The 2014 Crumb Quilt Challenge

February 1, 2014 at 5:20 am 183 comments

Diana wrote in after the January 1st newsletter asking about sewing room organization and we got into a nice discussion about fabric storage. Ultimately she was looking for a way to store and USE UP tiny scraps leftover from other projects. It got me thinking.


Sew through a little scrap of fabric to hold top and bottom threads out of the way. Particularly useful for machines that seemingly unthread themselves at will, make “bird nests” unless you hold the thread tails, or chew fabric edges of each new seam.

I suggested that, like some quilters, she sew two quilts at once. The first quilt would be the “real” quilt, and the second would be a scrap buster. It could be a miniature 9-patch cut from leftovers, for example. The idea would be after every seam in the “real” quilt, she’d sew a seam in the stash buster. The second quilt would anchor her threads as she sewed the first, much like a “parker” (photo at left) would. A little more time at the sewing machine, but ultimately another quilt is born.

scrapsThen, last week I met Megan Null at the Santa Clarita Valley Quilt Guild. She was in my Twisted Sisters workshop and shared that she had found a way to use up the little scraps going from “chunks” to “wedges.”  (Too technical here. Sorry.) These are the narrow triangular scraps I’ve been telling students to just throw away.  I know. Feel free to smack me upside the head next time you see me.


Well, Megan got me thinking . (All this thinking!) Back in the 80′s I had made a quilt with my hand-dyed fabric and didn’t want to pitch the scraps. Instead, I crazy patched them together for a border. I also added tubes (empty, stuffed, and elasticized) to add some dimensional interest. Because of the border, I called the quilt “Confetti” (left).

Click the thumbnail for a close up of the border.Confetti Border Detail

I used the technique again in Picture Play Quilts, calling it O.T.F. Patchwork (Off The Floor Patchwork). See pages 12-13. This time I didn’t want to throw away scraps leftover from fussy cutting conversational fabrics. Click the pictures below.

Outer Border Inner Border

So, let’s put this all together. Back to Megan! She was kind enough to let me shoot a video of her showing her “Crumb Quilt” strategy. When you watch the video below, note how small her patches are. She also has a plastic box with a lid right by her sewing machine to put the little scraps in until she’s ready for them; it’s to her right and not on camera for very long. Also, be amazed that she wastes nothing! (Check out the pillow!)

And here’s the challenge: Make a Crumb Quilt!

1. It has to be completed by the end of 2014. Send me a photograph so I can share your work online.

2. Crumb pieces can be any size. They can be the focus of the entire quilt, a design element, or part of the back.

3. You have to piece it at the same time as you piece another quilt. (I will never know.)

That’s it. Hit the comment link and let everyone know you accept the challenge. Let’s see where this takes us!

Happy “crumbing,”

Ami Simms

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5 Things Will Help You Become A Better Quilter Another “Opportunity”

183 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shel'n Johanne Hagar  |  February 1, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Yes, I have a bag of brights and darks all from a batik paper pieced quilt that I saved they were so appealing that I must use them in some way! Johanne Hagar
    Feb 1,2014

    • 2. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:46 am

      Sounds perfect for a Crumb Quilt!

  • 3. Bidwell Drake  |  February 1, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Ami never sleeps! Note the time she sent this one out! Neat ideas for using thoses too-small scraps.
    I don’t sleep either, but I was stitching a small sample of needlepoint with a new wool thread to see if I like it. (covers well, but VERY soft.)
    Happy quilting!
    Bid Drake, aka Gram in Texas

    • 4. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:45 am

      Hey Bid! Here’s my secret: I usually write the blogs ahead of time and then set them to publish at a specific time. Not always, but most of the time.

  • 5. Amy Robertson  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:42 am

    I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for awhile now. I’m in!

  • 7. Grace bartlerr  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:56 am

    What a perfect idea. I’m doing this.

  • 9. Cheryl Dempster  |  February 1, 2014 at 8:01 am

    I have started doing this with my leftover pieces as well. My church makes quilts to donate to different charities in the local area. I use the 3 1/2 in squares to make 9 patch blocks which are then sewn into a quilt. Nothing is wasted and everyone benefits.
    Happy piecing to all.

    • 10. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Love it! Next time you finish one, Cheryl, send me a photograph so we can share it on the blog.

