Crazy Quilt block 84 is a softer coloured block in pastel tones. The I dropped the Button Box quilt has blocks arranged in colour toned diagonal bands – you can see the quilt here
I like this block even though I am not really pastel sort of person. There are a couple of really fun seam embellishments on this block and as charms go one of my all time favourites are on this block are the miniature baby shoes.
- Piece 1: Quilters cotton
- Piece 2: Cotton
- Piece 3: Synthetic soft furnishing fabric
- Piece 4: Cotton
- Piece 5: Cotton
- Piece 6: Synthetic soft furnishing fabric
- Piece 7: Cotton
When I made this quilt my challenge was to use 2001 unique pieces of fabric, lace, braids, charms, buttons or ribbons as it is a Y2K quilt. The on going item count list below represents the items documented to date in this series of articles.
- Fabric: 7
- Lace, braid and ribbon:3
- Buttons and charms: 7
- Total items on this block: 17
- Total tally of items on the quilt so far: 1594
The pattern for crazy quilt block 84
And here is the free pattern!
The hand embroidered seams on Crazy Quilt Block 84
This is one of my favourite things that are on the quilt. These two little charms of baby shoes, always make me smile. Look again at the full block. Can you see them? The block is a 6 inch block. The baby shoes are really tiny at about one eighth of an inch long. You can see how small they are compared to the seed and bugle beads. Lots of people never spot them but when someone does they usually go OH…. and that makes me smile. The glass button they are next to is vintage.
As we are talking of buttons the cluster of buttons is made up of modern plastic and the metal heart button is repro. The colours sat well on the block.
The next stitching detail (below) is a very simple treatment that runs along side some vintage lace. Using perle cotton #8, I worked 3 detached chain stitches in a fan formation so they look like half daises. At the base I added a small pearl bead.
On the lace itself I added some seed beads. Normally I would not cut up such old lace. But this lace I found in junk shop in Oxford, England. I was browsing the store when I spotted a roll of lace. Someone had wound pieces of lace on to the broom handle and slipped a pin into each piece to secure it. The roll was about 4 inches thick and the pins had 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 and what I could see. However since the pins had rusted, there was no real way of knowing what was 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. Not only was the lace short but removing each piece was likely to be a challenge. She offered them to me for a couple of pounds and I jumped at it.
I don’t like cutting into vintage lace for crazy quilting but damaged or stained lace I think is fine to use for crazy quilting. I think these 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. Unfortunately they were all badly damaged. The use of numerous pins to secure each piece had caused rust and mould had also caused stains. What was worse the samples were often torn. I dyed the badly rust stained, repaired what was worth repairing. Basically I reclaimed what I could and made something of it.
I have used many of these laces on this quilt and they 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. Also many were too small to use on larger blocks.
The next seam was covered with some braid and some very small vintage beads found on the same trip to England. The edge of the braid is a fly stitch variation worked in cotton perle # 8.
The seam between patch 1 and patch 2 is worked with a line of herringbone using perle #5 cotton. I then added seed and bugle beads.
My next seam decoration was a mistake! I was working Alternating bullion buttonhole which is a version of alternating buttonhole where the arms that alternate are bullion stitches. You can take a look at bullion buttonhole. I was aiming for an alternating feather stitch like version but started working my bullions away from the center line rather than pointing my needle to the middle. This meant that the thread half wrapped itself around the bullion producing an extra loop. I realised within a few stitches what I had done but kept going as I liked it.
This seam decoration is a very simple embellishment that even beginners can work. I worked a line of running stitches following the seam. I did not pull them too tight as I knew I wanted to lace through them. I used a knitting ribbon yarn and woven it under the running stitches. I then added 3 straight stitches in the dips created by the yarn. I used a hand dyed cotton perle #8.
The hand embroidery along side patch 3 is a line of Palestrina stitch worked very wide so you can see the bars of the stitch. In between the bars I added a detached chain stitch. This is a hand dyed silk thread.
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 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.