Saturday, 5 October 2019

Siblings Together Quilt Drive "Crumb Blocks"

Today we are launching another mini block drive again hosted by Tricia Johanson. Thank you Tricia!
The blocks Tricia would like are based on a method by Chris English which he calls "Crumb Blocks", fabric scraps are sewn together to make a new piece of fabric which can be used in various ways to make new blocks of various designs. We just need you to make 9.5" blocks of this "made" fabric. Tricia has lots of design ideas for the quilts.

Thank you to Chris English for the instructions for the crumb blocks which Tricia has adapted slightly for the tutorial.

                                                           QUILT BLOCKS.

The photographs that show the steps in making these blocks are also in Instagram and can be found on Tricia's account @yondergirlie

Please contact Tricia  if you need some help and for the address to send your lovely blocks.


For this project please use new fabrics only
Scraps – any size, and shape, any colour (bright colours please)
Leftover binding
Leftover blocks


1 Cut and press strips up to 4” wide x any length.

2 Take a scrap, place it right sides together on the strip and
sew together. *Important – do not lift your presser foot. Add
another scrap and continue until the strip is used up. Start a
new strip and repeat. Keep going until you have a pile of

3 Press the seams then press towards the strip. Cut the pieces
apart, using scissors (Chris’s preferred method), or rotary
cutter with or without a ruler. Congratulations – you have
made some crumbs!

4 You can repeat this by sewing these crumbs to more strips,
or you can start sewing crumb blocks together.

5 You get a more interesting block, if the pieces have an odd
number of sides – 3 or 5 work well. Trim each crumb as you
add more pieces, making use of any angles to join pieces –
in other words, your crumbs do not have to be rectangular or
square. You can also add single pieces of fabric to your
crumb – it’s your block, have fun with it and you will soon be
making pieces intuitively.

6 If you find that you’re creating a log cabin, cut a corner off
the block and add a new piece, but remember to add the
piece you cut off to your pile of crumbs.

7 If you find that your block looks too uniform, feel free to cut
through it and add start adding new pieces to the smaller

8 As you press and join pieces be aware of the existing seams.
Always iron to the side with the least number of seams. Try
to avoid sewing pieces together where seams will meet – it
adds bulk and your block will lie better without.

9 Keep going until you have a piece that is at least 9.5” square
– you might find it helpful to cut a piece of paper or card to
this size so that you can hold it against the block as it gets
bigger allowing you to see where you need to add more

10 When you are happy with your block trim it to 9.5”.

11 Give yourself a big pat on the back then go wild and make
more blocks!

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Yup this is happening - do come along as I have lots of our wonderful donated quilts to show you !  

Wednesday, 8 May 2019


Hi everyone, it’s time for the next round of the mini block drive, this time with Kate (@timetosew on Instagram). For the next few months we will be looking at two blocks:

Half Square Triangles (HSTs) 
Snowball blocks

Quilt inspiration 
There is lots you can do with just HSTs and Snowball blocks. We hope to be able to make up different quilt top designs depending on how many blocks are made. In the meantime, here’s some inspiration:

Caption: (L) Indian Summer quilt, (R) Lake Michigan Quilt, both patterns by Suzy Quilts

Caption: Fractals by Jeni Baker, and vintage snowball quilt (image from @allpeoplequilt)

Caption: (L) Mexican tile quilt from cloud 9 fabrics, and (R) variation on a snowball quilt by Suzy Quilts


Unfinished size: HSTs unfinished can be 6 ½ inch or 3 ½ inches. Snowball block unfinished size is 6 ½ inches. Please leave all blocks untrimmed. 
Colour: white, off white. Prints are fine as long as the fabric still reads as white. No cream please. For the colours, I’d like mainly blues and yellows, but it can be anything you want as long as it is bright and happy. See the pictures for some inspiration.
For the snowball block, the centre can be the white or colour, I don’t mind. How many: as many as you want to make! If you have big squares of fabric you can make 4 or 8 HSTs at a time. 
Where to post: send me a message on Instagram @timetosew or email for the address

Colour inspiration: 

HSTs - How to make 

For two at a time 

Cut a square of white and a square of colour, each 7” size (for the large HSTs) or 4” (for the small HSTs) and place right sides together. 
Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner and sew with scant ¼ in seam allowance on both sides of the line. 
Cut on the diagonal line
Press seams to the colour side.

