A crazy quilt block

A crazy quilt block

8 inch crazy quilt block Pintangle
The news today from my little part of the world is that I have completed a crazy quilt block. I had done the embroidery but needed to bead and embellish it.

I was asked about the way I work. For crazy quilting projects that are large I need to plan them a bit.  About twice a year I haul out all my fabrics, go through my stash and piece a whole batch of blocks. Since I work I don’t have large blocks of time. I make up the blocks so that I always have some blocks to hand to embroider. It also means that the quilt is coherent. Because the blocks are made up in one or two sewing sessions bits from one block are often used on another. It helps to pull things together if similar fabrics are use.

As I piece I incorporate braids, ribbons and lace by tucking them into the seams as I go. I often embroider these in the evenings after work I don’t really have the time or space to audition all sorts of laces or braids. So I make those decisions as I piece the block. Once the blocks are assembled and ready to embroider I put them into a project box (a plastic crate) until I am ready to stitch them.

Usually in the evenings after a busy day at work that I find time to stitch. I relax I embroider and and have fun. Once the blocks are embroidered I set them aside for a while before I start beading. I usually bead at a table as otherwise if I try to bead in my ‘comfy chair’ they invariably get knocked and go everywhere! Adding beads and buttons is usually done in quiet moments on weekends. I add the beads and buttons at the end of the process because if they are added sooner during the embroidery phase, my thread constantly gets tangled on the embellishments. I have found that breaking the process up like this works for me. If I did not do it this way I would not get much stitching done.

holding my book in front of quiltHave you seen my book?

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. I teach how to balance colour, texture and pattern, in order direct the viewers eye. I show you how to build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways using a handful of stitches. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be both practical and inspiring.


  1. What a beautiful piece of work. Did you embroider the large blue flower on the left or is that an applique? You are so inspirational. I just love what you do.

    Rita Swanson
  2. I love the colors. You do beautiful work. Seeing it immediately made me want to get my cq stuff out and piece a square, something I haven’t done in a long time.
    Dawn from Crazy Quilt Central

    Dawn Smith
  3. Are you ever “non-inspired” being organized this way? I’m gonna try the “piece ahead” strategy, but i’m afraid that by the time i get to it, it won’t be as exciting–or is it like opening treasure because you’ve forgotten what you had done in readiness?

    )trying to meet *some* of my goals…:>)

  4. Beautiful work, as is your usual…I began work on the embroidery part of a crazy patch purse today. You inspire me to stay at it…Thanks for your tips. Very helpful for this newbie to CQembellishing.


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