Crazy Quilt Block 95 Pattern and Hand Embroidery Details

Crazy Quilt Block 95Crazy quilt block 95 is weird mix of stuff! As readers know when I made this quilt one of my personal challenges was to use my stuff on it since it is a Y2K quilt not only was I drawing from stash but I wanted to find and use 2001 unique pieces of fabric, lace, braids, charms, buttons or ribbons.

So… some blocks like this one were a challenge. That said it was on blocks like this that I learnt the most. By this stage of the process I was using anything that would make up a block so that piece 4 is Elastic lace used in underwear construction in order to stabilise it I backed it with cotton. I guess no on can accuse me of being a fabric snob.

As usual you can click on the photo to see a larger version of the block.

Crazy Quilt Block 95 diagramCrazy Quilt Block 95 Fabric content:

Piece 1: Soft furnishing fabric polycotton
Piece 2: Quilters cotton
Piece 3: Soft furnishing fabric polycotton
Piece 4: Elastic lace used in underwear backed with cotton
Piece 5: Soft furnishing fabric polycotton
Piece 6: Quilters cotton
Piece 7: Soft furnishing fabric polycotton
Piece 8: Cotton covered with nylon lace

Item Count: 

The on going item count below represents the unique pieces of fabric, lace, braids, charms, buttons or ribbons documented this series of articles. In other words I am using this series to check the count!

Fabric: 8
Lace, braid and ribbon: 3
Buttons and charms: 9
Total items on this block: 20

Total tally of items on the quilt so far: 1818

Crazy Quilt Block 95 free Pattern

Crazy Quilt Block 95 pattern

How I hand embroidered the seams on Crazy Quilt Block 95

Crazy Quilt Block 95 detail 614On this patch (Piece 7) I covered the plain cotton with some nylon lace. I then embroidered these small motifs. I created them using cotton perle #5 thread to work Oyster stitch. I added some straight stitches in a Metallic thread to and then finished them off by adding a small bead.

crazy-quilt-detail-615This seam is covered with Twisted Chain Stitch worked in Rayon Ribbon Floss and then I added the black bugle beads.

crazy-quilt-detail-616This extended seam started off with a line of Buttonhole stitch worked in cotton perle #5 thread, to which I added detached chain stitches that are worked in a hand dyed fine crochet  cotton. I left the space for the bagel beads and added them last. On the other side of the buttonhole I added straight stitches and Oyster stitch worked in stranded cotton floss (2 stands).

Crazy Quilt Block 95 detail 617Ric Rac was first attached to cover this seam, then I secured it firmly with Zig zag chain stitch. I then worked straight stitches using a hand dyed,  fine crochet cotton before adding the black seed beads.

Crazy Quilt Block 95 detail 618Two seams can be seen in the photo above. The most noticeable consists of two lines of Detached chain stitches laced with Chenille thread.  Above the buttons is a smaller seam that  is Herringbone stitch that is laced with a second thread. Also you can see a piece of recycled jewellery that I added as charm. It is hand painted and quite delightful.

Crazy Quilt Block 95 detail 619

These are some of the vintage buttons I used on the block.

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 book?

holding my book in front of quilt

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares detailed practical methods on how to design and make a crazy quilt. Topics such as fabric choice, tricky challenges like balancing colour, texture and pattern, and how to create movement to direct your viewers eye around the block are covered in detail. I also explain how to stitch and build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.

Stitchers templates

My templates aim to help you take your stitching to the next level. Designed by an embroiderer for embroiderers. With them you can create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish your seams  with flair. These templates are easy to use, made of clear plastic so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.

using my stitchers Templates set 2These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.

TO ORDER your Stitchers Templates

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 
Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 

Twisted Chain Stitch or Rope Stitch

Rope stitch sampleTwisted Chain stitch and Rope stitch are two very similar stitches. In fact Rope stitch ( as seen in the stems of the floral motif above) is simply twisted chain stitch worked closely together in a compact manner along the line.

Twisted Chain sample 1

This is an example of twisted chain worked in an open manner. I used pale yellow rayon ribbon floss and the stitches were open enough to tuck bugle beads into the spaces between them.

