Introducing block 1

The first block sits in the top left hand corner of the crazy quilt has a dominant tone of grey. For this reason it is possibly one of the least attractive blocks in the quilt.

A you can see there are 6 areas, each of a different fabric.

This crazy quilt block is also made up of some of the most unusual fabrics in the quilt.

The goal of this quilt, if you remember is that it was a Y2k quilt with 2001 different bits of fabric, lace, trim, buttons etc. I had trouble making up the number as the block was pieced towards the end and my supplies were more than a little depleted. Hence a bit of creativity was called for.

Fabric content:

  • Piece 1:Is a high stretch lycra fabric which was a scrap from a costume I made.
  • Piece 2: A grey crepe
  • Piece 3: Polyester
  • Piece 4: Polyester knit which was also used in a costume
  • Piece 5:Is a polished cotton found in a curtain store in one of their swatch books.
  • Piece 6: Polyester

As you can see  I am not a fabric nazi, in other words I use polyesters as well as the traditional silks, brocades and velvets found in crazy quilting. I feel the original crazy quilters in the past would have used anything that was attractive so I do the same. Not everyone feels this way however and each to their own as there are no rules in crazy quilting.

Item Count:

  • Fabric: 6 Pieces
  • Braids, ribbons, trims or lace: 5
  • Buttons: 9
  • Charms: 2
  • Total items on block: 22

What is the back story?
This regularly published series aims to illustrate and document the hand embroidered seams, embellishments and decorations on my crazy quilt I dropped the button box. All articles are categorised in the projects under Crazy Quilt details which enables readers to browse back through the series.
Free Crazy quilt block patterns
In the process of documenting the seam decorations on this quilt, as I get to each block I am diagramming it out for readers as a free crazy quilt pattern. Links to these free pattern pages are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.

A grid reference and back for story I Dropped the Button Box quilt

In this post I hope to tell your a little of the history of the “I dropped the button box” crazy quilt and provide a grid reference for each block which I will refer to in future posts and a picture of the quilt itself. 

The “I dropped the button box” crazy quilt is actually a Y2K quilt as it has 2001 different bits on or in it. My definition of ‘bits’ was either a different fabric, lace, braid, charm, buttons or ribbon. The quilt  was  so named because I was a bit short on the number of ‘bits’ until I realised that my button collection would solve the problem 

It was started in 2000 and completed at the end of 2002 (Yes I did not make the 2001 deadline) The crazy quilt contians all sorts of fabrics, lace, braid, charms, button and souvenirs. There are fabrics from friends given to me, or swapped at the time, scraps of costumes I have made and pieces of clothing from family members and friends.  Since I am a scavenger of all sorts of things many fabrics and trims were sourced in second hand thrift stores and garage sales.


The blocks started life as 6 x 6  inch (15 x 15 cm) blocks. By the time the quilt was assembled and seam allowances taken care of the blocks are 5 x 5 inches (13 x 13 cm) 

Including the Border the quilt measures  60 x 60  inches (150 cm x 150 cm) 

There are 100 crazy quilt blocks in the quilt.  


Method of working:

I pieced every block first so that I could work out the set of the quilt and since this project needed approximately 800 different fabrics that could sit together I wanted to be sure I had enough fabrics to make it work. 

While I pieced I added the lace and braids. This was also to avoid duplicates. 

After every block was pieced and had lace braid, ribbon etc added to it I then worked through the pile embroidering and beading each block. Buttons where added last. 

When I assembled the quilt I interfaced the border with a double layer of fabric as it is a very heavy quilt. It has hung on the wall for 6 years and it is still square with no sign of sagging. 

In this series each block will be introduced and then each detail on the block will documented.  Points I will cover are stitches worked, threads used, on what type of fabric, dyes used and if applicable include design notes. This series will appear every second day alternating with posts about my band sampler.  

So settle back, swing by over coffee or your favourite beverage, for a series that will appear seam by seam, embellishment by embellishment until I reach the end

All articles in this series are in the category Crazy quilt details 

If you have not seen this quilt before you can find 70 of the 100 blocks on my website here