  • 11. Diane Paul  |  February 1, 2014 at 8:19 am

    I use crumbs but not while I’m making other quilts. Recently I took all my small scraps (1 1/2 by anything and 1 3/4 by anything) and strung them together at the ends. Then sewed the rows I got together. I got a big piece of fabric. I used fusible web and cut out large shapes from charm tacks designs and machine appliqued them down to solid squares. The squares got put together into a charity top for my guild. I am left with a piece of fabric which is large but not enough for a top yet. I’ll send photos via email since I have no idea how to post them here.

    • 12. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Sounds wonderful, Diane. When you get it done, email me a picture and I’ll post it. As you said, there is no way for you to post a picture here to the blog, but I’ll be happy to do that for everyone.

  • 13. Maga  |  February 1, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I have been cutting scraps into squares for years to use as “leaders and enders” and I use them when I make garments too because in that case you rarely chain stitch. These days I use a die cutter to cut all my patches (got arthritis) and that makes the scraps even easier to cut up. I don’t think I have enough scrap pairs yet to make a quilt this year but I will go on collecting. At some stage I plan to make 4-patches as “leaders and enders”. I try to sew a light and a dark square together but sometimes there isn’t enough of one or the other in the little nut-container I keep by my machine so I go for different colours instead. This is one quilt I want to keep for myself because it will contain some lovely memories of past projects I have made.
    Thanks to Scooter for the video. Loved it!

    • 14. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      YOu sound very organized. And I agree, it will make a wonderful memory quilt of all that you’ve sewn over the years. (Scooter says ‘thank you.’)

  • 15. Sheila Rogeness  |  February 1, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Sounds like a perfect way to use up all those pieces I just can’t make myself throw away!

    • 16. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Sure does, doesn’t it?

  • 17. Ruth  |  February 1, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Love the challenge. I have been making “crumb” quilts for years. My quilting friends save their crumbs for me or allow me to raid their waste baskets.

    • 18. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Ah…another garbage picker. As long as you only raid trash cans in sewing rooms and workshops, I think you’re OK! Always good to have such nice friends.

  • 19. Sharon Decker  |  February 1, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I just started a quilt to thank a neighbor for all the times he has come over with his snow blower while we are using shovels. Should be fun. I rarely throw away my batik scraps because I hand applique and always think I will use them. Since I am now on my third large container, I had better find another use for them.

    • 20. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      A Crumb Quilt could just be the solution you’re looking for!

  • 21. Norma Sterbenz  |  February 1, 2014 at 9:02 am

    What a great idea! I can never throw away even the smallest piece of fabric and I have containers of fabric scraps everywhere! I’m in!

  • 23. Mary  |  February 1, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I am joining in! I have plenty of crumbs and have been trying to decide on a pattern.

    • 24. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Glad you’re in!

  • 25. LizAnn L.  |  February 1, 2014 at 9:22 am

    love this idea, so I can use up some batik scraps that never knew what to do with them besides not to throw them away

    • 26. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Batik crumbs—-YUM!

  • 27. Kay Larson  |  February 1, 2014 at 9:32 am

    This is just great. During the snow, I was looking at the bags of little pieces of fabric from projects past, thinking, i just have to do something with these. Well this is the perfect opportunity to encourage me to do something with these.

    • 28. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      I love telling people what to do!

  • 29. KBBarden  |  February 1, 2014 at 9:39 am

    What a great challenge! I’m presenting this to my co-workers at the shop where I work and teach.

    • 30. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Wonderful! Glad to have them aboard!

  • 31. Marijke  |  February 1, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I love the idea !

  • 33. Sharon Hughson  |  February 1, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I’ll take the challenge, but someone has to remind me monthly or I’ll forget. LOL CRS

    • 34. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      You’ll have to remind me to remind you.

  • 35. MaryAnne  |  February 1, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I have done this with leftover brights and novelties and sashed with black to make kids donation quilts. I love them. I must get them out and start again. Thanks for the video

    • 36. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Glad to trigger a burst of creativity.

  • 37. Katie Wilson  |  February 1, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I throw my scarps into a shoebox and when it’s full, I spend a couple of days playing with them, I cut the bigger pieces into squares and strips, and use the irregular shaped scraps to piece what I learned to call “mile-a-minute” blocks. I cut them to 6 1/2″ squares and then sash them. They make great throws or lap quilts for the nursing home. I am addicted to these. My scraps are usually larger than crumbs, so I’ll have to challenge myself to make crumb blocks, too!

