Welcome to my Diamonds are Forever Crazy quilt stitch along. Block 1 is the start of our journey together. I hope you enjoy it as much as I think you will. This is the first block of three diamonds.
You can download the pattern for the diamonds. Here is light tone diamond 1, mid tone diamond 2, dark tone diamond 3. The pdf file is to scale, but it has no seam allowances. (If I added the seam allowances I would not have fitted the block easily on an A4 page.) Be sure to set your printer to print to the actual size. Do not use the ‘fit to page ‘ option as it will reduce the diamonds by half an inch or so. When you print them out, they should have 6-inch sides. I advise you to use Acrobat as a PDF reader (its free).
A few tips before starting the Diamonds are forever Crazy quilt stitch along
Remember there are no rules in Crazy Quilting! As trad techniques go, crazy quilting is a remarkably easygoing, freeform style.
You can paper-piece the block or just roughly follow the pattern and use the sew-and-flip method. When embellishing, you can follow what I have done, or adapt my ideas to your liking. Embellish the blocks as you see fit and have fun. That is the key — to relax and enjoy yourself. Along the way, I will give loads of tips but they are just my way of doing things — you may meet other crazy quilters who have developed different ways of working. Different is OK! Crazy quilting celebrates invention and creativity. Crazy quilters constantly adapt or take an idea and turn it into something else. That is part of the joy of crazy quilting.
Links in the article go to stitch tutorials here on Pintangle, but in some cases, information about a stitch or technique will be in my books. The quilt is on the front of two of my books: The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design and my new book Crazy Quilting for Beginners Handy Pocket Guide. You do not need my books to join in on this stitch along but I strongly recommend that you have at least the pocket guide, if not the full Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design.
I recommend you have some scrap cloth to test stitches and threads. Just work an inch or so to find out how things behave before working them on your block.
Ok, here we go… On with the Diamonds are forever Crazy quilt stitch along for 2023!
Stitching details about the light-toned diamond block
The light-toned diamond has a huge spray of silk ribbon flowers that tumbles over pieces of fabric. On the PDF pattern sheet, you will see some dotted circles that situate the silk ribbon roses on the block. If you want to explore creating something similar on your block, the larger circles are to represent the 3 large purple roses which were made using a Woven rose stitch using 7mm silk ribbon. This stitch is on page 135 of my book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design.
The smaller roses are Fargo roses. You will find a tutorial on how to work them here The stems are feather stitch worked in 2 mm silk. In between the feather stitches, I have tucked Leaf stitches using 7mm silk ribbon (page 133 of my book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design). At the top and bottom of the spray, you will see some Tulip Stitch or Slipped Detached Chain Stitch worked in a pale green silk thread. I also sprinkled around many French Knots.
In amongst the Foliage
In amongst the foliage, I added many pale yellow seed beads alongside little purple 5-petal flowers that are plastic beads. They look quite cute —as you can see they are only about twice to three times the size of seed beads.
You do not have to repeat these stitches, as other stitches that would work in this floral spray are Raised Cross Stitch Flower Stitch, and Woven Cross Stitch make great small flowers, particularly if you use silk ribbon. Another stitch you could incorporate is Whipped wheel stitch. A silk ribbon flower that would substitute for the silk ribbon roses is a 5-pointed flower. I have a tutorial for a 5 pointed flower here.
The Floral Spray
To the side of the floral spray, on the seam between pattern piece 1 and piece 2, I embellished a line of Chevron stitch using the same hand movements as the threading in Laced Herringbone Stitch. The lacing thread is actually a knitting yarn I sell in my Thread Twisties in the Pintangle shop. Tucked in the V of the Chevron stitches, worked in white rayon thread is a detached chain stitch between 2 straight stitches. I finished these off with a seed bead at the base.
Between pieces 4 and 3, I embellished the seam with tied herringbone. You will find directions for this on page 107 of my book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design. I used a hand-dyed cotton perle thread #5. The flowers are actually sequins with a seed bead in the middle to secure them. I worked the straight stitches in a white rayon thread.
Piece 2 and 5 has the seam embellished with barred chain stitch worked using the same kitting yarn with which I laced the chevron stitch. On the arms of the barred chain, I added a little white flower-shaped bead secured with a seed bead.
The next seam down in the photograph is the seam between pieces 5 and 6. The curved lines were marked out using my stitcher’s templates that I sell in the shop. I worked the lines in Chain stitch using a hand-dyed cotton perle #8. The heart-shaped beads are plastic and between the V created by two straight stitches, I used a bugle bead.
Stitching details about the mid-toned diamond block
This mid-tone diamond block is actually very dark! It works on the quilt but I have only just now realised how dark it actually is. Against the dark block, it does sit back a bit so, as with everything in Crazy quilting, if it works it’s OK. The paisley patterns fabrics are from men’s ties. In fact, in this whole quilt there are only paisley patterned fabrics and many of them came from men’s ties!
The large curved seam between piece 1 and piece 2 is embellished with a feather stitch variation in a #5 perle thread. I added the flower-shaped plastic beads and seed beads after working the feather stitches.
Piece 1 and piece 4 dark blue lace with gold seed beads. On piece 4 I used a hand-dyed square of lace and further embellished with seed beads.
Pieces 2 and 3 have clusters of roses worked along the seam. Each cluster uses Fargo Roses and Leaf stitch (page 133 of my book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design). I marked out the line of stitching behind the clusters using one of my templates and then worked it using whipped chain stitch. I worked the chain stitch in cotton perle #5 and the whipping thread was black yarn that had a metallic thread twisted through it.
The seam between piece 5 and 3 was really easy, as I simply covered it with a braid, then added some blue seed beads. I hand-dyed the blue lace bow motif with Procion dyes and stitched it on before adding seed beads. I added the vintage button last.
Stitching details about the Dark diamond block
The dark-toned block is possibly the easiest of the three to reproduce if you want to. There are 4 pieces of fabric on the block. Between pieces 2 and 4, I simply stitched a braid onto the block using very small stitches. I then added units of 3 detached chain stitches in green #8 cotton perle thread. At the base, I added a gold bead.
I covered the other seams with Alternating Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch worked in hand-dyed silk thread. The curved lines come from my templates. The roses are once again Fargo Roses. Between the V-shapes before adding a gold seed bead, I worked 2 straight stitches in a red metallic thread. The stitches married with the paisley pattern. The fabric came from a man’s tie.
I hope you enjoy stitching these blocks. Once again, you can download the pattern for the blocks, here is light tone diamond 1, mid tone diamond 2, dark tone diamond 3. The blocks are to scale but have no seam allowances. February 9 will be the next block of the month.
Have you seen my stitchers templates?
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 use in your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, and totally clear so you can position them easily. Oh, and they are compact so they fit neatly in your sewing box. Designed by a stitcher for stitchers.
To see what they look like, find out about the free ebook of patterns that come with them visit the information pages. You can find out more about both sets by simply going to our Pintangle shop.
Have Pintangle delivered to your inbox
You can have Pintangle delivered to your inbox by using the subscribe feature in the sidebar. Enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you say yes and you are all set
If you are on a mobile or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the subscribe feature.