement. 

When sewn together, these irregular shapes can form larger quilting blocks, which can be used for any fabric project or combined to create beautiful and intricate designs.

No crumb quilt block will ever be the same as another, as the pieces of fabric are a canvas of irregular shapes and colours arranged in really random ways.

What Will I Need To Make A Crumb Quilt Block?

Most of us already have the basics to make this simple scrap fabric project.

materials needed for crumb quilt or scrappy quilt

You will need

  • fabric scraps,  
  • scissors or a rotary cutter, 
  • a cutting mat,
  • a pattern-making or square quilting ruler 
  • an iron and pressing mat, and
  • iron-on interfacing or fusible fleece  (this is optional  but is best if you want your quilt to be a bit more stable)

Finally, if you want to make a scrap quilt, then you can use your square quilt rulers to cut the blocks to your desired size. I personally prefer a 5inch square block.

How To Do Crumb Quilting

Sort Out Your Fabric Scraps.

Firstly, you do need to decide if you want to make your quilt a particular palette of colours, or just be random. I sort out my fabric scraps into colours before I begin, and this makes sure I get a more random distribution of colour and pattern within each block. 

Start Sewing Scraps Together

Find a long piece of scrap fabric with a straight edge. 

sew scraps together

Then start piecing the crumbs of other small scraps along this. Take other small pieces and place them over your long first piece with the right sides of the fabrics facing together.

Sew these pieces together with a seam allowance of 5mm or ¼ inch. Keep adding pieces to the straight edge of the long strip until yu run out of space.

Cut The Double Pieces Apart

Once you have a long strip of double pieces, cut these apart to create slightly larger double pieces. These tend to be squares, but you can cut triangle pieces too.

Press Open The Seams As You Go. 

pressing seams open

 Press open the seam of these double pieces. I like having my small Cricut Mini press iron and heat mat next to me at my sewing machine so this is process is so much quicker and easier.

Sew The Doubles Onto Another Long Piece To Make Larger Blocks.

Repeat the process by sewing all the double pieces onto another long piece of fabric. You can also start to sew them together.

And then press the seams open again.

Join Everything Together.

Once you have several of these crumb quilt pieces, join them all together to form one large piece. You can make this piece as long and wide as you need for your pattern. Or you may want to cut them into squares. 

Your crumb quilt fabric is finished!

Lastly, you can topstitch these pieces if you wish. This will give your quilted project a three dimensional handmade look, and it is a great idea to make it more individual and interesting. 

Cut Quilt Blocks  – An Optional Idea

Once you have a large enough size you can also cut them into squares to make a crumb quilt square. I like to trim my edges using a rotary cutter.

Crumb quilt square

You can use these blocks to make a standard quilt or blanket, or you can put them together to make other projects.

How Do You Use The Finished Quilting Crumb Blocks?

There are a host of quilt craft ideas for you to use your finished quilt blocks. Basically, you just need to join several of your blocks together, and interface them. Yes, you can make a standard quilt using the squares , but you can also use these squares just like you would any normal square of fabric. Some ideas for quilted patchwork projects could include

Once you start thinking about it, there are so many scrappy quilt ideas to make with your new fabric blocks. The sky is the limit.

My Crumb Quilting Tips And Tricks

These are some of my crumb quilt tutorials tips that I think will help. 

Storing Your Scrap Fabric In Size And Colour Order

Consider storing your fabric scraps in colour order. I also like to store plain fabrics away from patterned, and keep all my festive Christmas and other holiday scrap fabric in another storage area. This way, when it comes to choosing and mixing the colours you want for your next scrap quilt block, you can set up your Halloween or Christmas patchwork ideas without having to sort through the whole of your scrap stash!

Use Smaller Scraps

I personally like to cut up my too large scraps, as I think the smaller pieces often lead to a better-looking crumb quilt.

Buy A Couple Of Special Tools 

Finally, whilst I don’t usually advise buying new tools a lot, if you plan on doing this technique lots, certain tools will make the whole process loads easier.

Tools I would get for crumb quilting

I personally love using a small A4 sized cutting board to rotary cut my finished blocks, as this way I can turn the whole board to cut the squares.

I also love this thread cutter, as it makes it so much easier to cut the threads in between the pieces fast.

Lastly as I said before, my favourite size block square is 5 and 6 inches, so my square rulers of this size get used the most often, and I would definitely recommend getting a square ruler if you intend making lots of blocks the same size.

Sustainability Challenge

Join Other Bloggers as they guide you through their makes

JulieUpcycled Strawberry Vase
GailPlastic Soda Bottle Floral Candleholder
TerriRecycled Altoid Tin for the Perfect Fathers Day GIft
MelDIY Raised Pot for Summer Decor
ChristineCreate a Cute Basket from an Aerosol Lid
AllysonDIY Shell Mirror for Coastal Decor
ShellyDIY Upcycled Yard Skeleton
JoHow To Make A Crumb Quilt – Make A Scrappy Quilt Block

Have You Enjoyed This Post On How To Make An Easy Crumb Quilt Block?

Hopefully you have found this tutorial helpful. 

Do you have an overflowing scrap bag? Then why not read about how to use up some of these in my post on using up your fabric scraps?

Want to sell your homemade projects? Here are some great ideas to sew and sell.

Do you think that you will be making these crumb blocks? I love to see your projects. Comment below, or why not find me on social media.

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And please do pin this post for later.

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13 Replies to “How To Make A Crumb Quilt – Make A Scrappy Quilt Block”

  1. Christine says:

    Great use for all those scrap pieces of fabric that we all hang onto. Time to get them out and use them, I think!

  2. Gail @Purple Hues and Me says:

    Your crumb quilt blocks are very interesting and quite unique, Jo! It certainly is amazing what you can do with fabric scraps! This brings back past memories of my mom making quilts for the family when I was growing up. She was always putting one together with the fabric scraps she had. I just know that when finished the quilts weighed a ton and kept us quite warm during the winter months. I haven’t had the pleasure of quilting, yet, but it’s something I will consider in the future. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I hadn’t really thought about quilting until I started this, it has motivated me to try out a couple more ideas!

  3. Allyson @ Southern Sunflowers says:

    Those bits of fabric look perfect joined for scrappy blocks! The VW van fabric is so cute… the legos, too.

  4. Julie says:

    I love sewing with fabric scraps, you’ve shared some great tips and techniques :-)

  5. Shelly Latinovich says:

    I’m truly so excited that you blogged such a detailed post on making a crumb quilt. To be honest with you, I didn’t know the term for this process is called a crumb quilt block. I love this look in clothing when different materials are put together, but never thought of doing it myself. I cannot wait to start working on some blocks myself….thank you!

  6. Terri Steffes says:

    My grandmother made these by using up the fabrics she had from other projects. She always had one started. She had several tops done but they weren’t all quilted. Loved hearing the story about these.


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