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Stitching Crazy Patch Seams
by Betty Pillsbury
Part II (Click here for Part I)

Click here to learn about About Betty Pillsbury

Crazy quilting involves randomly piecing fabrics to a foundation and then applying lots of embellishment. Traditionally, every seam would have a stitch. During the Victorian era, crazy quilts were extremely popular and competition arose amongst stitchers to see how many stitch variations could be accomplished on a quilt.

I have taken the three most used stitches of crazy quilting - feather, herringbone and cretan, and showed the variety that can be achieved using different Caron threads. Also note how a stitch can take on a different look by simply adjusting the spacing of the stitch. I encourage each stitcher to experiment with all the Caron Collection threads and enjoy crazy quilt embellishment.

Feather Stitch

5. Triple feather stitch in 1 strand Soie Cristale (3061).

6. Triple feather stitch (mirror image) in 4 strands of Waterlilies (124 Sunglow).

7. Triple feather stitch (upside down) in Wildflower (041 Blueberry).

Herringbone Stitch

4. Herringbone in Rachel (B-1607). Straight stitches and lazy daisies in 2 strands Waterlilies (124 Sunglow).

5. Herringbone done irregularly. Work the middle stitch higher. Done in 1 strand Watercolours (011 Pebbles).

6. Twisted herringbone in 2 strands Soie Cristale (3061). To twist herringbone: start herringbone as usual by taking a small bite of the fabric. Before going on to the next portion of the stitch, slip needle under stitch from right to left (do not go through the fabric). Continue on to the next part of the herringbone stitch. This allows the thread
to wrap around itself, giving it the twisted look.

7. Three rows of herringbone in Wildflowers (089 Caribbean).

Cretan Stitch

4. Cretan stitch in Rachelette (A-3). Add gold bugle beads.

5. 2 rows of cretan stitch in 2 strands of Waterlilies (124 Sunglow)

6. Cretan stitch in 1 strand Soie Cristale (7041). Note how this cretan stitch is worked in an even line rather than an alternating above and below the seam line manner.

7. Cretan in 1 strand Watercolours (085 Antique Brass).

Note: To stitch the variations above, you may of course substitute threads of your own choice. Thread numbers given above, are simply to identify those that Betty selected.


Betty Pillsbury
email to:flyingneedle@webtv.net


About Betty Pillsbury

Betty Pillsbury is a textile artist, instructor and lecturer. Her award-winning work has appeared in numerous publications and galleries throughout the U.S. Betty's goal as a teacher is to inspire creativity in her students by providing an understanding of the basics while encouraging individual interpretation. She states, "Excellent craftsmanship and artistry must blend for the most satisfactory outcome."

Although crazy quilting is Betty's biggest passion, she has engaged in many other forms of needlework. She holds a deep appreciation of the history of needlework and for the women who stitched. Betty researches many of the techniques she practices. Teaching affords her the rewarding opportunity to share her fervor and knowledge, as well as act as the catalyst that will spark creativity in others.

Betty is a conrtibutor to the premier issue of the brand new magazine, Quilting Arts. In the current issue she writes about "The Enduring Allure of Cigarette Silks."

Some upcoming classes Betty will be teaching include: Crazy Quilt Ornament for an EGA Retreat, a class in painting velvet and stitching with chenille for a group in Kansas City, Beginning Crazy Quilting for a quilt guild, Crazy Quilting at the John C. Campbell Folk School, an Artisan Sale in Kansas City, and Color and Design in Crazy Quilting for an EGA group in San Francisco.


Dan, Betty's husband, has just spent 20 years in the Air Force and will become a civilian in July. Betty and he will then be moving back to their home state of New York, where she plans to open up a studio for classes in her new home.

Betty's previous teaching venues include:
Crazy Quilt Conference
John C. Campbell Folk School
Silver Threads
Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA)
Victorian Society of America
American Sewing Guild
Numerous Quilt and Embroidery Guilds

Bettys'Awards include:
EGA's Educators' Award of Excellence
Scholarship to EGA Extended Studies
Mniature Quilts Winner
Sew Beautiful Talent Search
Victorian Pleasures Crazy Quilt Winner
Over 140 Prize Ribbons for Needlework

Exhibits of Betty's work have included:
The White House
The National Museum of Women in the Arts
American Quilters' Society Crazy Quilt Exhibit
EGA National Gallery
Crazy Quilt Conference Exhibit
Miniature Quilts Traveling Exhibit
Quilter's Newsletter Magazine Primedia Exhibit

Publications in which Betty's work and/or articles have appeared:
Quilting Arts
Miniature Quilt Magazine
Norsk Quiltblad
(magazine of the Quilt Guild in Norway)
The Guide
Crazy Quilt Society Newsletter
Crazy Ladies Gazette

Betty Pillsbury
12617 S. 32nd Street
Omaha, NE 68123 (until June, 2001. Thereafter she will have a NY address)

E Mail: flyingneedle@webtv.net
Website: http://community.webtv.net/flyingneedle/CrazyQuilts

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