Introducing block 12 of the “I dropped the button box” quilt

Introducing block 12 of the “I dropped the button box” quilt

crazy quilt block

We are now up to block 12 on this grid, of the “I dropped the button box” quilt.

Once again I hope people will enjoy seeing it in more detail over the next week or so. As you can see there are 9 pieces of fabric in it.

crazy quilt block free pattern

Fabric content:

  • Piece 1: Cotton
  • Piece 2: Silk from an after 5 dress.
  • Piece 3: Lace over silk
  • Piece 4: Silk
  • Piece 5: Cotton from a dress I had
  • Piece 6: Cotton
  • Piece 7: Satin
  • Piece 8: Satin
  • Piece 9: Silk

The lace on piece 4 was found in Oxford

The very old piece of lace on piece 4 was hand dyed by me. I found it in a junk shop in Oxford. It was wrapped around a section of cut off  broom handle along with other pieces.  I was browsing around the store when I spotted a roll of damaged laces. What had happened is someone had wound a piece of lace on to the broom handle and slipped a pin in to secure it. Then they had wound on another piece and slipped a pin in. They had done this until the roll was about 4 inches thick.

Needless to say there was a lot lace but also a lot of pins- all 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. However since the pins had rusted,  there was no real way of knowing what was in 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 and in removing them the lace was likely to tear. She offered them to me for a couple of pounds and I jumped at it.

When I got back home I was delighted because these small pieces of lace got older as I carefully unwound them. 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 if not older. Unfortunately they were all badly damaged. The use of numerous pins to secure each piece of lace had caused rust staining, mould had also caused stains,  and worse the samples were often torn.

In some ways it was OK as I wanted to use them for crazy quilting. If they were in good condition I would never have used them but since they were damaged, stained and beyond repair I felt there was no harm if  used them for crazy quilting. I dyed the badly rust stained, repaired what was worth repairing. Basically I reclaimed what I could and made something of it.

This selection of laces also 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.

crazy quilt block free pattern

Item Count: 

As I have explained before this quilt is a Y2K quilt which is made up of 2001 different elements. My definition of an element was either a different fabric, lace, braid, charm, buttons or ribbon. This is the count of items on the blocks so far.

  • Fabric: 9
  • Lace, braid and ribbon: 3
  • Buttons: 8
  • Charms: 1
  • Total items on this block:  21
  • Total tally on Quilt so far 233

What is the story?
This regularly published series aims to illustrate and document the hand embroidered seams, embellishments and decorations on my crazy quilt I dropped the button box. All articles are categorised in the projects under Crazy Quilt details which enables readers to browse back through the series.

Free Crazy quilt block patterns
In the process of documenting the seam decorations on this quilt, as I get to each block I am diagramming it out for readers as a free crazy quilt pattern. Links to these free pattern pages are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.
For a stitch guide to hand embroidery stitches, instructions can be found in my stitch dictionary

I have released the block patterns and stitch ideas for non commercial use but I retain all copyright. Please attribute the work to me, and link back to this blog. You may not take whole articles from this series and republish online. Link please do not republish.

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