This is how the block started out. As I have said before, an unembellished block and finished block looks totally different. As you work a block it changes and many beginners get very concerned about how their block starts out. They worry about balancing tones -r tonal value without enough contrast, or puckered seams and so on. I will let you into a secret, in crazy quilting the embellishments and embroidery add another layer of visual interest this means you can correct and balance things as you stitch. If there are not enough tonal values in the fabrics introduce them when you add other things like lace. Or use highly contrasting threads and laces etc. Anyway, that is my tip. Here is my 2020 quilt block 15, unembellished for all to see.
The pattern for block 15
Feel free to use the basic pattern of my 2020 challenge Block 15 if it appeals to you. My hexagons have 4-inch sides and measure 8 inches across from point-to-point, but you can use this pattern for other sized hexagons too.
The 2020 challenge item count
The aim of the 2020 challenge is to use 2,020 different items on a quilt by the end of the year 2020. Items that are the same can be used twice on the quilt but must only be counted once. A counted ‘item’ can be material lace ribbon etc, an object (such as buttons beads etc), an embroidery technique (thread painting, Brazilian embroidery, ribbon embroidery etc) or a type of stitch (eg herringbone stitch). Seed beads, bugle beads, and regular perle #8 and perle #5 thread are not counted. To find out more about the challenge, you will find the guidelines and list of resources here
The item tally from previous blocks is 392
- Fabrics: 5
- Lace ribbon and braids: 2
- Lace motifs: 3
- Thread: 4 shades and thickness of copper metallic thread
- Silk Ribbon: 3
- Buttons: 8
- Beads and Sequins: 4 beads
- Charms: 3
- Stitches: 3
Total 35 items on my 2020 challenge block 15
2020 challenge block 15 brings the total of items used to date to 427!
If you are wondering how I keep track of these items I use my studio journal. If you need an organisational tool Janis Stoker of Journeys With Janis has created a PDF printable to help you keep track of what you use in the 2020 challenge. Janis has generously offered to share it and share it with you all! If you can use it for the challenge please do so – you can download this printable here. No strings attached – no email required or anything like that. I would like to thank Janis for making this handy tracking sheet available to the community.
Details of the stitching
As usual in this series links lead to tutorials for the stitches. The first detail I want to share from 2020 quilt block 15 is the side of the block with the button cluster. Beside it is a seam covered with hand dyed lace. I threaded a fine metallic braid thread through holes in the base of the lace. Along the side of the seam, I worked quarter buttonhole wheels in a Caron watercolour thread. The seam below the button cluster has a foundation row of chevron stitch worked in cotton perle #5 thread. I further decorated the seam with detached chain stitches and straight stitches worked in a different metallic thread.
In this detail, you can see how I worked feather stitch in both silk ribbon and cotton perle #5. In the forks of the stitch, I tucked bullion knots and detached chain stitches. For the middle of hand-dyed lace motif I placed a button secured with a bead. The greenish flower motifs were also secured with beads.
On the right side of the block, I followed the print a little when I added small lace flowers that have been secured with a metallic thread. The lower seam was covered with a greenish aqua braid then I added some disk like beads. They are cheap nasty costuming beads but they worked so I included them!
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.