    • 38. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Love the shoebox idea!

  • 39. Mutti  |  February 1, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I’m in! I have bazillions of crumbs and can’t wait to use them!

    • 40. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      That’s GREAT, Mutti!

  • 41. Diana Johnston  |  February 1, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Ami I love this idea and the idea of the pillow is so great as well. This is perfect and the name is delightful. Thanks so much,

    • 42. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Happy to share!

  • 43. Sue from MA  |  February 1, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I’ve been doing this for years. I always feel sorry for bits that go in the trash! Ha ha. Right now I have a box full of 4-1/2″ squares, each square is shades of one color. Someday I’ll have enough for a rainbow quilt.

    • 44. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      Thems be big crumbs, girlfriend. But hey, anything that nets another quilt is good in my book.

      • 45. Sue from MA  |  February 1, 2014 at 3:45 pm

        The crumbs make up the 4-1/2″squares, lots of bits in each square.

      • 46. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:57 pm

        OK, I feel better now.

  • 47. KatieQ  |  February 1, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I accept your challenge. I like to make crumb blocks with my scraps, but never really use them. I have made some crumby looking quilts in my time, but have never made a true crumb quilt. 2014, will be my year of the crumb.

    • 48. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      “Year of the Crumb”
      Love it. As opposed to crumby quilts, which are something else entirely! Ha, ha!

  • 49. Jaye  |  February 1, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I know this technique as mosaic quilting and use the technique for different things, but most recently journal covers. Here is one where I made the signatures as well:

    I know the above post is from the dark ages, but I have a couple of newer pieces in process. I use as a good way to keep my scrap baskets from getting over full. It is also fun to make new fabric. I started doing this after I saw an episode called “mosaic quilting” on Simply Quilts.

    • 50. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Looks very similar, maybe just smaller pieces. Love your Red Journal! What a great thing to make!

  • 51. Betty D  |  February 1, 2014 at 11:07 am

    What a great idea for those starter/enders! Much better to sew a seam to make a block than just build up thread on one piece of fabric.

    • 52. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Seems like better use of the thread and your energy, doesn’t it? Unless you’re like me and you get confused easily. I’m crossing my fingers that I can sew two quilts at once. Double Trouble.

  • 53. Norma Storm  |  February 1, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Count me in!!!

    • 54. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Wonderful, Norma! You’re IN!

  • 55. Jean  |  February 1, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I didn’t get the video nor a picture of the pillow. Love the ideas! I’ll try them next time.

    • 56. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      The pillow is shown in the video. I don’t think the video comes through if you get the blog post emailed to you. SO, click the BLUE TITLE of the BLOG post from the email and that will take you to the blog itself where you will find the video. Or just click the video directly from my newsletter:

  • 57. Connie Hendryx  |  February 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I have SO many scraps (I’ve been known to go through quilter’s trash to ‘rescue’ perfectly good scraps down to one-inch at quilt retreats….). So, I need to accept this challenge! Thanks for offering this, Ami!!

    • 58. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      Time to stop saving and start sewing!

  • 59. Michele  |  February 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    to Scooter from Maizy: I didn’t like your “wolf” sound in my house. And, I prefer licking my grandbaby’s face.

    • 60. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      I shall pass it on to Scooter. He prefers singing, but he does like licking too. Just not at the same time. His tongue is so big, there would be a danger of drowning for the little human people if he licked them quiet.

  • 61. Michele  |  February 1, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Ami – Having nearly finished a partially paper pieced quilt, I’m wondering how tough it is to press and quilt over all those seams – do you have a trick for this as well?

    • 62. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Probably pretty tough. I’d fold borders or sashing strips away from the crumb block and put in a sharp #80 or #90 when you’re ready to machine quilt through the “crumbs.” No way can you hand quilt this!

      • 63. meganrememberswhen  |  February 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm

        I use a jeans needle to quilt through these. As for pressing… lots of steam!

  • 64. Kathy  |  February 1, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I have several friends who give me all their scraps since they know I’ll make charity quilts out of them. I’ve done several crumb quilts, so the challenge for me will be to come up with new designs. Heaven knows I have tons to use up.

