Tuesday, August 13, 2019

YouTube Improv: Crumb Quilting Adventure - 6

I'm continuing with making crumb pieces that will eventually turn into blocks following Darlene's directions.

Here are the 7.5 inch square blocks I now have finished and trimmed...

Crumb Sewing: It takes a while to sew enough together to get a block 
sized piece of work, but it is very stress releasing kind of sewing to do!

She shared another way to combine the fabric to make crumb quilts.  This time starting with larger pieces of fabric to end up with small little pieces in strips and then blocks!

  1. Start with four pieces of fabric about the same size (say about 5 x 8 inches-ish).
  2. Put two together, straighten one edge.  Sew on that edge.  Then move the presser foot about 1 or 1.5 inches and sew the fabrics together with a straight line.  Can do these wonky or straight.  She turns the fabric each time she comes to the end to continue with the seams about 1 to 1.5 inch apart.
  3. Skip the initial line and then cut to separate the fabrics so each line has about 1/4 inch seam.
  4. Press open to see the two fabrics!
  5. Continue and make a bunch of these.
  6. Sew two sets together until you have another little pile of fabric strips sewn together and cut apart.  (Goal is to have some that measure the same top to bottom.) Depending on how to cut there could be a different number of strips needed to get the same measurement.
  7. Now you have a bunch of different strips sewn together - about the same size.
  8. Repeat the initial steps again.  This time instead of just two strips you will end up with two strips each made up of different fabrics!
  9. Sew these together to make a crumb block all of little pieces, or combine with larger pieces of fabric for a different look!

I didn't have larger pieces of fabric handy, but followed her suggestions from before and made strips to add more blue to the units...

1.  Pulled out more strips and scraps.

2.  Picked a blue strip, and then pieces to add to the mix!  In some cases I sewed smaller pieces together before joining them to the blue strip. Lined the pieces up and then sewed them down with 1/4 inch seam to the blue strip.

 3.  here is how it looked on the back.

4.  Here is how it looked on the front.  See how the pieces are flapping on the strip of blue?

6.  Pressed the seams down.

7.  Cut the pieces apart. Notice the top right unit, I goofed and sewed the pieces so they were facing each other.  So that has the blue in the center.

8.  Trimmed the pieces up using the blue to determine where the edges would be. Most of the pieces have 90 degree corners.

Here are the scraps I have sewn together or pulled out to consider adding to blocks:

I will look for larger pieces of fabric so I can do the suggestions Darlene shared in video 6  Crumb Quilting Adventure - New Piecing Technique - Easy Tiny Wonky Blocks | Ep. 6 !  

Not Quilting Trip: Minneapolis! (Day 2-4 of 4)

Day Two

The second day I walked to the Art Museum and then thru downtown while Bernie prepared for the presentation.  That night he was still working and although we didn't talk,  I mostly stayed up with sympathy.

View of city from the Art Museum https://new.artsmia.org/

The beautiful and huge central library. https://www.hclib.org/about/locations/minneapolis-central To get to it one walks into a door from outside, then the library has open walls.  Have to go into it though to catch the elevator to the reading and book floors.  The escalator led to meeting rooms and locked areas with books.

Day Three

The third day was his presentation.  I walked over the Mississippi walking bridge to the campus with him to the campus.  I didn't have badge so walked around there for a bit.  Went to the student union for coffee and a bagel, and to the art museum that is on campus. Then I met husband, walked him thru the art museum quickly before we went to lunch and then caught up on some sleep before meeting his co-speaker for dinner.  We walked thru campus and a new part of town to get to the restaurant.  It was a nice meal, then we walked back (she Ubered).  

View from the Univ of Minneapolis student union steps.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Minnesota

Interior of campus art museum.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weisman_Art_Museum

View from the campus art museum. Looks back toward our hotel.  We walked the covered walking bridge to get to campus. It was probably the same distance to walk to that campus (about a mile) as it is to walk to SDSU, but walking to SDSU (for us) requires walking over the freeway and listening to (and avoiding) the whizzing cars.  

View from campus art museum.  This was the covered walking bridge over the Mississippi River!  Each year the student groups refresh art/advertisements for their clubs on the inside.  There is also an outside walking place too on both sides.

