Crazy Quilting Sampler, Part 2: Embellishments and Embroidery

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

Hey, crazy quilters, ready for the next step of our little samplers?! This is where the ‘sampler’ part comes in – and why I love this project so much: the combination of patchwork and embroidery in crazy quilting is 100% of the appeal to me. I don’t have to choose between these two crafts that I love, and I get to try out all kind of fun embroidery stitching.

Above you can see my finished 13″-ish block. I love it so dang much! Now we’ll do a little prep before starting embellishing. I happen to have a 12.5″ square ruler, which is terribly convenient, so I’ve used that to mark my block for the next step. But you can use a straight ruler and mark out each side separately.

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

With a removable fabric pen of some type (I used a Frixion pen), mark out whatever you want your finished size and shape to be. This line is where you will sew later, whether you choose to add it to other blocks or make a pillow or bind it for a little wall-hanging. It doesn’t make any difference what shape or size you end up with, as long as it makes you happy.

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

Sew all the way around your block, just a touch outside that line, somewhere under 1/4″. The sewn line will stop your outer fabrics from flapping around in your way as you work. The drawn line gives you a stopping warning for your embroidery stitching. This way you can wait until later to trim your block nice and neat (it’s sure to fray a little as you work) but won’t risk slicing through any embroidery when you do. Try to just cross the drawn line with your embroidery, but not the sewn line.

Now gather up a pile of embellishments of whatever type strikes your fancy:

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

I have threads (size 16 perle cotton, ’cause it’s my current favorite), ribbons and lace. You might use regular stranded embroidery floss, beads, ricrac, applique bits – anything! These will continue to add to the design of your block – maybe create dramatic borders between each patch, or maybe add subtle embellishment to a high-contrast block. Whatever you feel it needs can be added now.

(Note: you could also have added lace – one of you added pompom ribbon! – into the seams in the previous step, for future reference. Honestly, I didn’t think of it earlier, but I do like that this way lets me apply it in fun ways if I like.)

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

I added a few bits along or over seams, simply by sewing them down close to the edge with a matching thread. I chose to do those on seams that ran off the edge of my piece, if that makes sense. It saved me having to tuck ends under (which is the benefit to embellishing into seams in the first place, I have to admit).

Now let’s start stitching. Basically, we’re going to cover each seam with some sort of stitching – and preferably something different on each one, making it a proper sampler. I’ll show you how to do a few, which are inspired by examples on my Crazy Quilting Pinterest Board, but don’t feel like you have to follow these. Be creative, get crazy and stitch whatever you think of!

Most crazy quilting stitches look complex, but are just combination stitches made up of the most basic embroidery stitches in creative ways. Let’s do one of the most common – herringbone stitch:

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

Herringbone stitch is often used as the only stitch in a crazy quilt over every seam. It’s fast and easy: just work long diagonal stitches across the seam, crossing each stitch over the end of the previous. (There’s a more detailed tutorial of herringbone stitch right here if that’s not clear.)

I added little french knots along either side, ’cause why not?

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

You could also stick some little lazy daisies there, or maybe little cross-stitches. Or just leave it simple, whatever you want!

On my next lace seam, I made a pretty little row of simple star stitches:

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

In that photo, from left to right, you’ll see: one completed star, then the three steps that make up each star. First make a cross stitch (over the seam), then add a horizontal bar, then a vertical. Easy-peasy, and don’t they look pretty all in a row?

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

Ok, let’s get a little more fancy, shall we? I’m sure you’ve all done some blanket stitch, right? Add blanket stitch over a seam, alternating long and short stitches:

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

Now go back to the beginning and add little lazy daisy (aka detached chain stitch) blossoms to the shorter stitches:

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

And lastly, let’s stick a neat line of large cross-stitches over another seam. These are so simple and fun!

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

That’s all for this week – here’s where my block is at:

Crazy Quilting Sampler - Part 2

(Click through to see a bigger version for more detail.) I’m having so much fun, it’s really addictive! I will show you a few more stitches next Monday, but I have to warn you, after that you’ll be on your own and I fully expect you to come up with some really creative stitching! It doesn’t have to be complicated, just use whatever you know and go for it!

3 Comments on Crazy Quilting Sampler, Part 2: Embellishments and Embroidery

  1. Melizza
    August 18, 2014 at 16:04 (2 months ago)

    All that. All that blows my mind. I really hope I can one day slow myself down enough to really get a handle on hand stitching and quilting.

    So lovely!

    Reply
  2. Karen
    August 18, 2014 at 16:38 (2 months ago)

    Woohoo!! I love it!
    I’m seriously struggling with today’s to-do list (please don’t even mention zips – I may actually explode) but this is going straight to the top of tomorrow’s list! Pretty, pretty, pretty!!
    xxxx

    Reply
  3. Penny
    August 19, 2014 at 23:48 (2 months ago)

    I just love that blanket stitch with the little lazy daisy – going to do a bucket full of them! Having a go at all those you’ve described so far. Yet another project that I didn’t quite expect to love so much – thank you!

    Reply

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