CQ Detail 105

CQ Detail 105

crazy quilt block detail


This detail is a piece of old lace which has been edged with chain braid stitch on one side and quarter  buttonhole wheel  on the other.


Perle cotton thread #5, and #8.

Placement on block:

On block 15 this lace cover the seam sits between piece 1 and piece 2


This lace has a story as I found it in an junk shop in Oxford,  England.  I was browsing around the store when I spotted a roll of damaged laces wrapped around a section of cut off  broom handle. 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 with small lace samples until the roll was about 4 inches thick and full of pins which of course rusted! It was a prickly mess!

The wad of laces looked to me as if they were of 50’s vintage because that was what was on the outer layer. 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. She offered them to me for a couple of pounds and I jumped at it.

When home I discovered as I unwrapped these small pieces of lace the samples got older. I carefully unwound them. I think they were samples from a lace maker as each was tagged. To my amazement 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.

I decided to use them in crazy quilting. If they were in good condition I would not have used them but since they were damaged I felt there was no harm if  claimed 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.


Procion cold water dyes on the lace.


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.



  1. Wow, 44 ft. is quite an accomplishment, especially for such beautiful stitching! I work with ReadyMade and thought you may be interested in taking a look at some of their sewing
    project ideas.

    Laura Anderson
  2. Hi Karol
    I am afraid that I have not got a book but I do run online courses on crazy quilting. They are advertised here on the blog and are run via joggles.com. They have a newsletter that announces the classes too. They are 6 weeks long and you get lessons and can log in to a discussion area. Unfortunately there will not be another until next year as one is nearly finished up. There is info about them under the Classes and Workshops tab and the content of classes is different from what is free online too

    Sharon B
  3. Thank you so much for your tutorials on crazy quilts. Your crazy quilts are some of the most beautiful I have every saw. The square about the fire you had in Caberra is so thoughtfully done. I never thought of putting my life experiences into a crazy quilt although I did read that in time gone by people often put births and weddings and important days into there quilts. I have always wanted to do a crazy quilt. I actually started one at one time and never finished it or went to far. Your site has expired me to start a crazy quilt. I will soon be 60 and I think it is time to start. I only hope it will turn out to be afraction as beautiful as your Crazy Quilts are. Have you ever written a book? Thank you for all the information on your site.
    Karol B.


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