Day Four

The last day he had to spend time getting us checked in for the flight.  He used CheapOAir and it is always so difficult to do things with them.  We had breakfast at a place he wanted to go to - ended up not doing breakfast meal but had the Ethiopian lunch where you scoop the food up with the bread.  It's nice.  I have had a few times when we were in Boston for the sabbatical in 2013.  The flight back ended up being very nice.  They had snack food for sale - which even though it's sort of a short flight was really nice to dig into!


I now have a favorite candy bar!  Didn't know I was going to like it so much or would have picked up more to share at the airport.

Hope I get to return to this part of the world!

Not Quilting Trip: Minneapolis! (Day 1 of 4)

Had a very quick trip to Minneapolis the end of last week.  The first day we left San Diego in the morning and arrived around 3:00pm.

We took the handy light rail directly from the airport ($1!!! for three hour ticket) to the Cedar Stop and disembarked.


It was a beautiful, sunny and clear day.  It was a pretty quick walk to our hotel.  Passed a handsome public housing building that caught our eye.  Turns out it was used in the establishing shots of the last few years of the Mary Tyler Moore show!

House of Balls  Didn't go inside, it was next to the light rail station.

Mary Tyler Moore lived here! Riverside Plaza

We napped for a few hours when we got in.

Views from hotel window.

Had dinner at an Indian Restaurant that was just a few blocks away.  South Indian cuisine from the Malabar region (seafood).

Saturday, August 3, 2019

YouTube Improv: Crumb Quilting Adventure - 5

I'm continuing with making crumb pieces that will eventually turn into blocks following Darlene's directions.

Crumb Quilting Adventure - New Piecing Technique plus Digital Quilt | Ep. 5

Okay, I am back on board with this Crumb Quilting Adventure!  In this video, Darlene shares a cool way of piecing strips together in a way so they look like they were sewn with little pieces.  It has been fun to do.

Her video gives the best explanation, so do click to see it to get the details!


  • She has a large shoe box where she puts all the pieces for this project.  Some things are in baggies so they are divided up and easy to see and use.
  • She has 4 or 5 blocks done, and has more ready to trim up.
  • She used software to take the blocks she had done and place them in to digital quilts.
  • Her pieces of fabric end up being 3/4 - 1 inch!

Procedure A:
  1. Find two longer strips each about 3/4 - 1 inch wide and about the same length.  Sew them together and press.
  2. Find two shorter strips each about 3/4 - 1 inch wide and about the same length.  Sew them together and press.
  3. Place the longer one on the sewing machine so only the two fabrics are under the pressure foot.  Then place the other piece at right angle to that and sew only to connect the two pieces.  Release the fabric, and trim so the top piece is now even with the one it was sewn on.
  4. Finger press. Move the fabric so only the new seam is showing, move the longer piece with the sewn piece on it so you can repeat with the next piece of fabric.  The distance you move the longer piece will end up being how much of it shows in the new smaller units you are making.
  5. Finger press and continue.
  6. While placing the new fabric on top, you can change the direction of the fabric so different colors are against each other, you can also use different pieces of fabric (single or several sewn together).
  7. When the longer strip is full, then remove the piece. Press the seams so they are flat, then open them and cut apart.

Procedure B:
  1. Find three different strips of fabric about the same length.
  2. Press.
  3. Place one on the machine as usual, then place another at the side - but move the piece of fabric so it is a little crooked.  Arrange the fabric so you sew along the edge of the top fabric (that will make it easier to see).  Repeat with the next fabric.  Use these strip sets using procedure A to get more variety.

So now that I realize the size of things a little better, I have gone thru my pieces and sliced so my fabric is much smaller.

This means there are a lot of seams, so when I'm joining sometimes it has been helpful to put the two pieces to be joined on the cutting mat and to use the rotary cutter to slice bits off.  When I'm doing that I am trying to end up with something at least an inch wide.

I press the seam open.  I'm not trimming at this point except to place the template down to get the blocks cut.  From this piece I got two blocks, and there are several pieces that will be inserted into other units.

Here are my five blocks:

Here are Darlene's blocks and the digital quilt she made with them:

Her video gives the best explanation, so do click to see it to get the details!

Here she put them with sashing.

And she placed them without sashing.

By inserting pink and or blue in almost all the blocks these blocks would look good together!

I used my photo of blocks and made a digital quilt with my five blocks too...!!  So far, the green really stands out.  I will try to get more of the other colors in too for the remaining blocks.

