Crazy Quilt Block 79 on the I Dropped the Button Box Quilt

Crazy Quilt Block 79 on the I Dropped the Button Box Quilt

I dropped button box quilt Crazy Quilt Block 79 is part of a series offering free crazy quilt block patterns, techniques, and tips on how to decorate seams with hand embroidery. The block comes from a quilt called  I dropped the button box quilt which you can see on the left. (If you click on the image of the quilt you will see a larger photograph of it.)

The quilt is made up of 100, 6 inch blocks and I have diagramed each block my readers. Links to these free pattern pages are listed on the CQ details FAQ page. Links in the article lead to tutorials on how to work the hand embroidery stitches that I used on the block. Regular readers will know that I made this quilt with the challenge to use 2001 unique pieces of fabric, lace, braids, charms, buttons or ribbons as the I dropped the button box quilt is a Y2K quilt. The on going item count list below represents the items documented to date in this series of articles. It my way of making sure I got the count right. Lets hope I did!

Crazy Quilt Block 79 is a lighter block that is part of the pinkish diagonal line that runs across the quilt in the right hand bottom corner.

crazy quilt block 79

Fabric content on Crazy Quilt Block 79

Piece 1: cotton
Piece 2: Synthetic
Piece 3: Polly Cotton
Piece 4: Silk
Piece 5: Cotton
Piece 6: Cotton with a metallic thread woven through it
Piece 7: Cotton
Piece 8: Unknown – a vintage fabric with a bubbly thread woven into it

block 79 diagramItem Count Crazy Quilt Block 79:

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: 1505

Here is the pattern for Crazy Quilt Block 79

crazy quilt block 79 pattern


Details, Embroidery and seam embellishments on Crazy Quilt Block 79

All the buttons were added after the embroidery and are two modern buttons that went well with the block. They sit next to a simple seam embellishment that consists of Running stitch that is laced with a knitting ribbon.

crazy quilt detail

This detail is easily missed on the block as it is only an inch long. The seam decoration consists of a line of Tied herringbone stitch that is topped with Detached chain stitch. I added some small red beads along the seam to draw the eye a little. I did not want this seam to be to strong as it sits next to the buttons on the block and I did not want it to compete. So to keep it in control I stitched it in a thread that was similar in colour and tone to the fabric.

crazy quilt detailA tumble of vintage and modern buttons fall across the block, placed over some vintage lace. The buttons easily draw the eye and if you not careful you will miss out on smaller details that act as little surprises.

The first little surprise detail is a row of straight stitches arranged in a fan and  topped with a plum coloured glass bead. They look a bit like flowers growing a row along the edge of the lace

crazy quilt detail

The next little surprise is the same type of treatment but running along the edge of another piece of vintage lace.

crazy quilt detail

Down the side of fabric piece 8 Cretan stitch is worked in a chainette thread. The fabric is quite bulky as it is a vintage piece of silk with a heavy slub woven through it as part of the pattern. So I chose a heavy thread so that is would not disappear the texture of the fabric. I then added some black bugle beads  and some vintage faceted beads. This sort of embellishment along a seam is quick to work and since Cretan is a basic stitch it is suitable for new hands to crazy quilting too!

crazy quilt detailThe seam along the side of fabric piece 7 is covered with a commercial braid that measures about half an inch wide. I first stitched the braid to the block using small stitches using a sewing thread that was the same colour as the braid. This was to make sure that the braid sat in place while I was embellishing it.   My next step was to work a series of straight stitches in sets of two arranged  in V formation along each edge. These were worked in perle #8 thread but you have to look hard for it in the photo. I then laced a knitting yarn through the V shaped stitches. I completed the embellishment with black seed beads placed on top of the V stitches. It looks as if the knitting yarn is laced around the seed beads but it is just a trick. So I was doing a sneaky sharon stitch. I hope it gives you a few ideas to work with.

crazy quilt detail

For the area that is fabric piece 5,  the patch is covered with Silk Ribbon Embroidery. I filled the area with woven roses and leaf stitch, then sprinkled French knots throughout. The French knots are worked in hand dyed rayon ribbon floss

crazy quilt detail 518

Along the edge of the seam I worked sets of 3 Detached chain stitches in a burgundy cotton Perle #8 thread. At the centre of each set I stitched a small pearl bead.

crazy quilt detail

Along the edge of the seam I worked sets of 3 detached chain stitches in a burgundy cotton Perle #8 thread. At the centre of each set I stitched a small pearl bead.
This article is part of a series that highlight the hand embroidered seams and Crazy Quilt details on the quilt blocks that make up my crazy quilt I dropped the button box. Each block on this quilt has a free pattern which are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.

Have you enjoyed this series? 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 (a link to the download is in the article) When I converted it I realised how comprehensive it was. At 19 pages of information it is a mini ebook and resource worth investigating!

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holding my book in front of quilt

Have 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. Sharon, I tend to admire the photos you share of these blocks without commenting. I have to say, you make button clusters look SO easy. I’ve read what you have written about them and a tutorial by Kathy Shaw. Let’s just say, I need more practice – lol!

    After reading your comment about the different fabrics you use for crazy quilting, I could only wonder if you have any idea how many of us justify the use of just about any fabric in our blocks because you have used them. It is another great reminder that there are no rules with CQ.

    Looking at your quilt above, I found myself almost thankful (almost) that I will not have the opportunity to see it in person someday. Why? Well, because I can only begin to imagine how many hours I could spend admiring each and every block. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely work and sharing each block in detail. (We can all enjoy admiring each block in small doses of time without really counting the hours – lol.)

    1. Hi Renee One of the reasons I started that quilt was to prove someone wrong – (she has since passed so I will tell the story) she was a lady who would loudly always tell people what you could and could not do. The type who was a paid up member of the quilting/embroidery police. One day she said to me at the top of her voice in large group of women “In crazy quilting you should only use natural fabrics like silk and cotton, and good laces – never use nylon lace, ric rac is for primitive and folk art and plastic beads and sequins are just tacky and bad taste.” Honestly, this is what she said I smiled at her and privately thought to myself no woman who lacked so much imagination would ever tell me what I could do. I went home and started this quilt. I dont think people would think me too full of myself to say I think I proved her wrong. People like her do more damage than good when they criticise what others can and can not do. I used all sorts of ‘wrong stuff’ in that quilt. I used lots of tacky materials from costuming and even things like lycra and stretch lace! Plastic beads galore are on the quilt. To be honest not everyone has a stash of natural fiber fabrcs and vintage laces so I just used everything in it. Anyway I thought I would tell you the story

  2. As I work on each block of this beautiful quilt Sharon, I wonder if I will ever reach block 100. And I love your little notes remembering certain fabrics and charms you have added. Perhaps I should be doing the same. You have left a wonderful legacy to the craft world.

    Claire Turner
    1. Thanks Claire I am pleased you like the fabric notes as one of the reasons I do it is demonstrate you can use lots of different fabrics for crazy quilting as some people think you can only use silks and natural fibers


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