Here I am waving frantically as I am excited to be sharing my 2020 Crazy Quilt block 2 today. I loved stitching this hexagon. It is winter in Australia and I think I was dreaming of spring when I pieced this. As regular readers know this hexagon is part of my 2020 project. The aim is make a crazy quilt using 2020 different items by the end of the year 2020. You will find the guidelines and list of resources here When I make references to an item count I am referring to what items on this block are being counted as part of the overall count for the quilt.
Here is the block as it started life, unembellished and looking a bit bare. As you can see I have 6 pieces of fabric, a piece of hand dyed lace and piece of vintage ribbon.
This is the pattern I designed for my 2020 Crazy Quilt block 2. I am happy for people to use it for personal projects but I ask readers to do the right things and give credit or link back here.
As you can see the curved seam between piece 4 and 5 is a bit close to the edge of the hexagon. At the start I was a little worried about it, but it worked out OK in the end. Below is a close detail of the seam. I used one of my favourite stitches Feathered Up and Down Buttonhole stitch worked in one ply of Caron Watercolour #270 thread. In the fork of the stitches I worked a Bullion Knot using the same Caron Watercolour #270 thread. Once they were worked I added a orange oval pearl bead. From the end of these I added 2 small straight stitches using a blue silk thread. Near to these I added 2 plastic beads that are in the shape of butterflies which I counted as 1 item.
I also added some lace to the seam that joins pieces 4 and 5 to pieces 1 and 2. I usually add lace as I piece a block but this time around I decided as I was making it that this lace fitted so well on the block it should live there. So I unpicked the seam a little (about half an inch) and tucked the end of lace into the seam and then secured it with a few small stitches. The other end of the lace went to the edge of the block so the binding took care of that. I added seed beads to the middle of the heart shapes on the lace. Next the leaf like drop shapes in the lace pattern were each secured with a straight stitch worked in the same blue silk thread I used on the seam between piece 4 and 5 . At the top of the heart I used a small red faceted glass bead.
The next fun area to embroider was the little snow drops. I made these using a green rayon thread that proved to be a bit of a nightmare when I attempted to I used it to make the leaves. The stems were created with stem stitch and the thread behaved OK but using it for the long leaves was a challenge!
The leaves are made using a stitch called Open Base Needlewoven Picot. Now, I do have a good few tricks for taming Rayon thread, such as keeping the thread length short, using thread conditioners (beeswax or thread heaven) but by far the easiest is to dampen it, which I did, but I still found weaving with this rayon thread a battle. There was a sigh of relief when I had them done. I added two clear seed beads as dew drops.
The snow drops are made of off white 7mm Silk ribbon stitched over a pearl bead. I have the bead just poking out and to make sure they stayed poking out I added a few French knots at the bottom of each snow drop ‘petal’. I mentioned when writing about block 1 that I wanted to have little hidden items on each block these pearls are my hidden item.
Near the snow drops is a orange tatted butterfly which I secured with some very tiny stitches. Once stitched to the block I decorated with French knots using blue silk thread ( the same used on the rest of the block) and some pearl beads. For the purposes of the 2020 challenge I have counted all the white pearl beads as 1 item even though they are different sizes.
The seam that buts against piece 6 is possibly the most complex on the block. I added a very thin apricot satin ribbon to the base of the lace and used a blue Cotton Perle #5 secured it with Arrowhead stitch Next, I decided to decorate the lace.I picked out the fan shape of the patten by adding 6 fine bullion knots worked in a hand dyed silk thread. I then added French knots in blue silk thread. In the middle I made little bars of Cast on stitch using the same hand dyed silk thread that I has used for the bullion knots. Above this I added a small round green bead that are made of stone so I have counted them as novelty bead. I then added two bugle beads and pink seed beads, these I did not count as I am not counting seed or bugle beads.
On other areas of my 2020 Crazy Quilt block 2 I used my templates to create the curved lines that run across the ribbon that runs beside piece 3. These lines I embroidered using a blue silk thread that is about the thickness of cotton perle #12. Then using 2 strands of cotton floss I added small little detached chain stitches in pairs. At the base I added small seed bead.
The yellow lace butterfly is secured to the block with small stitches and has a yellow bicone bead to give it a little pop. I added 3 buttons and declared the block done!
I said I would share a page spread of my studio journal. When I pieced the block I used double sided tape to secure them to the page. As I stitched I kept a scrap of thread that I used.
As you can see my tracking method is nothing fancy – in fact I will have to take a little more care as while I have been writing this I have corrected my item count twice! I take a photo of the block and print out the photo and make notes accordingly. As you can see at the moment there is rough list of stitches used and I will have to spread sheet this I think – or make a list print it out and cross off stitches as I use them. I am quite surprised how high the block count gets once you start counting stitches and beads!
Count on 2020 crazy quilt block 2
- Fabric: 6
- Ribbon: 2
- Lace: 4
- Buttons: 3
- Novelty beads: 6 Orange oval pearl bead, plastic butterfly shape bead, small red faceted glass bead, white pearl beads, small round stone green bead, yellow bicone bead
- Lace motifs: 2 orange tatted butterfly and yellow lace butterfly.
- Specialty threads : 7 Caron Watercolour #270 thread, blue silk thread about the thickness of cotton perle #12 , green rayon thread, off white 7mm Silk ribbon, hand dyed silk thread about the thickness of cotton perle #12 , Stranded cotton (counted this once only for the whole project) Cotton Perle #5 (also counted once for the whole project)
- Stitches :5 Feathered Up and Down Buttonhole stitch, Bullion Knot French Knot (counted last week) Straight stitch (counted last week) Stem stitch (counted last week) Open Base Needlwoven Picot, Arrowhead stitch, Cast on Stitch, Detached Chain Stitch (counted last week)
Block total 35
Quilt total 65 so far Here is last weeks block 1
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my 2020 Crazy Quilt block 2. Questions and comments are welcome.
How to join in on the 2020 crazy quilt challenge
The aim is make a crazy quilt using 2020 different items by the end of the year 2020. You will find the guidelines and list of resources here
Admins on the big Facebook groups Crazy Quilt Divas and Crazy Quilt International are happy to see people share there work there. So follow the links and join the groups if you are Facebook person. For those who have blogs you can leave your web address in the comments – each week as you progress. Instagram people can use #2020crazyquilt to share progress photos.
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 you how to balance colour, texture and pattern, in order to direct the viewer’s eye around a crazy quilted project. 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.
As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery, I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates, you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily. They are compact in your sewing box.
For more information, see what they look like, find out about the free ebook of patterns visit the information pages in my shop where you can also purchase them.