Over the Easter break I completed a pink crazy quilt block for my sampler quilt. The idea behind this quilt initially was to experiment with different stitch combinations as applied to crazy quilting which I am doing – after a fashion. I am resorting to stitch combinations that are old favourites. As usual click on the image for a larger version.
The story of the lace on a pink crazy quilt block
The lace on this pink crazy quilt block is all vintage. The lace piece that is diagonally placed across the right bottom corner is hand made. I found it in a junk shop in Oxford, England. I was browsing around the store when I spotted a roll of lace. Someone had wound pieces of lace on to a broom handle and as they did so pinned each piece before they had wound on another piece. They had done this until the roll was about 4 inches thick and the pins had now all rusted. It was a mess but I thought there was salvageable material in the roll.
The wad of laces looked to me as if they were of 50’s vintage because that was what was on the outer layer. However since the pins had rusted, there was no real way of knowing what was in there. I was curious about it and expressed an interest in it. The shop keeper removed two pieces from the roll to discover the lengths were about 15 cm (6 inches) long and in removing them the lace was likely to tear. She offered them to me for a couple of pounds. I jumped at it.
When I got back home I was delighted. To my amazement as I unwound the samples they got older and some went back to the Victorian era if not older. Unfortunately the lace pieces were very badly damaged. Numerous pins were used to secure each piece of lace and they had caused rust staining. Worse the samples were often torn. I think they were samples from a lace maker, as each piece was tagged.
I wanted to use them for crazy quilting. If the lace had been in good condition I would not have used the pieces. But since every single piece on the roll was damaged I felt I could reclaim it for crazy quilting. I dyed the badly rust stained, repaired what was worth repairing and reclaimed what I could and made something of it.
On this pink crazy quilt block one of the reasons there is a button and bead trail right across this piece of lace is that underneath is very tear.
Stitches used on this block are Herringbone stitch, Detached chain stitch, Bullion Knots, Feather stitch, Laced Cretan stitch, Chain stitch, Up and down buttonhole and French Knots (Follow the links to step by step tutorials for each stitch. )
Have you enjoyed this article? If so you may be interested in a tutorial I have written on how to work decorative crazy quilt seams. The tutorial is a comprehensive tutorial that I converted to a pdf file. When I converted it I realised how comprehensive it was. At 19 pages of information it is a resource worth investigating!
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Have you seen my book?
My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results shares detailed practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. From fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, in order to balance and direct the eye around the block. I cover how to stitch, build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.