Crazy Quilt Block 99 Pattern and Hand Embroidery Details

Crazy Quilt Block 99Crazy quilt block 99 is another favourite from my I Dropped the Button Box quilt. Regular readers will know that when I made this quilt one of my personal challenges was to use up some of my stash and since it is a Y2K quilt I wanted to find and use 2001 unique pieces of fabric, lace, braids, charms, buttons or ribbons.

Sometimes when you have to pull from your stash you end up doing something different and selecting a colour scheme you would not normally work. That is what happened with this block.It is far more softer than I usually worked at that time. You can click on the photo to see a larger version.

Crazy Quilt Block 99 diagramCrazy Quilt Block 99 Fabric content:

Piece 1: Synthetic mix brocade
Piece 2: Synthetic
Piece 3: Silk Brocade
Piece 4: Soft furnishing fabric
Piece 5: Silk
Piece 6: Velvet
Piece 7: Synthetic

Item Count: 

The on going item count list below represents the items documented to date in this series of articles. As I have said my aim was to use 2001 unique pieces of fabric, lace, braids, charms, buttons or ribbons. Since this is block 99 you can see what is happening- I am going to be short. I realised this as stitched blocks too but I did come up with a solution which I will share on block 100. ( I am mean I know…)

Fabric: 7
Lace, braid and ribbon: 2
Buttons and charms:8
Total items on this block: 17

Total tally of items on the quilt so far: 1892

Crazy Quilt Block 99 free Pattern

 Crazy Quilt Block 99 pattern

How I hand embroidered the seams on Crazy Quilt Block 99

Crazy Quilt Block 99 detail 639When I pieced the block I included this nylon lace.I decorated it with Detached Chain stitches, Oyster stitches, Quarter Buttonhole Wheels, Straight stitches and seed beads.

Crazy Quilt Block 99 detail 640This seam started with fly stitch worked in a hand dyed cotton thread. I then added Detached Chain Stitches and French  Knots.

Crazy Quilt Block 99 detail 641These stitches are Quarter buttonhole wheels worked in cotton perle #5 thread

Crazy Quilt Block 99 detail 642This seam is hand embroidered with Feather stitch worked in cotton perle #5 and decorated with detached Chain stitches and seed beads.

Crazy Quilt Block 99 detail 643The stitches used in this floral motif is whipped chain stitch for the stems, the flowers are Bullion Knots wrapped in Detached chain stitch, with a French knot in the middle. The leaves are made from detached chain stitch.  The threads are a hand dyed silk.

Crazy Quilt Block 99 detail 644The button cluster is a mix of modern plastic buttons and vintage buttons.
I dropped button box quiltIf you are a new reader to this site the I Dropped the Button Box Quilt is set with blocks that are arranged by colour in diagonal lines.   My challenge was to have all the crazy quilt blocks reading properly while also  pulling everything on the quilt from my stash!

This article is part of a series that offers a free block patterns from my crazy quilt called I dropped the button box while also documenting each block which are listed on the CQ details FAQ page. You can read more about the quilt there.

Have you seen my Crazy quilters templates?

As a stitcher who loves crazy quilting I designed these templates with other crazy quilters in mind. With my Crazy Quilters Templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to embroider on your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 

Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 

For the Love of Stitching Sample 597

hand embroidery detail on needlework stitching sampler 597Stitching Sample 597 is found on part 42 of The for Love of Stitching Band Sampler. It is a section of freeform embroidery in which I also added beads to a mix of hand embroidery stitches. hand embroidery detail on needlework stitching sampler Stitches Used: Straight stitch, Satin stitch, French knots, Cross stitch, Rice stitch, Square Boss, Bullion knots and I added bugle and seed beads.

Thread: Hand dyed perle #5 cotton and hand dyed wool, silk, crochet cotton, and also I used 1 stand of Caron watercolours  thread

Fabric: Linda 27 count evenweave

Date: This section of the sampler was worked mid 2009.

Size: The For Love of Stitching Band Sampler is 15 cm (6 inches) wide and consists of different strips of fabric which are stitched together to form one long strip. It currently measures 96 feet 5 inches (2,938.78 centimetres), or  32.138 yards which is 29.3878 meters. It is still growing… For the full back story on this piece visit the Sampler FAQ page.



