Fun Crumb Quilt Block Idea – Use your Solids!

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In this post, I will show you how I make solid fabric crumb quilt blocks as a fun twist on crumb quilting.

I love sewing with scraps and I use every last tiny piece of fabric which is why I love crumb quilts so much.

crumb quilt blocks colorful

I am the kind of scrappy quilter who likes to color coordinate my scraps and I have other tutorials on the blog about my one-color crumb blocks. But this version takes that even further as I’m using at most one or two fabrics per block and they are all solid fabrics!

When I did the video tutorial for these (see below) I called these ‘color block’ crumb blocks and the idea was to stay in the same color family and use up all the tiny scraps of one fabric and then move on to the next.

Read on to see what I mean!

Fabric Requirements

fabric scraps for crumb quilting
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
  • Piles of oddly shaped scraps of solid fabric sorted by color and shade.

This is the kind of scrap quilt block you can make at the end of another quilt project to tidy up your space by using up all the small scraps of fabric that you have left over.

The way I make crumb quilt blocks doesn’t require lots of time trimming small bits of fabric to particular sizes.

We don’t need perfect squares or rectangles and the limit for how small is too small is decided by asking yourself the question ‘can I sew a 1/4″ seam allowance in that?’ and we will all have different smallest sizes we feel we can tolerate…and that’s okay.

If you need a visual for the types of sizes I’m talking about check out the video version of this tutorial at the end of this post.

How to Make Color Block Crumb Blocks

Step 1: Chain piecing crumbs

Take any two pieces of the same solid color fabric with straight edges that are roughly the same size as each other and sew together with a scant quarter-inch seam.

starting a crumb block
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Then take two more and repeat until all almost all of your scraps of one shade of a particular color are in pairs.

Even though we are not trimming you will be surprised how easy it is to find two scraps where at least one side on each scrap is roughly the same length as another. It doesn’t need to be exact though as we will be trimming in the next step.

DON’T MIX! For this particular version of a crumb quilt block if you have a pile of light blue solid crumbs and dark blue solid crumbs don’t at this point mix the two. Just make pairs of light blue to light blue and dark blue to dark blue.

If you have pairs of scraps that don’t match another on any side you can save them for the next step as we will find somewhere they can fit then.

Step 2: Press & Trim

Once I have a whole chain of crumb pairs I snip them apart, take them to the ironing board, press them with an iron, and use a rotary cutter to trim off the scraggly edges.

pressing fabric crumbs
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
trimming crumb block pairs
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

The whole point of this process is: 1) to get our crumbs pairs nice and crisp and flat, and 2) to get some more straight edges to continue building our crumb blocks.

Step 3: Piecing Crumb Pairs Together

Once we have our pressed and trimmed pairs plus whatever leftover crumbs we had from step 1 we can continue to build our crumb quilt blocks by finding matching ‘units’ (that is what we are going to call the crumb pairs now!) to sew to each other.

crumb quilt block piecing
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Basically, you are once again hunting for two straight edges that are roughly the same length as each other and sewing right sides together with our quarter-inch seam.

If you have larger scraps of the same solid fabric and you are struggling to find a straight edge to match some of your pairs you could chain piece several units onto one longer scrap or fabric strip and then trim apart. (If this doesn’t make sense do see the video version for more of a hand-holding version of how to build your block!).

Step 4: Repeat!

Keep pressing, trimming and piecing together units until you have a large ‘chunk’ of a crumb block – it doesn’t need to be square at this point.

crumb quilting
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
crumb quilting
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Step 5: Trimming Crumb Blocks to Size

Once your crumb chunk is a little bigger than the palm of your hand measure it using a square quilting ruler to see how big it is.

I decided to cut my solid fabric crumb blocks to 6″ square.

trimming crumb block with square ruler
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

If you have enough scraps of the same fabric you may find yourself with a chunk that is big enough to trim down to a 6″ crumb block (or whatever size you prefer to aim for).

solid fabric crumb blocks
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

If so go ahead and trim that block and you can now use it in lots of fun ways from crumb quilts to mug rugs, table runners, placemats, and even quilted journal covers.

If you DON’T have enough of one shade of a particular shade of a color to make a whole block…you can start adding a second shade around it. That is what I did when I was playing with making these blocks – that is why I ended up calling them color block crumb blocks!

So instead of trying to add units of the same shade to each other I pieced together some units of the darker color together until I had straight edges long enough to add to one of the straight edges of my lighter color ‘chunk’.

I used the square ruler to see what sizes and shapes I needed to fill in around the original chunk to get my block to the 6″ I wanted. Again see the video tutorial for an easier-to-follow visual explanation of this!

Solid Fabric Crumb Blocks: Video Tutorial

Finished Solid Fabric Crumb Blocks

I love how these scrappy improv style blocks turned out. Using all the small pieces of fabric in my scrap bin left over from my last project I ended up with some modern-looking scrap blocks that I can use in lots of different projects.

color block crumb blocks
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
crumb quilt blocks colorful
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I’m planning on making more of these blocks each time I have little crumbs of fabric left over from a project where I have used solid fabrics. Eventually, I should have enough small blocks to make a colorful and very intricately pieced quilt!

I have made a long-term crumb quilt before – my low-volume crumb quilt. That one used prints instead of solids and was made in larger chunks rather than cutting to specific block sizes.

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