    • 65. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      And to sew on two quilts at once! (Or not.)

  • 66. Katrina  |  February 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I have 2 storage drawers full of scraps in different sizes. Sounds like a fun way to spend evenings while watching TV (yes – have one in my sewing room). What a wonderful way to use them and create something beautiful. I’m in.

    • 67. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • 68. Margaret Donahue (@magm3501)  |  February 1, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I accept the challenge…have been doing this lately on snow day quilting…!

    • 69. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Ah…snow day quilting. I do like those.

  • 70. Cathy Gunstone  |  February 1, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Okay, I’m not willing to go to itty bitty. I give those pieces to a friend. But I am putting together 2-1/2″ square pieces that read as solids together with white or off white in 4 patch and then 16 patch blocks of the same color doing it as you described, Ami, sewing pieces together while doing another quilt. I think I will eventually have a quilt big enough to cover my house (and all while having fun!)

    • 71. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      No itty bitty pieces? Bawk! Bawk! (That’s my chicken voice.) :)

  • 72. Lorraine  |  February 1, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    I’m in. I always use the little “starter” pieces and now it looks like I can be productive at the same time.

    • 73. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      I’m excited about trying this “second quilt” idea too!

  • 74. Lois b.  |  February 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    My friends & I made red/white/blue crumb blocks, sashed them and it made a great QOV! I made crumb placemats for when my quilt friends come to eat. Now I’m sorting through my huge mound of scraps and am going to make a modern crumb quilt.

    • 75. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Excellent! (OK, what’s a QOV?)

      • 76. Sandi B  |  February 1, 2014 at 3:31 pm

        Quilt of Valor

      • 77. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:57 pm

        Sorry. Brain cramp!

  • 78. suzanne dougan  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I have done many of these quilts but will try the confetti border this time for added spice!

    • 79. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Give it a whirl! What have you got to lose, Suzanne!

  • 80. Marlene  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Count me in! I’ve been ‘collecting’ small bits of conversation prints for 30+ years, and had decided this is the (downsizing) year to use it up or throw it out, when, much to my surprise, in you popped to my mail basket with a perfect solution. Thanks, Ami!!

    • 81. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Great timing, albeit totally accidental. Glad your new project popped up!

  • 82. barbara schmid  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I’m willing to give it a try since I have as laundry hamper plus of scraps, will make good donation quilts for our local red cross

    • 83. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      That sounds like a lot of fabric bits! Don’t fall in the hamper!

  • 84. Sandi B  |  February 1, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Count me in. I have a hard time throwing ANY of it away! In fact, I don’t. My aunt volunteers at a community thrift store. They recycle textiles. The funds generated from the clothing/fabric recycling, is put towards the food pantry. I no longer feel guilty, AND I’m able to “let go” of some pieces I would have otherwise held on to. Win-win-win!!!

    • 85. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      I’ll say! What a great idea. I have a collection of wonderful plaid shirts from Salvation Army, bought totally on spec. They are percolating.

  • 86. Debbie in SD  |  February 1, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I’m in. I have cut a bunch of 2″ x 8″ strips of phone book pages and am using those as a foundation to piece my little crumbs onto. I used some for a border on small quilt.

    • 87. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Little pieces with big pieces. Can’t wait!

  • 88. Barb Johnson  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    OK, I’m in! Well, I have to admit I already have a head start. For awhile there, I was piecing my crumbs together and making 6 inch blocks. But I was getting too analytical about it, making sure that the crumbs were the right size, so that I didn’t have to cut off to much, and I didn’t want to have a seam too close to the edge, etc. So I put them away. I am going to resurrect them and try to be more relaxed about it….. By the way – in answer to your question about QOV – it means Quilts of Valor, and it is an organization that makes quilts for wounded veterans.

    • 89. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      QOV! Duh! I knew that! Glad you’re in! Relaxed is way better than the other thing. Enjoy!

  • 90. Cathie D  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    You probably already know this but Bonnie Hunter over at has been doing the Crumb blocks for several years too.
    I have a top with some 6 inch crumb blocks to honor my grma’s Kitchen Sink type of quiltmaking but still need to add some appliqued words to the border. When I get it done I will send a picture. I got the idea for a quilt from our Bee’s challenge where I was assigned Grandparent’s Day as my holiday theme.
    I am still making more of the crumb quilts but don’t make pillows out of the too small to sew leftovers.

