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How to Make a Crazy Quilt

Let’s talk about crazy!!

When I think of “crazy”, I think of insane, bizarre, jumbled, and erratic.

These words seem to be point-on when first looking at the randomness of a crazy quilt, also known as crazy patchwork.

These crazy quilts have a hodge-podge of different fabrics, irregular shapes, unusual embellishments, along with beautiful embroidery.

However, those who know how to make a crazy quilt know that they are not erratic at all.  The quilts are special treasures, and no two are ever alike.

Why is it called a crazy quilt?

Crazy quilting refers to the textile art of random crazy patchwork. Crazy patchwork is not a kind of quilting, which is the needlework that holds two or more layers of fabric together to make a quilted blanket.

Instead, it refers to a very specific kind of random patchwork that does not have the repeating geometric design that is important in a typical traditional quilt.  

These quilts have irregular shaped pieces of fabrics sewn together, usually scraps left over from other sewing projects or from pieces of clothing. The random pieces often include a combination of silks, tulle, satins and velvets.

Once the random pieces are sewn together, the seams and patches are then outlined with beautiful and heavy embroidery and are embellished with lovely buttons, lace, ribbons and beads. 

When did crazy quilts start?

Although historians are not entirely sure of the exact beginnings of crazy quilts, they do agree that crazy or patchwork quilts were very popular in the late 1800s through to the early 1900s. 

Many believe that these crazy quilts were the result of the English embroidery that was displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. 

At this event, Americans were introduced to British needlework, including the beautiful satin stitches that the English used in embroidery. 

During the Exposition, Japanese decorative art also caught the eye of visitors.  Examples of this Japanese art focused on cracked-glaze pottery.

Around 10 million visited the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition and, inspired by the beautiful needlework and art design, American women began making crazy quilts.

Crazy quilting is gaining popularity now, mostly due to the focus on personal creativity and the use of embellishments.

This page contains many tutorials on how to make crazy quilts or crazy patchwork, including supplies and directions to get started, along with many tutorials specific to the embroidery found on these quilts.

For more information on this quilting technique including crazy quilt books, crazy quilt information, crazy quilting embellishments, and the embroidery stitches used, check out the links below.

Scroll down to learn about creating your own crazy quilt!  You'll find yourself looking for some crazy quilt patterns after that!


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 Crazy Quilting Dazzling Diamonds

Crazy Quilting Dazzling Diamonds #ad

One block at a time, you’ll construct twenty-seven crazy-quilting diamonds on foundation-piecing templates. by Kathy Seaman Shaw - Paperback - Published 2020 Affiliate Link to Amazon

 Stunning Stitches for Crazy Quilts

Stunning Stitches for Crazy Quilts #ad

With 480 embroidered seam designs to inspire your creativity, you'll learn to stitch with uniform spacing for a professional appearance. by Kathy Seaman Shaw - Paperback Affiliate Link to Amazon

 The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design

The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design #ad

Embrace crazy quilting with 35 must-know stitches and endless variations, shown in clear, step-by-step photographs for both right- and left-handed stitchers. by Sharon Boggon - Paperback - Published 2017 Affiliate Link to Amazon

Algerian Eye Stitch

Algerian Eye Stitch

A tutorial showing you how to make the Algerian Eye Stitch, which is also known as the Algerian Eyelet Stitch or the Star Eyelet Stitch. Needlepointers.com

Beginners Guide to Crazy Patchwork Block

Learn how to make a crazy patchwork block with this free tutorial. Felt Magnet

Blanket Stitch

Blanket Stitch

Learn how to do the blanket stitch with this blanket stitch tutorial. It's used as an edging to attach applique designs, finish felt toys and ornaments, decorate crazy quilts and more. Needlepointers.com

Blanket Stitch - Short and Long Blanket Stitch (Video)

Blanket Stitch - Short and Long Blanket Stitch (Video)

Learn how to stitch the short and long blanket stitch which is a variation of the basic blanket stitch. This decorative stitch can be used in crazy quilts and appliqué in addition as a hemstitch on projects. Needlepointers.com

Bullion Knot

Text instructions with photos that clearly teach this stitch that is popular on crazy quilts. Pintangle

Buttonhole Stitch

Learn how to use the buttonhole stitch to make flowers, wheels and circles. Kreink

Caron Online Crazy Quilt Tutorial

Learn the materials needed, how to start and how to embroidery with this online tutorial. Caron Collection

Chain Stitch (Video)

Chain Stitch (Video)

This video is on how to hand embroider a chain stitch. The chain stitch is a series of loops joined together to form a chain. A Chain stitch is used as a decorative outline stitch. Needlepointers.com

