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
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.
5. Triple feather stitch in 1 strand Soie Cristale (3061).
6. Triple feather stitch (mirror image) in 4 strands of Waterlilies
7. Triple feather stitch (upside down) in Wildflower (041
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).
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.
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
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
Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA)
Victorian Society of America
American Sewing Guild
Numerous Quilt and Embroidery Guilds
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:
Miniature Quilt Magazine
Norsk Quiltblad (magazine of the Quilt Guild in Norway)
Crazy Quilt Society Newsletter
Crazy Ladies Gazette
12617 S. 32nd Street
Omaha, NE 68123 (until June, 2001. Thereafter she will have a
E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org