    • 91. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Awesome! Great minds think alike and all that. Looking forward to seeing your picture.

  • 92. Deborah Lancaster  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I’m in! I have Christmas scraps that I love, so they’ll soon be living in close proximity together…. Hm….

  • 94. Kay L Ford-Sollimo  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    I’m in – up to my ears in crumbs already!

    • 95. Ami Simms  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      Sounds like fun!

  • 96. jeanwood  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    I’m in. I’ve been playing with crumbs more and more and have used the made fabric in quite a few projects. I’m definitely up for making (at least) one more this year.

  • 98. Barb Rechtfertig  |  February 1, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I would love to join this challenge!!! You betcha!

    • 99. Ami Simms  |  February 2, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Glad you’re in, Barb! This is going to be way too much fun!

  • 100. Phyllis O'Connor  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    I’m in. I save everything and only rarely actually use any of them. So the challenge is a good way to keep me focused on scraps.

    • 101. Ami Simms  |  February 2, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Excellent, Phyllis! Glad you’re crumbing with us!

  • 102. Michele  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Ok, as a relatively new quilter, my stash and my scrap supply are somewhat limited. My quilt friend says(referring to the quilt saying about she who has the biggest stash…) I WON’T be the last to die!
    So, I’m joining in the challenge, but perhaps my role will be as a cheerleader.

    • 103. Ami Simms  |  February 2, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Ask your friends for help. They’ll save scraps for you. It won’t take long. But cheer too. I like that.

  • 104. Sue Hine  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    I’m in too!

    I keep most of my scraps and will begin sewing them this year!

    • 105. Ami Simms  |  February 2, 2014 at 10:49 am

      Good! Good! Good! Glad you’re in, Sue!

  • 106. Mimi Fridie  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Had been planning to do something similar with my crumbs. Never thought about a pillow for the rest! I’m in!

    • 107. Ami Simms  |  February 2, 2014 at 10:49 am

      That pillow is a great idea, isn’t it? All sewn and ready to stuff before she came to class. Brilliant!

  • 108. Julie  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    A Crumb Quilt is on my list of quilts to make, so I’m in! The pattern I have uses a 2 1/2 inch strip as the starting point to add the crumbs to. I plan on using up all my extra bindings strips to get started.

    • 109. Ami Simms  |  February 2, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Let’s see what you come up with! Glad you’re IN!

  • 110. Mary Gillette  |  February 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    I started making mile-a-minute fabric after reading an article in a AQS mag and made a big lap quilt for myself. Then taught it to my guild and also made lots of 6″ blocks and set them with strips and cornerstones and donated 2 quilts to YMCA for fundraising. When I would visit my sister I took a bag of scraps and over 2 or 3 yrs had enough for a small quilt for her and her husband. I have the picture on my iPhone and could send you a text with the pictures if you want. Also, count me in.

    • 111. Ami Simms  |  February 2, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Glad you’re in. You’ll have to tell us what mile-a-minute fabric is. In the dark….

  • 112. Sharon  |  February 2, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Do our crumbs need a foundation backing?
    Or can I go for the gusto ?

    • 113. Ami Simms  |  February 2, 2014 at 10:47 am

      I just go for the gusto. I think a foundation would make it so thick as to be impractical. But then that’s just my opinion. I know people piece to a fabric foundation all the time. I just find it “faster and dirtier” to just piece. So, go for the gusto!

  • 114. mary  |  February 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Well, since I do save everything, I guess I’m in!

    • 115. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:37 am

      Everything? Yes, you better join us!

  • 116. Tonie keith  |  February 2, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I accept the challenge. I have made several crumb quilts, so one more will be fun.

    • 117. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:36 am

      And I accept your acceptance! Terrific!

  • 118. Mary Ann Hruska  |  February 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I’m in! I’ve been making 3″ crazy squares with my littlest leftovers. Hope to put them into a classic-looking quilt. It’s a really good idea for “leaders” when chain-piecing. I’ve also done two photo quilts – thanks to your book from the early 90′s!