Chevron Stitch (Video)

Chevron Stitch (Video)

This video will show you how to embroider the Chevron stitch. The Chevron stitch is worked on two parallel lines and it is a beautiful decorative stitch which is ideal for borders. Needlepointers.com

Crazy Patch Stitches

This site 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. Caron Collection

Crazy Patchwork Block

Here are instructions for making the crazy patchwork block. This method is a very simple and easy way. Bella Online

Crazy Patchwork Tutorial

A crazy quilting tutorial starts here. Carli The Quilter

Crazy Quilt Embroidery School - Lesson Four

This is a beautiful design made from several easy stitches - Herringbone stitch, Straight stitch, Lazy daisy stitch, French knot. Allison Dey

Crazy Quilt Embroidery School - Lesson One

This series comes with a free downloadable sampler pattern to work on. Lesson one is the long and short blanket stitch and the straight stitch and chain stitch. Allison Dey

Crazy Quilt Embroidery School - Lesson Three

The Cretan stitch and the lazy daisy stitch are combined in this lesson. Allison Dey

Crazy Quilt Embroidery School - Lesson Two

In the second lesson learn how to embroider a seam with the Feather stitch, Straight stitch, French knot or the Chevron stitch. Allison Dey

Crazy Quilt Embroidery Stitches

Information on the type of stitches used on crazy quilts and examples of combination stitches. Crazy Quilt Studio

Crazy Quilt History: A Victorian Craze

Learn the history of crazy quilting. Womenfolk.com

Crazy Quilt Seams

A tutorial on how to hand embroider crazy quilt seams. Pintangle

Crazy Quilt Stitches

Instructions and diagram on crazy quilt stitches. Block Crazy

Crazy Quilting

How to sew crazy quilting - fabric, surface embellishment and finishing touches. Threads Magazine

Crazy Quilting - Start to Finish

Here is a look at the entire process of crazy quilting. Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

Crazy Quilting Basics

An Overview of Crazy Quilting /Crazy Patchwork. Crazy Quilt Studio

Easy Crazy Quilt Block

A step-by-step instructional tutorial on how to sew a crazy quilt block. By Abby Holverson at Instructables

Embellishments

A sampler with crazy quilt embellishment ideas. Crazy Quilt Studio

Embellishments - Ribbon Embroidery

Ribbon embroidery is a fabulous technique for embellishing crazy quilts and patchwork. Needlepointers.com has lots of links on this technique. Needlepointers.com

Feather Stitch (Video)

Feather Stitch (Video)

How to do the feather stitch. This is a hand-embroidery decorative stitch which creates a vine or branch looking line. Needlepointers.com

Fern Stitch

Pictures and written instructions for the fern stitch. This stitch is used to create an open, lacy stitch along a straight or curved line frequently seen in crazy quilts. About.com Embroidery

Free Crazy Quilt Blocks and Projects

For free crazy quilt projects, patterns and blocks, click on the link above to go to our page with lots of free stuff on crazy quilt. Needlepointers.com

French Knot (Video)

French Knot (Video)

A tutorial on how to do the French knot. Needlepointers.com

Herringbone Stitch (Video)

Herringbone Stitch (Video)

This video will show how to stitch the herringbone stitch. The herringbone stitch is a popular embroidery stitch often used for borders.

History of Crazy Quilts

Learn the history of the wonderful Victorian pastime, crazy quilting. Caron Collection

History of the Crazy Quilt

Interest in crazy quilts? Learn about them in this article. All People Quilt

How to Machine Piece Crazy Quilts

These directions show sewing and piecing crazy quilt technique with a sewing machine. Crazy Quilt Studio

How to Make a Crazy Quilt – Ultimate Guide

Creating Crazy Quilt Patterns, Stitches, & More. Quilting Daily

Modern Crazy Quilt Pattern

Grab the scrap bin and get ready for some crazy quilting. The Spruce Crafts

Patchwork Crazy Quilt Embellishment Ideas

This article is a beginner's guide for learning how to embellish crazy patchwork quilts. Felt Magnet

Quick Quilt Using Crazy Quilt Paper

Learn how to make a crazy quilt paper block with a modern twist with this tutorial. Brown Bird Designs Quilts

Solving Crazy Patchwork Piecing Problems

Instructions and photo on solving problems such as long seam, corners and fabric problems. Crazy Quilt Studio

Vintage Crazy Quilt Embroidery Patterns

In 1884 Mary Haehnlen wrote A Book of Fancy Designs for Ornamenting Oriental Work. It’s a little gem because it is full of vintage Crazy Quilt embroidery patterns. Download the free eBook. Pintangle





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