How to work Bullion Knot Stitch

Bullion knot stitch sample 7People either love or hate bullion knots  but I am in the love them camp! They are one of those hand embroidery stitches that can be tricky to work so if you have trouble with them do take time to read my tips.

packet of milliners needlesTips before you start Bullion Knot stitch 

Most of the problems associated with working bullion knots is that people use the wrong needle. I suggest you try  milliners or straw needles. Why these particular needles? Most embroidery needles have an eye that is wider than the shaft of the needle which means any stitch that wraps the thread around the needle often runs the risk of getting too tight to pull the thread through.

Milliners or straw needles have an eye and shaft that are the same width which makes sliding the wrapped bullion knot along the needle easy. Try it as it does make a difference!

Where do you get Milliners needles?  Specialist needlework shops will or should stock them. If you are not near a needlework store, you can buy Milliners Needles online (this is an affiliate link which means if you shop here I get a small commission but that is not why I recommend them!)

Another tip is to wrap your thread in a clockwise direction. For most threads this will mean you will follow the natural twist of the direction in which it was spun. If your thread untwists as you wrap  your bullion, it means the thread was spun in the opposite direction to most threads on the market. This would include some rayon threads. In this case wrap your bullion in an anti clockwise direction.

Simply put, wrap clockwise most of the time but if for some reason this untwists your thread wrap anti clockwise.

If you have trouble with stranded threads getting a tangle try a twisted thread like cotton perle #8 0r #5.

Some people get a little tense and wrap too tight. Then, while still on the needle hold the bullion between thumb and first finger and gently rub the bullion back and forth in your fingers to loosen the wraps slightly before you pull the needle through.

Also stretch the fabric in a needlework hoop or frame so that you have both hands free to work the knot. If you need advice on wrapping a hoop and what size to choose skip over to this tutorial on how to bind and us an embroidery  hoop.

When you start to use bullion knots in your embroidery start with a simple 4 or 5 wrap bullion. Then as you master those add more wraps.

Bullion knot stitch sample 1Bullion knot is also known as bullion stitch, caterpillar stitch, coil stitch, grub knot, knot stitch, post stitch, Porto Rico rose and worm stitch.

How to work Bullion Knots

step by step tutorial on how to work bullion stitch 1Bring the thread from the back of the fabric and insert the needle a short space away pointed towards the place that the thread emerges from the fabric. The distance between these two points determines the length of the knot.

step by step tutorial on how to work bullion stitch 2Wrap the thread round the needle five or six times. Do not cross the wraps on the needle, instead make sure the thread coils up the needle. The coil of thread on the needle should be the same distance as where the needle emerges and exits the fabric.

step by step tutorial on how to work bullion stitch 3Pull the needle through the coil, while holding the coil between your first finger and thumb. See the photo below. This grip of the coil will keep the bullion knot smooth and prevent it from knotting in on itself. Pull the working thread up and away from you.

step by step tutorial on how to work bullion stitch 4As the coil tightens, change the direction that you are pulling the thread and pull it to towards you.

step by step tutorial on how to work bullion stitch 5If the bullion bunches or looks untidy pass the needle under the bullion and rub it up and down the length of the bullion to smooth the coils out. Stitchers call this rubbing the belly of the bullion.

step by step tutorial on how to work bullion stitch 6When smooth take the needle through the fabric at the point where the thread first emerged. step by step tutorial on how to work bullion stitch 8The coil of thread which is the bullion knot should now lie neatly on the surface.

Bullion knot stitch sample 3There are many applications for this stitch the body of this praying mantis is made up of Bullion knots.

Bullion knot stitch sample bullion rosesYou can also make hand embroidered bullion roses. These are worked in wool.

Bullion knot stitch sample 4When you combine bullion knots in floral sprays they can be very effective.

Bullion knot stitch sample 6They are ideal to tuck into the fork of feather stitch and its varieties

Bullion knot stitch sample 8Crazy quilters love this stitch as it can add texture to a seam or band of embroidery.

Bullion Knot is one of those hand embroidery stitches that is fun and interesting. Once mastered they are fun. I know they do take a little practice but they are well worth learning and enjoying!