    • 119. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:36 am

      That’s great, Mary Ann! Using the crumb seams as “leaders” and “enders” is the whole idea. Two quilts at once! :)

  • 120. Jan Raymond  |  February 3, 2014 at 1:55 am

    When I make flying geese units I “resew” the little triangles that are trimmed. They are already rst and make the best, tiny, half square triangle units. I call them duck poop (hee hee). I’ve used duck poop to insert a row of half inch finished half square triangles in a quilt. Love this idea. I have a bucket of duck poop sewn and waiting for a home.

    • 121. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:34 am

      Great idea, but why not “Goose Poop?”

  • 122. meganrememberswhen  |  February 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    This is the Megan from the video. Thanks for including me in your newsletter. I’m in for the challenge, too. Crumb-ing is addictive. My newest thing is reverse-appliqueing the crumb blocks and solid fabrics to make letter pillows.

    • 123. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:32 am

      We’re goingn to need pictures of those pillows, Megan! You’ve started an avalanche of crumbs! Yay!!!

  • 125. Gloria Sirosky  |  February 3, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    I have been saving various bits and pieces of fabric in bag on the floor next to my sewing table. Was never quite sure what to do with them….now I do. I am in for the challenge.

    • 126. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:31 am

      Good for you, Gloria!

  • 127. Anne  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    This is a great idea! I have some pieces I’ve cut into squares or strips that I can use, as well as some larger scraps I can cut down, I must finish the quilting on a throw for my MIL first, though, so I’m not actually piecing anything right now. But when I’ve finished Mom’s quilt, I’ll start making one for my DH for Father’s day from scraps from hers. These are from shirts that were my FIL’s; he died a couple of years ago. I’ll have some pieces left from that to include, I’m sure.

    I do have a question, though. Are the pieces to be cut into squares or just sewn however we can fit them together and then cut down into squares? I’ve heard of using used drier sheets or pellon squares for a foundation, which wouldn’t be very heavy.

    Looking forward to seeing all the great quilts!

    Anne P

    • 128. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:31 am

      To be a true “crumb” no squares allowed. Random shapes puzzled together any which way, THEN cut into square shapes. I’d skip the foundation and keep the puddles of crumbs small. As grainline is going EVERYWHERE, Crumbed Blocks should be no larger than 6″ or else they start moving on their own power. Make friends with your iron and you shouldn’t need a foundation.

  • 129. Marlene Davis  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:03 am

    I would sure like to do this, Ami, as I have lots of scraps to begin with, at least. So, I’ll give it a go. Thanks for the idea!

    • 130. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:27 am

      Welcome aboard, Marlene!

  • 131. Sandy Allen  |  February 5, 2014 at 1:40 am

    I have enough mini triangles to make a small Christmas table topper.
    Accept the challenge.

    • 132. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:27 am

      Good job, Sandy!

  • 133. Cathie Phelps  |  February 5, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I call them “Therapy quilts” because I started the first one the day my mothre had a stroke and I needed to run a lot of fabric through a machine. 3 1/2 inches sounds a bit small for me so I’ll do 5″ for this challenge.

    • 134. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:24 am

      Cathie, so sorry about your Mom. Quilting helps me cope too. Funny how quilting can be both joyful and therapeutic at the same time.

  • 135. Elly  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Wonderful ideas, I have bags full of scraps that I need to create something with.
    Thank you for the inspiration.

    • 136. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:21 am

      You’re very welcome, Elly!

  • 137. Patricia Klaeren  |  February 6, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Nice way to finally use up all the scrap pieces I’ve been accumulating in tooooo many plastic storage containers and turn them into something useful to donate also. Now will have to think of another use for those containers as I empty them. Any ideas Ami?

    • 138. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:21 am

      I love containers. See through plastic? Lids? There’s no telling what you could organize next with those.

  • 139. Diane Pickthall  |  February 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I’m in too. started a few of these blocks some time ago. Now I’ll have a reason to make more and turn them into a quilt. Thanks for the challenge.

    • 140. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:20 am

      I love to issue a challenge. (I don’t have do to it too, do I?)

  • 141. Maria Sharp  |  February 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I’m in! I was given scraps from an appliquer. 4 GARBAGE BAGS FULL!! No pieces larger than maybe 3″x3″. No squares. I wonder if i would go blind if i made the entire quilt in crumbs?

