Do It Different!

You know, you don’t have to do it that way…

There’s more than one way to make scrambled eggs, as the saying goes.

Trying a different quilting technique is a good way to expand your creativity, especially if you’re feeling uninspired or stuck. Trying a different approach can crack a creative block open like, well, an egg.

Take Crumbly Leaves as an example. The quilt was designed by Bea Lee for our September/October 2018 issue of Love of Quilting, fitting in with the leaf theme for that issue. She referred to her quilting technique as “crumbly piecing,” which is a variation on crazy piecing.

Bea Lea’s Crumbly Leaves uses a crazy piecing approach to build a scrappy “fabric.”

Bea Lea’s Crumbly Leaves uses a crazy piecing approach to build a scrappy “fabric.”

With crazy piecing, you build your pieces around a central shape, sewing on scraps in an improvisational way. The scraps can be any size, or any shape—in this case, in shades of September-leaf green, but that depends on the effect you want. There really aren’t many rules.

By picking a scrappy selection of greens, Bea was able to piece a fun, dynamic “fabric.” From that “fabric,” she then used her die-cutter to cut out the squares and triangles she needed to build her leaf block.

It’s pretty liberating.

Or terrifying, if that’s a little too freeform for you.

Sara Gallegos, host of 3200 series of “Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting,” approached the project a different way.

“Anytime I try crazy piecing like this,” Sara says, “I end up with a square, because I’m right-brained like that.” Her end result is more-or-less a log cabin.

So she took another approach.

“If this technique is a leeetle too crazy for ya,” teases her guest, Angela Huffman, “you can tone it down by paper piecing.”

Sara Gallegos with special guest Angela Huffman show the different quilting techniques on episode 3212 of “Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting.”

Sara Gallegos with special guest Angela Huffman show the different quilting techniques on episode 3212 of “Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting.”

The first step is to draw some “random” shapes on a foundation, either photocopying onto foundation-piecing paper or drawing directly onto a tear-away stabilizer.

Sara drew and numbered her shapes, so she knew what order to sew them, and then used the standard foundation piecing technique to sew on pieces of fabric. The shapes gave her a guide to how large her scraps should be, and allowed her to plan it a bit more.

Sara Gallegos created her own paper foundation piecing templates to make this version of Crumbly Leaves.

Sara Gallegos created her own paper foundation piecing templates to make this version of Crumbly Leaves.

Sara also chose “sunshine-y colors,” resulting not in leaves, but a warm, radiating sun-shape.

Because, with colors or quilting techniques, you don’t have to do it that way…

Happy Quilting!

~Vanessa Lyman

Fresh techniques and new approaches, different color palettes, and clever designs—check out more projects with Love of Quilting!

Leave a Reply