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Leslie Levison's

"Crazy Quilt Patchwork Block" Online Class

 Part II
Click here if you missed Part I


More Stitch Diagrams

Cretan Stitch

Guess what? A-B-C!! A comes up below the seam, B is above the seam, and anywhere from 1/4" to 1/2" to the right of A. C is directly below B. This may look like the buttonhole stitch ­ the difference is that C is about 1/8" above the seam. The second part of the stitch is worked from below the seam. The needle always points toward the seam but does not come out at the seam. The thread is always under the needle. After you've done a few, it will look like a wishbone. Since this stitch creates a lot of legs and negative space, it is ideal for adding straight stitch trios or lazy daisy stitches. (A lazy daisy is a single chain.)

Variations include working a second row in another color over the first row, weaving a strand of Rachel through it, or working it in a leaf pattern.

On the sample the cretan stitch was worked over a leaf print in Watercolours, woven with turquoise Rachel, and tipped with single beads.


Herringbone Stitch

A-B-C. Note that B-C is a backstitch. The herringbone is actually just an elongated cross-stitch. The working thread is just kept out of the way. Once you bring the thread through at C, make a backstitch at D-E. This stitch goes rather quickly. A pretty addition is a small "+" done in another color over the "x" part of the stitch, as shown. On the sample, there is a herringbone done in Watercolours, the "+" is done in Wildflowers, and a lazy daisy tops it.

Chevron Stitch

Chevron stitch is difficult to illustrate and so probably is not as popular as it should be. It's A-B-C again, with B-C as a small backstitch. Push the working thread out of the way, and take another small backstitch from D-E. (Note: E should come out right next to B) Swing down diagonally and take a small backstitch from F-G. I thought that was already too many letters to keep track of so I'm going to cheat a little. The stitch you just made from F-G was the same as B-C, only now you are on the "down" side. So just repeat the D-E stitch, next to the F-G stitch. You can call it H-I if it makes you happy. What you end up with is a large zig-zag stitch with the ends of the Z-Z covered with a straight stitch. You can see this on the sample worked in Wildflowers with turquoise straight stitches crowning it. The fuzzy looking white things on the other side of the chevron are bullion stitches worked in Snow, which we'll get to in a minute.

French Knot

Bring your needle up at A. Wrap the thread around the needle (close to the fabric) 3-4 times. Generally the thicker the thread, the less wraps. Hold on to your working thread and pivot the needle so that you can insert B right next to A. Hold on to the working thread until you have to let go. This is the key to a perfect French Knot. If you let go too soon, your knot will go "boing". If I was computer savvy enough, I guess I could have had a sound effect there for your entertainment. Do 10 of them to really get the hang of it. My current favorite thing to do with FK's is this: chain stitch in an "S" curve, then do FK's on either side of the chain, as shown on the sample.

Bullion Stitch

Perfect bullion escaped me for years until I discovered the importance of holding on to the coils! This stitch calls for a milliner's needle. A-B-C. Do not bring the needle all the way through. Just let it sit in the fabric as the illustration. Wrap the working thread around the needle enough times to equal the distance between B and C. In other words, you want your stitch to cover the distance taken up by the needle in the fabric. Wrap it firmly but not overly tight. Hold on to the coil of thread on your needle, and pull your needle through the coil. Before you take the needle back down at B, check to make sure the coils are lined up and behaving themselves. Sometimes the "lead" coil ends up at the back of the line ­ just nudge it toward the front of the coil so that they all lay smooth. Now take the needle down at B and you have just made a bullion stitch. As mentioned before, this looks very cool in Snow. On the sample showing the same stitches in various threads, notice the overlapping lines of bullion stitch. I love the texture created for stems.

Palestrina Knot

I first saw this stitch in Jacqueline Entoven's "Stitches with Variations". It is not easy to master, but it will click eventually. A-B-C. The needle is under the thread. This creates what I call a "bridge" stitch. Slide your needle down under the bridge stitch. The needle will come out on the left side of the stitch. Now slide your needle under the bridge stitch again, this time on the right-hand side, with the needle coming over the thread. Pull gently to form the knot. Move down the seam a little (1/8" to1/4") and insert the needle at D and come up at E. This creates another bridge stitch. Continue as in the first stitch. Practice this on a short seam first. It has the appearance of a crochet edge. It is best worked in Watercolours, Impressions, or 2 strands of Wildflowers. Once you get the hang of it, try it in Snow.


Making a Quilt

  • Remember that we marked the blocks with the cut size of 12"? When you have completed your embroidery and embellishment, remeasure your blocks. They are not all the same measurement are they?
  • If at this point you wish to make more blocks, you have a reference for the initial muslin size.
  • Make a plastic template for the finished size of your block. A starting size of 12" x 12" will probably yield a finished sewn block of 11" x 11", although it could vary according to how much embroidery you have done and how much tension you work with (in your hand).
  • On the muslin side of your block, trace the finished size template with pencil. This will be your sewing line.
  • By hand or machine, sew your blocks in an arrangement that is pleasing to you. At this point you may wish to add additional embroidery over the adjoining seams.
  • It is not necesssary to use batting in a crazy quilt.
  • Baste the quilt top to a backing fabric.
  • Bind the quilt and remove all basting threads. If the quilt is particularly heavy, you should tie the quilt to the backing with pearl cotton .

  • For more information about Leslie Levison's classes (listed below) please contact her at: Tatmermaid@aol.com

    Dragonflies and Bellydancers - Introduction to Crazy Quilts, stitches and beadwork.

    When the Stitch Hits the Fan - Additional stitches, intro to ribbon flowers, beaded wire flowers, and Brazillian embroidery techniques.

    Patience is a Virtue - Concentrates on large embroidery and beadwork motifs.

    Step into My Parlor - Finishing techniques for Crazy Quilts

    The Tattooed Mermaid - 45-minute Trunk show featuring 15 Quilts and accompanying stories

    Time for a Garage Sale - What happens when your fabrics stop speaking to you? Features 3 crazy quilts and 10 sketches in patchwork.

    COPYRIGHT NOTICE: No part of these instructions nor the included designs/charts can be reproduced or distributed in any form (including electronic) or used as a teaching tool without the prior written permission of Leslie Levison. One time reproduction privileges provided to our web site visitors for and limited to personal use only.


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