When I first started to work with EPP Hexagons I noticed two distinct types of “waste” products from the production of basted hexagons. These could be referred to as crumbs. There is actually a type of quilt design referred to as crumb quilting.  Before I show examples of the two types of “crumbs” I became aware of, I will provide you with a few links to give you an idea of what crumb quilting is all about.  I didn’t want to show an example directly because I didn’t want to post someone else’s work without permission.

Here are the links:

Crumb Quilts on Pinterest

The above link gives a really good idea of what crumb quilting is all about, so you can probably skip over the links below and come back to them later if you want to see more about crumb quilting after reading the rest of my post.

Crumb Quilt Round Up

Crumb Along With Me Quilt Along

Crumb Chaos Blocks – A Photo Tutorial

Adventures In Crumb Piecing

Crumb Quilt Pattern

I take no credit for the links above except that I found them through a Google search for “Crumb Quilt Patterns”. You could surely do a similar search if you wanted to see what else is out there.

I would like to mention that the crumb quilting movement is closely related to the “made fabric” techniques that Victoria Findlay Wolfe teaches in her book “15 Minutes of Play” in which she shows a variety of methods for joining small pieces of fabric and then using the resulting “made” fabrics to piece projects.  Her pieces could rightfully be called crumb quilts. I recently bought a copy of Wolfe’s book, and have enjoyed reading it. However, when I first started EPP I was totally unaware of crumb quilting, and was also unfamiliar with Wolfe’s work. As a result, I came up with my own limited understanding of the waste products of hexagon production.

FIRST I noticed that the method I was using to make my hexagons created a great many infinitesimally tiny pieces that truly deserved the name “crumb” although I didn’t call them that. I baste my hexagons using 2.5 inch squares of fabric. Then I trim the excess fabric from the basted hexagons leaving a seam allowance of about a quarter inch.

This yields lots of tiny bits of fabric WAY to tiny to use for ANYTHING… yet I saved them. At first I just wanted to see how many I could accumulate, like a kid tying together pieces of string and winding them into a ball. I was surprised how quickly my gallon container filled and overflowed with tiny pieces of fabric. There is something obsessive about having more than a gallon of totally unusable fabric crumbs. The only purpose it serves to save them is to prove visually how much work I have put into the creation of basted hexagons.  When I fell in love with the color hunter green I decided to save those crumbs separately from all of the others since I knew I would be making so many hunter green crumbs.

SECOND I noticed that when I cut my squares of fabric using 2.5 inch strips of fabric, I inevitably ended up with pieces at the end of the strip that were narrower than 2.5 inches, yet too large to throw away.  At first I did throw these pieces away. However, since they actually looked usable, I started to save them, and to think about what I might do with them.

After awhile I started to sew the pieces together randomly into strips.

Eventually I decided to make something of these strips.  My husband had asked me to create a pillow case for a large old dirty pillow he loved, so I made it for him.  My first crumb piece was born, even though I had no idea what a crumb piece was at the time, and didn’t even know that leftover pieces of fabric were called crumbs.  My husband’s crumb pillow case will be the topic of tomorrow’s Second Act Saturday post.