    • 142. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:19 am

      Oh my! I think if you made an “All Crumb Quilt” you wouldn’t be able to turn over if you slept under it.

  • 143. Judy H.  |  February 8, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Count me in, too. If there is one thing I have too much of it is fabric and scraps. It will be fun to see if I can reduce the volume in my sewing room. Glad you gave us a year to do this…

    • 144. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:17 am

      Oh yes, a year is good. Not sure how much stash reduction will occur, but those stray little pieces should be a thing of the past.

  • 145. Louise Hall  |  February 8, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    I plan to create a scrap wall quilt before the end of 2014, inspired by Ami and Marlene Glickman’s sharing of ideas, along with my other responsibilities. Louise Hall

    • 146. Ami Simms  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:16 am

      Yay, Louise!We’re rooting for you!

  • 147. Linda Rigdon  |  February 14, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Hi, Ami – I will accept the challenge! I will complete a wall quilt before the end of 2014. Linda Rigdon from Surfside Quilters Guild.

    • 148. Ami Simms  |  February 24, 2014 at 11:39 am

      Great news, Linda!

  • 149. Joanie  |  February 14, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I’m in! Sounds like a fun and useful idea. Thanks for sharing! : )

    • 150. Ami Simms  |  February 24, 2014 at 11:39 am

      Glad you’re joining us, Joanie!

  • 151. Frank Figueredo  |  February 14, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Well, now I feel guilty. I collect all the crumbs and take them to my local quilt shop. They collect them for a charity group that makes heart shape pillows for heart surgery patients and, use the crumbs for stuffing the pillows.

    Whenever the patient needs to cough or sneeze, they put the pillow on their chest, and hold it tight with arms crossed. This keeps any stitches from tearing.

    Maybe I’ll be forgiven if I compromise: any crumbs from a class go to the charity and any crumbs from home are used for a crumb quilt.

    Yes, with a now cleared conscience, I will join the challenge!

    • 152. Ami Simms  |  February 24, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Frank, absolutely NO REASON to feel guilty! Why don’t you piece the covers of the pillows with crumbs and then donate a completed pillow that is a work of art. Or, Frank, as the case may be.

  • 153. Karen Alexander  |  February 14, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    The real answer to machines that “unthread” themselves between every run or require you to hold threads back is to trade them in for a horizontal rotary hook, drop in bobbin machine – preferably a good Husqvarna Viking. With their newer models, you’ll also ditch the presser foot lifter too! I couldn’t imagine ever going back to a vertical hook machine – those always require more “thread control” on top… what a waste o’ time!

    • 154. Ami Simms  |  February 24, 2014 at 11:36 am

      TO each his own, Karen! :)

  • 155. Shirley  |  February 15, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Well, count me in also. I do what I call string quilts – the pieces are long and narrow and I use a foundation of an old sheet or some of that f material that you just had to have that BUT after washing was just too flimsy for anything. I precut in about 8″ to 10″andjust sew the strips in the sew and flip style. So, have a bunch of small pieces that don’t get into these quilts.

    • 156. Ami Simms  |  February 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Leftovers from leftovers: PERFECT!

  • 157. Kathy Venne  |  February 15, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I’m jumping in too! I hate to throw those little ones away- and have lots of bags full of scraps!

    • 158. Ami Simms  |  February 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Awesome, Kathy!

  • 159. Martha Richter  |  February 18, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I’m in! Sounds like a great challenge!

    • 160. Ami Simms  |  February 24, 2014 at 11:34 am

      That’s GREAT, Martha!

  • 161. JoAnne Turnbull  |  February 19, 2014 at 12:58 am

    I’d really like to do this I don’t think I can make a whole quilt, I’ve been making place mats this way for years and they are a favorite with my family. I can’t seem to make them fast enough. They are so pretty. I do like the idea about not making each “crumb” block bigger than six inches, that makes good sense. Thank you!

    Ami, it’s so good to see you looking so relaxed and happy. You did an incredible thing with AAQI and you should be extremely proud of it all! I am proud to have been a minute part of it though all I did was buy quilts.

    • 162. Ami Simms  |  February 24, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Thanks, JoAnne! I really appreciate your kind words…. :)

      Love the placemat idea too!

