Crazy Quilt seam detail 503 + 504

Crazy quilt Block 76

This series Crazy Quilt details  highlight the hand embroidered seams and embellishments on the blocks that make up my crazy quilt I dropped the button box. For a free pattern of the block and information about the fabrics I used when I made up the block click on the block thumbnail.

This hand embroidered detail is a seam on block 76. The seam detail is tucked int he corner of the block and made up of detached chain stitches that are worked using perle #5 thread. They are worked both sides of a ribbon that covers the seam.  I then threaded a novelty thread under them weaving the thread from one side to the other. It is a light knitting yarn that attracted my eye.

Crazy Quilt seam detail

Below the seam are two curves that I worked in stem stitch using a hand dyed cotton thread. I used the same thread for the detached chain stitches before adding the seed beads.

Crazy Quilt seam detailFree Crazy quilt block patterns
Each block on this quilt has a free pattern. Links to these free pattern pages are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.
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Auction of TAST sampler by the Embroiderers’ Association of Canada

Peggys Sampler Peggy Kimble has donated her TAST sampler to Embroiderers’ Association of Canada and they are currently up for auction online. The sampler is stitched on blue and white twill measuring 6.5 x 57 inches (916.51 x 144.78 cm).

The auction will run for another 2 weeks

Details are here!

Quilting – Just a Little Bit Crazy: A Review

Quilting Just a Little Bit Crazy coverAllie Aller and Valerie Bothell have worked together to bring out a book on crazy quilting that has a slightly different take on the topic.

Quilting – Just a Little Bit Crazy: A Marriage of Traditional & Crazy Quilting and that is what it is!  Allie Aller and Valerie Bothell have combined modern techniques that employ a sewing machine with hand techniques. This book is aimed at quilters who are interested in crazy quilting but feel daunted by the hand work involved in a traditional approach. That does not mean that those who are interested in handwork wont pick up a good few tips too! For instance it has a good section on quilt assembly that both types of quilters will benefit from.

Quilting – Just a Little Bit Crazy includes 10 projects, 5 from each author. They range in in size and complexity. There are photo instructions for the basic crazy quilt stitches and the basic silk ribbon embroidery stitches which means a new hand to this form of quilting has enough information to start embellishing their quilts.

Quilting Just a Little Bit Crazy insideOther techniques covered are foundation piecing, stabilizing with interfacing, applique, embellishing with ribbons, trims, and pre-made flowers. There are more techniques I simply list the key ones.

An important difference with this book is that there is a good section on blending hand-stitching with machine embroidery. Most books on crazy quilting focus on hand embroidery alone but there are lots of opportunities to combine machine and hand work together and this book focuses on techniques that enable that.

The main strength of this book is the combination between hand techniques and modern machine techniques. There are also loads of illustrated instruction and tips for combining crazy quilt machine piecing and embroidery. There are not many quilters who have combined these techniques and I cant think of another book that tackles the topic so well.

If you are a quilter who is interested in introducing some hand embroidery elements into your quilt but dont want to be swamped with all the hand techniques Quilting – Just a Little Bit Crazy will be ideal for you. If you are a traditional crazy quilter who is interested in being able to incorporate more machine work in your quilts you will find this book a good addition to your library.

 

Let me tell you about Colour Streams

colour streams packageA couple of weeks ago I was kindly sent some of the Colourstreams products and agreed to write a review. Once I opened the packet I realised that I wanted to use their goodies in a project not just sample their threads and move on to other stitching tasks.  I decided to work a small project which quickly grew into a larger thing and a mini challenge running here on the blog, but that is another story.

The Colour Streams website has a slogan “let the colour do the work” and this is very much the case with this product. As you can see the colours of their lush colours and seem to energise and simply put I found them to be   inspirational.

When I assembled my hussif I used their silk rayon velvet  and the hand dyed habotai silk. When you are embroidering on a crazy quilt block, you are stitching through two layers of fabric as most crazy quilters use the flip and sew method to assemble the block. If fabrics are too thick and bulky it makes it difficult to execute fine embroidery stitches. The silk rayon velvet proved to be a dream to stitch through. So much so I had no hesitation in embarking on a large floral spray that covered a good part of the area.

colourstreams threads review I also had no hesitation using their Silk Floss to create the Chained Bullion stitch petals for the daisies. These bullions are 12 wraps of the needle. So using this stitch puts both fabric and thread to a good test and both passed well. I liked using the Silk floss. It comes in 6 meter skeins and think most crazy quilters would delight in this thread.

colourstreams-review2The stem of this vine is worked using Colour streams Silken Strands. Once again this thread is 100% silk and I took great pleasure in working the stem in rope stitch. The thread is soft, consisting of 6 strands that can be split like cotton floss or used as is, which is what I did. I also added the foliage using Chained bullion stitches and the thread behaved just fine.

The grapes are worked in Aurora which is a thread that comes in 6 meter skeins. For crazy quilters this thicker thread is harder to work. I gave it a tough test as I was using it for French knots! The thread works fine under an experienced stitchers hand but it was sticking a bit on the needle. This often happens with any silk that does not have a firm twist. It is a reflection on the fiber not the brand.

colourstreams threads review 3I then gave the Aurora thread and the Exotic lights thread a fairer test on canvas. I am sure many stitchers who use the even weave techniques and/or the canvas stitches would delight in the coverage of this silk thread. Both the Aurora and the Exotic lights threads worked up well and looked lush (not flat and uninteresting) on the canvas.

colourstreams threads review Out of curiosity I also tested the Exotic lights thread on Aida and once again the thread behaved well. I could see the 6 meter skeins running out quite quickly however.

colourstreams-review5My favourite of their samples is Ophir (although as I write this the Silken strands is also on my faves list) I used Ophir thread in creating these cast-on stitch flowers. Readers who know cast-on stitch will also know that this stitch involves lots of wrapping and plenty of opportunity to knot, tangle and misbehave which this thread did not do! The silk sheen is great and it gave me much pleasure.  Also the skein of 15 meters is a good length for me.

Apart from threads Colour Streams also have a range of interesting sequins  which every crazy quilter should check out. The small daisy shaped sequins in the second photograph are samples sent to me. They are delightfully small. The sequins in the photo are secured with a seed bead.

All up I really enjoyed these products. Please note that apart from the free samples I do not gain financially from this review. In other words I am not paid to write them and I am not affiliated in any way with Colourstreams.