Block 82 on my I dropped the Button Box quilt is another block which I describe as a stronger ‘jewel tone’ blocks. The jewel tone blocks form the diagonal band pattern that runs across the quilt. These colours can appear to very bright on screen, in fact a bit too bright at times, but if you could see it for real the strong colours give the quilt life.
As I have explained before this quilt is a Y2K quilt which means I used 2001 unique pieces of fabric, lace, braids, charms, buttons or ribbons. All the elements are different. in other words you will not find a piece of fabric repeated or a piece of lace used twice or a duplicate button, ribbon, charm etc It was a way of using all the bits I had been hoarding so this project was a wonderful stash busting exercise. Needless to say these 6 inch blocks often look very crowded but then that is Ok because the encrusted crazy quilting style calls for that.
Fabric content on Block 82:
- Piece 1: Satin
- Piece 2: Silk brocade
- Piece 3: Metallic after five fabric
- Piece 4: Silk
- Piece 5: Cotton
- Piece 6: Cotton
- Piece 7: Cotton
The on going item count list below represents the items documented to date in this series of articles.
Item Count on Block 82:
- Fabric: 7
- Lace, braid and ribbon:3
- Buttons and charms: 10
- Total items on this block: 20
- Total tally of items on the quilt so far: 1556
Stitching and technique details of Block 82
Note : Links provided are to tutorials to the stitches
Although at first glance it looks like a button cluster it is actually covering a seam. The seam was covered with a black ribbon that has a gold pattern woven into it. The ribbon was very wide, so I decided to turn it into feature and draw attention to it with a few buttons. They are a mix of modern and vintage buttons. Well…I went a bit mad with the buttons as it almost complete hid the ribbon!
Chevron stitch is a popular, easily worked, basic stitch for crazy quilters that lends itself to lots of variation. This is double row of Chevron stitch worked in two colours using a cotton perle#5 thread. I then topped it off with Detached chain and straight stitches arranged with the aid of a bead to look like little flowers. These were worked in perle #8.
This seam decoration started off as a line of Herringbone stitch worked in cotton perle #5. I then laced it with a hand dyed silk thread that is approximately the same thickness as #5 perle. The next stage in the development of this line of stitches is that I added the valleys some detached chain stitches and straight stitches. To these I added some little flower motifs. They are French knots worked using silk thread which was also hand dyed.
In the photo below I worked a line of Feather stitch then added some small blue beads to the end of each arm before adding the little dragonfly charm. It is a very simple seam decoration and easy for people who are just starting out on crazy quilting all you need to learn is Feather stitch.
This seam that runs diagonally across the block was first covered with nylon lace. I used disperse dyes to hand dye the lace. The base of the lace was covered with a thin commercial braid that has also been dipped in the same dye bath. On one side of this braid I added a row of Detached chain stitches worked in cotton perle #8. The stitches are units of 3 arranged in fan shape. At the base of the fan shape I added a seed bead.
Stitched over the nylon lace on the other side of the braid I added a line of Bullion knots that I wrapped with a Detached chain. The thread is a hand dyed cotton that is the same thickness and perle #5. To tie off the detached chain I used a single Oyster stitch. I completed the motif with two straight stitches either side of the Detached chain wrapped bullion before adding some oval beads.
This article is part of a series that highlight the hand embroidered seams and Crazy Quilt details on my I Dropped the Button Box quilt. The patterns provided in this series are free for personal use. For the rest of the blocks see the list 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. When I converted it to a PDF file 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 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.