Turkey Tracks: Playing With Fabric “Crumbs”

Turkey Tracks:  December 21, 2015

Playing with Fabric “Crumbs”

What do you do with small pieces of quilting fabric that are too small to use in something like a strip or a square?

I learned from Bonnie Hunter to call them “crumbs,” and to use them.  Quilting fabric is now around $12 a yard and the width has shrunk from 44-45 inches to 40-42.  (How greed can kill an industry.)

Like Bonnie, I throw these pieces in a bag and when it gets full, I start a project that uses them.  I also throw in large trimmed pieces that have been already sewn together.

(At the very least, you could use these scraps to stuff a dog or cat bed…)

Here’s my ongoing “crumb” project:


Some of the pieces are larger, but would not cut into a 2-inch square.  I don’t cut into 1 1/2-inch squares because they would be too bias stretchy.  I use 1 1/2-inch strips to form small squares.

I played with making fabric from the crumbs–which was kind of interesting.  And you could cut squares out of a piece like this and use the remainders to form more blocks.  If you use those blocks as a center with sashings around–or as a center to a larger pieced block, you’d have an interesting quilt.


Right now, though, I’m interested in creating sashings.  So here’s my growing pile of sashings:


I cut my large piece of “made” fabric into diagonal strips measuring 2 2/1 inches wide.  I use a backing piece of paper to sew these sashings and then I trim them up on the cutting board.  I can sew strips together to get the length I want.

I’m thinking of using these with this block, which you’ve seen before:


Stay tuned…

So, I warn you…

This kind of “play” is addictive.

Author: louisaenright

I am passionate about whole, nutrient-dense foods, developing local markets, and strengthening communities.

3 thoughts on “Turkey Tracks: Playing With Fabric “Crumbs””

  1. Oh, be still my heart! I agree about the price of fabric and using every last bit. I have that blue with the red crabs in your last photo. My friends “gift me” their scraps and I am always shocked about what they are willing to “toss out”. (Including that fabulous crab fabric). Typically I am cutting into strips or squares or “bricks” ala Bonnie Hunter method, and have wonderful bins sorted by size. I am interested in more info on crumb piecing though. Are you “starting” with a foundation paper? I have my smaller phone book pages “ready” to go, and wonder how to begin with crumbs? I admit I cut as small as 1.5″ square, and have an abundance now. I’ve been making itty bitty 9 patches with them. I love your square in a square with the 4 patches. 🙂

    1. The squares in a square are Bonnie Hunter’s 2015 American Patchwork and Quilting challenge. she has pics on her blog of how she used this block. I suspect it will be going into the string fling sequel, which is in development now. LOVE how she used strips in her sashing. One thing I learned recently with the crumbs is to sew some of them together into strips or into small blocks. You can use two triangles together, for instance, and then trim them up. Then use those in a sashing or a block. If I were making fabric, I wouldn’t use a paper backing. For sashing or block I do–it makes them easier to trim. And, again, much of this knowledge has come from Bonnie Hunter. She has lots on her blog. Thanks for your generous comment and for reading my blog!!!

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