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.
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
Item Count Crazy Quilt Block 79:
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
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.
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.
A 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
The next little surprise is the same type of treatment but running along the edge of another piece of vintage lace.
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!
The 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.
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
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.
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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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.