Twisted Chain rope stitch freeform sample

This sample is lines of rope stitch stacked next to each other worked in free form manner in different threads. As you can see all samples look as if they are different stitches but actually they are the same stitch spaced differently.

Twisted chain stitch is one of those handy stitches which after you master it you wonder how you lived without it! Worked close together it forms a good solid textured line which is ideal for outlining shapes or used to illustrated stems in floral motifs. It  can be used in most situations where you need a clear raised line.

How to work Twisted Chain Stitch and Rope Stitch

Once your hands understand the twist – or the wrap over the needle, Twisted Chain stitch becomes simple, quick and falls into a rhythm with ease. You can work this stitch horizontally or vertically.

Twisted Chain step by step 1To work rope stitch bring the working thread up through the fabric and insert the needle so that the point emerges a short space along the line to be stitched. Cross the thread over the needle and wrap the thread under the needle point as illustrated.

Twisted Chain step by step 2Next  pull the needle through the fabric. As you pull the thread through notice how you have loop that is crossed. This is the twisted chain stitch.

Twisted Chain step by step 3

Insert your needle on the  side of the stitch you just made. Bring the point of the needle out a short space along the line to be stitched and cross the thread over the needle as illustrated. Wrap the thread under the needle point and pull the needle through the fabric.

Twisted Chain step by step 4Continue in this manner down the line.

Twisted Chain step by step 5Twisted chain stitch follows curves with ease and if you work it close together as rope stitch it is ideal for strong linear elements.

A large variety of threads can be used from the finest thread to silk ribbon. The width of the stitch will depend on the weight of the thread used. The thicker the thread the thicker the line created.

Rope stitch can also be stacked line upon line similar to what you can do with stem stitch. This means you can graduate colour, tone, light to dark  or graduate from thin to thick threads.
Twisted chain stitch Rope stitch sample
As I have said Rope stitch is a twisted chain worked closely together so keep the next stitches close together. Rope stitch is also called Knotted Satin stitch. I mostly use rope stitch as a linear stitch in stems in floral motifs. Here is a sample above I have used in crazy quilting are worked using perle 5 thread.

There is another version of the stitch in which the stitches are stacked horizontally producing a thick band. This version is documented in Marion Nichols Encyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches

The vertical version of the stitch is documented in The Embroidery Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden  and the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Embroidery Stitches and the A-Z of Embroidery Stitches: v. 2 I took rope stitch to be the version that appears in most publications.

How to hand Embroider Spanish Feather Stitch

Spanish Feather Stitch is also listed in stitch dictionaries as Spanish knotted feather stitch and known as twisted zigzag chain stitch. It’s an interesting stitch for some a challenging stitch for others. It creates a wide, ornamental line that can look like a braid particularly if you use a thicker thread or a yarn such as a chainette. It can feel awkward at first but once you get in a rhythm however it is OK.

Before you try this stitch do learn twisted chain as this stitch is a variety of twisted chain stitch.

How to work Spanish Feather Stitch

Work Spanish feather stitch downwards, along three imaginary parallel lines. If you want to keep the line straight, it is sometimes useful to mark them on the fabric with a pen that will dissolve with water.

Spanish feather stitchBring your thread through from the back of the fabric and angle the needle so that the needle emerges diagonally  to the left  as seen in the illustration. Wrap your thread over the top of the needle and then under the needle as illustrated.

Spanish feather stitch 2Pull the needle through the fabric and you will see that the stitch formed looks like a twisted chain stitch worked at an angle.
Spanish feather stitch step 3Place your needle just above the twist of the stitch near where your thread first emerged from the fabric.
Spanish feather stitch 4Have your needle point exit the fabric on the right side of the line but below where you started, as illustrated.

Spanish feather stitch 5Wrap the thread over and under the needle to form the second twisted stitch. Pull your thread through and you will have a pair of twisted chain stitches worked in a zig-zag fashion.

Spanish feather stitch 6Continue down the line back and forth until you have reached the bottom.

Each time you work a stitch make sure your needle enters the fabric just above the previous crossed thread.

As you can see the loops create a knotted look at the edges of the row.

This stitch is easier to work with a twisted thread, such as pearl cotton but do experiment with other threads. Spanish feather stitch is extremely versatile and full of personality!
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