Thursday, April 28, 2011

Do you have a crummy background??

No, no, no - I don't mean did your uncle Roscoe keep a still by the creek, or did Gramma Norma take a pinch of snuff now and then... this is all quilt related!

Hi, this is Linda from Eat, Sleep, Quilt, and I want to thank Madame Samm for inviting me to share with you today!  If you stick around until the end, you can get in on a giveaway of today's project.  Now, about that crummy (or crumby!) background...

We're always looking for new ways to use up our scraps, including those tiny pieces that are too small to qualify as scraps - crumbs!  Here's how I used some of my crumbs as a background for a small quilt, inspired by this picture. 

First I grabbed some crumbs and scraps in the same color family for the background, blue in this case. 


Depending on the look you're going for, you might want to stick within the same color range - light or medium or dark. For this little project, it didn't really matter though - I wanted the impression of a sky with "something" going on in the background. I found a couple longish strips and started sewing on the crumbs at random until the strips were filled, then I pressed towards the small pieces. Note: When I sewed these, I wasn't overly concerned about the few bias edges, they got caught up, or stabilized, in the next round! 

small pieces on a strip
The strips were cut apart into pairs  
pairs
and the pairs were combined into larger groups until I had decent sized pieces...
At this point there's no hard and fast rule about the size, or how many pieces you combine; you're just looking to make pieces (or blocks) that you can attach to other pieces.  It helps. though, if you keep aiming for a square or horizontal shape.

Can you see my pins?  I placed them horizontally along the seam line rather than perpendicular - for me this makes the edges more stable while I'm sewing.  Of course, they're removed before the needle gets to that point!  I continued joining in this way until I had a background the approximate size I wanted,

then I trimmed it down to the final size and my background was pieced!   

And now for the foreground.  I made a pattern of the pig's face and cut a quarter circle for the sun.  Hmmm... leaves or not? Yes, definitely leaves to balance out the sun on the other side! 



I did raw edge applique on the entire piece, including the small areas of the leaves. To make the pebbled wall, I layered the fabric onto a piece of batting and filled the area with continous different-sized loops. I cut the wall along some of the larger circles to give it a ragged appearance, then I applique'd it down along the top edge.

So here's Petunia, peeking over a stone wall, with her curly pink tail in the air! 


I used buttons for her tail; I could also have embellished with bugs, butterflies, wiggly worms, whatever... or I could have extended the leaves down the wall... but I wanted to keep this one simple.

Here's another one I did, using yellow crumbs to make the background for a larger quilt;

you can see the finished piece here.  One note though ... if you're making a large quilt, I'd try to use larger pieces for the background, else all those seams might create a challenge when you go to quilt it.  Just saying.

Here's another small one I made of a water bearer, using leftover yellow pieces from the quilt mentioned above. 


In my opinion, she doesn't need anything else except binding; the many shades in the yellow background have enough movement and texture! 

And now, the giveaway (ends on Sunday) 

I won't bore you with the details here; if you'd like a chance to win, visit my blog and I'll bore you over there!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!
Sew forth and sew on til later




29 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your tips on using your crumbs to make a delightful and/or inspiring mini. THere is much potential in all those 'bits' that people throw away. I just love Petunia.

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  2. I loved the way you put the scrappy background together. I'm always so...so...WORRIED about my choices when making pieced backgrounds. You gave me a fun place to start the process. THANK YOU!

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  3. Fantastic idea and the give just the right amount of textured look for a background... I'll be saving my little bits....
    Hugz

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  4. çok güzel olmuş ...ellerine sağlık,,..

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  5. Oh yes!!! I love crumb blocks but hadn't thought of doing them as a background for a project like this before. Thanks for the great idea!!!

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  6. Good Morning Linda....terrific idea actually...an original here...guess everyone is heading over to your blog...see you there....

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  7. What a great idea to use up those itty bitty scraps! Hmm, probably good for a mug rug too. Thanks for sharing!!

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  8. What a wonderful idea!!! I love the use of scraps and the backgrounds are stunning!!! Thanks for such a terrific idea :)

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  9. I have been wanting to do this for some time, I have seen it before and love it! Thanks for reminding me; my fabric stash is prett much down to scraps and I keep forgetting I can do this!

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  10. LOVE the background. I'm going to take this idea and use it for a bed size quilt I'm making. Obviously I'll use larger pieces -- shoot I'm going to have to buy fabric as I don't have enough for what I'm trying to do -- but at least now I know WHAT I'm doing. It was a bit vague previously. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  11. Linda great idea to use crumbs to make larger blocks. The different shades do give it dimension and movement. Both your quilts are lovely. I especially like the fabric on the shirt of your lady! Thanks for the tutorial and reminder to use up those scraps!

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  12. This is a great way to make an interesting background, even without crumbs!

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing your crummy backgrounds :) I really like the use of your leaves and Petunia is very cute :)

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  14. Thanks so much for sharing with us what we can do with those tiny pieces....very inspiring what can be created out of almost nothing! Love, love little Petunia!
    Jacque in SC
    quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  15. Wonderful post , love this idea and will give it a try ,thanks so much!

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  16. Thanks for the great idea about using the little pieces to make a wonderful background. I have lots of scraps but they don't really go together but all your same colors really made a great background. I am going to try this idea myself.

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  17. love this method! thank you!

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  18. Linda this is just amazing to me - so many times I look at scraps and think you are just too small but I guess nothing is too small! blessings, marlene

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  19. This is a great idea! Thanks....love the Petunia quilt! Keep up the good work.....piece.

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  20. What a great idea. I have read a few people that make a bigger piece of fabric with smaller pieces of fabric I think I will have to try this.

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  21. What a great way to use every piece of fabric especially your favorites! Making your own fabric, gotta love it!!

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  22. Crumbs as backgrounds. Great idea!

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  23. I love how that came together and such beautiful pieces. I like throwing scraps into small quilts and adding applique.

    Debbie

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  24. I just love this quilt and the idea of using up your scraps.

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  25. I love this idea. I definitely need to use this one. Thanks for the inspiration. I have some crumb blocks that are already made and waiting to be made into something. Hugs Ariane

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  26. That is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  27. What a great way to use up those crumbs. They give the backgrounds nice depth and detail instead of a plain blue background. Plus Petunia is just so darn cute for a pig.

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