For eight at a time (see pictures):
Cut a square of white and a square of colour 14” (for the large HSTs) or 8” (for small HSTs) and place right sides together. 
Draw guidelines: along both diagonals, then vertically and horizontally on the halfway points. You can see mine in blue chalk. 
Sew ¼ inch on both sides from the blue diagonal chalk lines (4 lines of stitching in total).
Cut on all the blue chalk lines, press seams to the colour side.

Steps 2 and 3

Step 4 / finished blocks

Snowball block - how to make (refer to picture)

Cut one 6 ½ inch square of the white and four 2 ½ inch squares of colour (or cut a large colour square and 4x small white squares).
Put a small square on each corner, right sides together. 
Sew a diagonal line through the corners.
Press along the diagonal line
Trim corners with a ¼ in seam allowance and press back to get the finished corner.

Finished block

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Siblings together start furtling

Hello there I thought it was about time I do more with this blog so here goes. 

I’ll try to keep you all updated with what we are doing above and beyond our IG account feed, give more of the story than is possible on Instagram and also link up with my furtling friend archiewonderdog.


So March has been a lot about making progress with the January mini block drive request that I’ve called #expandinguniversequilt.  I asked for one 6” friendship star block from all those contributing to our campaign, past, present and a few starting in the future!   I hope everyone will enjoy seeing their star in our quilt at Festival of Quilts.  And please take photos!  

I’m almost there I think ...with the top anyway!

And at the last session of Sussex Sewing Club I was just talking about the need for fund raising to cover the entry fee and wondering how I would get the quilt there (my quilts last year were sent by courier and insured - that cost quite a bit ) and the ever lovely and generous supporter of our cause, Carolyn Forster kindly just gave me the money to cover the entry fee!  She is just a lovely person.  

Viv and Trudi are still looking for more stacked coin blocks all through March and April - so please send their requested block to Viv - information on The Purple Stitches website and Trudi’s too.  All one graduated colour...and almost any colour

I am looking forward to teaming up with Kate Ng in May to add a different design to our mini block drive series.   

We are not trying to change every month now - it was just too much - but will try to bring something different every three months.  We’d be thrilled if you would join us.


Quilts keep coming in to my house.  I picked up lots at the Thread House Retreat in January, I got a few more from Trudi and Viv when I met them recently at Eternal Maker.   

Then at the sewing group I now run in Horsham : Horsham Stitchers,  I met Sue Blake and Suzanne Foster who both handed over lots of quilts. 

I really need to catch up with washing and labelling where needed and get these quilts ready to hand over to the charity.   We are well on our way to meeting our target of 100 quilts if not busting it!  It would be great to hand over extra quilts as last year Delma was able to offer quilts to young people who had left the care system but didn’t get the chance to receive one of our quilts.  The quilts do help make a difference to their young lives.  

I still remember one 50 year old that received a quilt saying that all her life she had been told that no one cared about her and her quilt made her feel validated for the first time.  No one should have to wait that long or feel that way - it still brings tears to me eyes.  It’s why what we do is so very important, so please do continue to make these beautiful quilts that shine a bit of light on these lives.

Thank you for all you have done, for all you do and hopefully all you will continue to do.


I have been inspired to put a few quilt tops together from orphan blocks and scraps ...

A couple have been adopted themselves to be completed by Francis Paul (bottom left), and Marion (Noiram98) (the one with butterflies) but as you can see there are more...if you would like to volunteer to quilt and finish one or more that would be absolutely fantastic!

If there is anything you want to find out about please ask questions both here and on our Instagram page.  If I don't know I'll try to find out!