I am going on a little trip next week, so instead of leaving everything out, will be putting the pieces I have sewn for this project into a box.  I hope it will be easy to pull things out again and continue.  These two new procedures have made the project fun again for me.

Going to Minneapolis!  My first time there.  My husband is presenting at the university but I will be free to wander and see the sites.  Suggestions welcome!

YouTube Improv: Crumb Quilting Adventure - 4

I'm continuing with making crumb pieces that will eventually turn into blocks following Darlene's directions.

Crumb Quilting Adventure - More Strip Sets and Chain Piecing | Ep. 4

Starts quilting topic at 1:40

  • Crumbs made with little pieces of left over (almost trash) pieces of fabric - today we can make larger pieces look smaller. Sewn in different ways.
  • Crazy quilt starts with something in the middle and you add pieces of larger pieces of fabric around that center.  Wonky, different sized pieces. Not always cotton.  Embellish the seams and pieces.
  • Scrappy sort of like a crumb quilt but made with larger pieces of fabric.  Made in rows.  (I think scrappy could be a using different shades of the same color though out a planned quilt too.  Or just cutting pieces out of random fabric but still making a planned quilt?)
  • Strip quilt can be scrappy but it's made with strips.  Can be same of different width strips.
  • Patchwork quilt (she got distracted and didn't define - or maybe I got distracted and missed it!)
If you don't have small pieces, then start with the larger fabric pieces and use her suggestions for getting the small piece look.

  • How to make strip set - Only need one straight side, trim if needed. Larger fabrics are easier to work with.  Put strip with straight edge on the top on the sewing machine.  Add different pieces to the strip. Join the straight edges together. Trim selvages later. 
  • Filling the strip - sew so entire strip is full of pieces. Press the two pieces and trim down.  She uses scissors. Stay with the angle of the new piece.  Trim selvage at this time. 
  • Trim wider fabrics down at this time, but suggests sewing larger piece on, then trimming to be thinner.  
  • Attach larger pieces to what will be smaller pieces. Sew seam and cut back to smaller size.  
  • If wider strip then add fabric pieces to both sides.  
  • Sew larger, then cut to a bit smaller.  
  • If sewing two strips of different lengths, just sew until you get to the end.  Trim and sew to something else or just trim and keep results or toss the smaller piece. 
  • Sew Y-seams to fit fabric in, or fold the edges and connect with straight stitching showing (top stitching).  
  • Do whatever you like!  
  • Try new ways of stitching and cutting and trimming.
This was mainly a review of things previously covered in the videos.  Not one of her best instructional videos.

And I'm realizing I really do not have many small or oddly cut pieces of fabric. What I mainly have are pieces that were cut after reading an article by Bonnie Hunter on Scrap User's System.  (I have not really been using the pieces that I cut in these various sizes.)  But now I have a bunch of strips in different widths and can follow Darlene's suggestions for making them into crumb sizes and putting them together to be part of a small quilt project.

But really what I think I realized after watching Darlene's Crumb Quilting Adventure Episode 4 is that I meant to follow along and do the blocks she created in her Quilt Block Party series.  So I may be switching over to that!

Darlene's Quilt Block Party Series - photos of the blocks:

I peeked ahead to Crumb Quilting Adventure - 5 and there is a new method explained so I am back on track with the Crumb Quilting Adventure.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

YouTube Improv: Crumb Quilting Adventure - 3

I'm continuing with making crumb pieces that will eventually turn into blocks following Darlene's directions.

Crumb Quilting Adventure - Making More Crumb Quilt Blocks | Ep. 3

  • Sew two strips together and then add that to pieces
  • Add partly done sections to each other
  • If the piece is longer, then just add the length that is needed.  After sewing cut off the extra.
  • Move the piece of fabric so not as much of the larger fabric is showing or/and sew fabric to the piece and then cut so you end up with a two-piece unit of fabric. Try to plan these cuts so you end up with a usable piece of fabric.
  • You just need one straight edge to join - use the straight edge as the sewing guide.
  • When doing the final trim with the ruler, watch where the seams at the edge are and try to plan so you end up with a piece large enough to use in another block.

Here are three of the blocks Darlene finished and shared on episode 3.

And another view after I did more joining:

Now I'm going to work on getting some of the larger pieces of fabric so they are smaller.  Here are my first two blocks:

Moving on to episode 4 in Darlene's Crumb Quilting Adventure Series!