Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

Stitching Crazy Patch Seams
by Betty Pillsbury
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

1. Triple feather stitch using Wildflowers (089 - Caribbean). Add straight stitches in 4 mm silk ribbon. Sew on small pearls.

2. Triple feather stitch using Wildflowers (089 - Caribbean). Add lazy daisy stitches in Soie Cristale (3061).

3. Triple feather stitch in Rachelette (A-3). Add French knots in Watercolours (011 - Pebbles).

4. Triple feather stitch in Watercolours (011 - Pebbles). Add seed beads.

Herringbone Stitch

1. Herringbone done in 2 strands Soie Cristale (7041). Note how the same stitch takes on a different look simply by placing the stitches closer together.

2. Work one row of herringbone in 1 strand of Impressions (1092 ­ Lavender)
Work an alternating row of herringbone on top of the previously worked row with 2 strands Waterlilies (124 - Sunglow). Add seed beads where stitches intersect.

3. Herringbone in Watercolours (085 - Antique Brass). Straight stitch on top of herringbone with 2 strands Waterlilies (124- Sunglow) This is known as tied herringbone.

Cretan Stitch

1. Cretan in 2 strands Soie Cristale (3061). Note how the stitch looks different depending on how close you place the stitches.

2. Cretan stitch (with the top stitch worked much longer) in Wildflowers (041 - Blueberry). Add lazy daisies in Waterlilies (089 ­ Caribbean).

3. Cretan stitch in Wildflowers (124- Sunglow). Work another row of alternating cretan stitch on top of previous row.

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.

Be sure to come back for more variations in Part II next month

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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