Crazy Quilt Seam Details 559, 560, and 561

Crazy quilt block 85I would like to share the last 3 details on block 85 of my I dropped the button box quilt before moving on to block 86.

Crazy quilt detail 559

This detail is actually 2. The first is feather stitch worked in rayon ribbon floss. The seam is not very long – perhaps it measures an inch. The next detail is the black and red nylon lace that covers the seam. This is an example of regular everyday modern crappy lace being used. After basting the lace down I threaded a fine metallic thread along the sides and down the centre I used some seed beads.

hand embroidery on crazy quilt seam 559This has a bit of back story as I once had an acquaintance who was always saying you cant use this or that in crazy quilting. She would say you cant use ric rac, or cant use nylon lace, or cant use plastic beads, or you cant use shank buttons, or cant use synthetics, or … you get the picture.  Each time she said it, I quietly went ahead an used it. She was around during the period of making this quilt so there is often examples of items she loudly declared I could not use. There are no rules in crazy quilting and I am no snob about what can and can not be used!

hand embroidery on crazy quilt seam 560Crazy quilt detail 560

This photograph also illustrated 2 forms of embellishment. The first is a line of zig zag chain stitch worked in red perle #5 cotton. The second is some hand dyed red lace that I secured to the block with small stitches before adding seed beads.

hand embroidery on crazy quilt seam 561Crazy quilt detail 561

The last detail is a the buttons that are on this block. Most of them are modern but there are some vintage buttons in the cluster. I secured most of them by simply stitching them to the block with the exception of the bead tassel. I love these bead tassels and I will be demonstrating how to do them in my book. Click on the image to see a larger version.

I dropped button box quiltThis article is part of a series which you can find out more about on the  CQ details FAQ page.


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Free pattern for block 85 from I Dropped the Button Box

Crazy quilt block 85Block 85 is a sober softer coloured block in bronze and brown tones. It is a bit of mish mash of stuff but I like it. When I started this quilt I aimed to use as many unique pieces of fabric, lace, braids, charms, and buttons on the quilt as possible. Why? It is a Y2K quilt.

For fun I have been keeping a tally of the item count. I hope I did not make a mistake when I stitched these blocks, as after all this time it will be mighty embarrassing to discover my count was out!

Anyway here are the details and free pattern for block 85.

block 85 diagramFabric content:

  • Piece 1: synthetic mix from a recycle blouse
  • Piece 2: Silk
  • Piece 3: It is totally covered by buttons but it is soft furnishing fabric!
  • Piece 4: A metallic after five/costuming fabric
  • Piece 5: A metallic after five/costuming fabric
  • Piece 6: Synthetic soft furnishing fabric
  • Piece 7: Synthetic polly
  • Piece 8: Synthetic soft furnishing fabric
  • Piece 9: under the lace is cotton

block 85 patternItem Count: 

  • Fabric: 9
  • Lace, braid and ribbon:3
  • Buttons and charms: 14
  • Total items on this block: 26
  • Total tally of items on the quilt so far: 1620

I dropped button box quiltThis article is part of a series that offers a free pattern for each block from  my crazy quilt called I dropped the button box.

Each block is listed on the CQ details FAQ page.

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Crazy Quilt Seam Detail 552 and 553

Crazy quilt block 84Another two seam details today! The first is a very simple treatment that runs along side some vintage lace. Using perle cotton #8, I  worked 3 detached chain stitches in a fan formation so they look like half daises. At the base I added a small pearl bead.

On the lace itself I  added some seed beads. The lace I found in junk shop in Oxford,  England.  I was browsing  the store when I spotted a roll of lace . Someone had wound pieces of lace on to the broom handle and slipped a pin into each piece to secure it. The roll was about 4 inches thick and the pins had rusted. The wad of laces looked to me as if they were of 50’s vintage because that was what was on the outer layer and what I could see. However since the pins had rusted,  there was no real way of knowing what was there. At the time I was curious about it and when I expressed an interest the shop keeper removed two pieces from the roll to discover the lengths were about 15 cm (6 inches) long. Not only was the lace short but removing each piece was likely to be a challenge. She offered them to me for a couple of pounds and I jumped at it.

Crazy quilt detail

I don’t like cutting into vintage lace for crazy quilting but damage lace I think is more than fair game for crazy quilting.  I think they were samples from a lace maker as each was tagged. To my amazement I discovered as I unwound the samples they got older and they went back to the Victorian era. Unfortunately they were all badly damaged. The use of numerous pins to secure each piece had caused rust and mould had also caused stains. What was worse the samples were often torn.

If they were in good condition I would not have used them for crazy quilting but since they were damaged I felt there was no harm. I dyed the badly rust stained, repaired what was worth repairing. Basically I reclaimed what I could and made something of it.

I have used many of these laces on this quilt and they influenced this quilt in another important way. Because I wanted to use the scraps I had salvaged I decided to make the blocks the size they are. I felt the proportion of the blocks to the laces, highlighted them better than if they had been used on larger blocks. Also many were too small to use on larger blocks.

Crazy quilt detail of braid on block

The next seam was covered with some braid and some very small vintage beads found on the same trip to England. The edge of the braid is a fly stitch variation worked in cotton perle # 8.

Both details are from block 84 of my I dropped the button Box Crazy Quilt.

I dropped button box quiltThis article is part of a series that highlight the hand embroidered seams and details on my crazy quilt called I dropped the button box.

Each block on this quilt has a free pattern which  are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.

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