  • 163. carla bynum  |  February 23, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Hi!!!! I had just seen a blog earlier today about crumb quilts!!!! Then I found yours and it seems like I am supposed to give it a go!!!! Sounds like fun!!!!!

    • 164. Ami Simms  |  February 24, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Awesome! Glad you found it!

  • 165. Linda Evans  |  February 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Ami,

    I just finished my first challenge quilt. I thought the fabric was dull. But, by the time it was quilted by my friend it was bright and cheerful!
    I think I’ll start a Christmas quilt and create a crumb quilt with the
    leftovers and black. I have two machines set-up at all times. If one project gets boring. I just go to the other one. The challenge is on!

    • 166. Ami Simms  |  March 1, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Way to go, Linda!

  • 167. It’s a crumb-y giveaway! | Piece O Cake Blog  |  February 26, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    […] back to Ami. She has issued a 2014 Crumb Quilt Challenge! I generated a lot of lovely, colorful scraps when I was sewing for the color book and for a few […]

  • 168. Debra Harry  |  February 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Great Idea! I’m in – hard to pass up a fun challenge!

  • 170. toni thompson  |  March 3, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Yay…I save itty bitty pieces in glass jars….I am soon going to find them their own room……I sometimes empty a jar to find a strip to wrap around a package…I also play with paper and I save every tiny scrap of paper also

    • 171. Ami Simms  |  March 9, 2014 at 6:06 am

      Quilt Under Glass?

  • 172. Rebecca Tarlow  |  March 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I have sooo many batik scraps that this is the perfect idea for them. Is it too late to join in the challenge?

    • 173. Ami Simms  |  March 9, 2014 at 6:05 am

      It’s all year long, and then after that. Whenever is good.

  • 174. Lainey  |  March 6, 2014 at 5:24 am

    I’m in!!!!! I have been using starters and enders to join dresden plate pieces and small squares and do a lot of quilts that way. The scrap bags are a great idea. My friends and I fill them up quickly and give them to the local animal refuge. Dogs and cats don’t tend to chew them up like they do with polyester wadding filling. The bigger crumbs in the pillow will now have a new purpose. I tried this once before after making a picture play quilt using the OTF method.

    • 175. Ami Simms  |  March 9, 2014 at 6:05 am

      Fabulous, Lainey!

  • 176. Toni Thompson  |  March 6, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I started my crumb quilt a couple of days ago…it seems to have a color theme..but that is just because I am using all the scraps currently littering my studio…I have to store most of my fabric in the garage…and no it isn’t organized by color..LOL…I am too old to change..anyway I have 10 12 inch blocks done….don’t know how I am going to put it together…I would love to use black and white sashing with my blocks

    • 177. Ami Simms  |  March 9, 2014 at 6:05 am

      Sounds great, Toni!

      • 178. Toni Thompson  |  March 18, 2014 at 12:38 pm

        yay..crumb quilt #1 done..20 12 inch blocks with black and white sashing….2 extra blocks on back of quilt….started 2nd quilt 6 inch blocks have `12 done

      • 179. Ami Simms  |  March 28, 2014 at 11:57 am

        Awesome, Toni!

  • 180. Sue Chute  |  March 14, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    My husband and I made 24 quilts, mostly twin size, for the newly opened veterans homeless shelter last year…..and one of them ended up a “semi” crumb quilt. I had various pieces of black material,pieced together and then sashed in white………..wouldn’t ya know, that’s the one the vets wanted most! I have seveal totes of pieces………… the idea……I’ve always been a scrap-a-holic!

    • 181. Ami Simms  |  March 28, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Good for you guys! What wonderful gifts!

  • 182. Toni Thompson  |  April 4, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I received a box for equilter today..unfortunately mu husband was home when it arrived…at first I told him it was hobby stuff…but then I had to tell him it was fabric…he was rolling on the floor laughing….I have the equivilant of a quilt shop worth of fabric in my garage..but these were scraps..i told him I couldn’t cut up the fabric in the garage because that would be cheating..My favorite quilt shop has mystery baGS OF SCRAPS…I JUST LOVE BUYING THESE bags and then waiting until I get home to ceremoniously open them up…toni Thompson…ps thank you for your work with the alzheimers initiative..i was a caregiver for my mom for 6 years…she died 12/2012

    • 183. Ami Simms  |  April 6, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Poor husband. Ha, ha!


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