Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Welcome to the Romantic Crazy Quilt Cuff class!

I hope you will enjoy exploring and combing the time worn traditions of quilting, embroidery, and beading, along with making unique handmade embellishments to create a soft sculpted romantic cuff that is sure to be a unique accessory to add to your wardrobe.
(Sample of an antique velvet and silk crazy quilt)

The foundation of the cuff we will be creating is referred to as "cray quilting".  This term is applied to the textile art of crazy patchwork that lacks repeating motifs of traditional quilts.  Crazy quilting does not actually refer to a specific kind of quilting in which the needlework binds two or more layers of fabric together, as a crazy quilt rarely has the internal layer of batting that is part of what defines quilting as a textile technique.
Regular patchwork combines pieces of fabric that make a patterned or regular design, but crazy patchwork uses irregular pieces of fabric without a set pattern or design on a foundation of fabric or paper.  This creates haphazard-looking design.  The patches of fabric and the seams are usually heavily embellished with embroidery.
Crazy quilts differ from "regular" quilts in other ways as well.  Because there is less emphasis on the design of the quilt, the quilter is able to employ much smaller and more irregularly-shaped pieces of fabric.  In comparison with standard quilts, crazy quilts are far more likely to contain exotic pieces of fabric, such as velvet, satin, tulle, or silk, and embellishments such as buttons, lace, ribbons, beads, or embroidery.  We are going to apply all that opulence to the cuff we make.
In this class we will be taking crazy quilting back to it earliest original form which was not as a bed or pillow covering but to be worn.  Not in the fashion of the Venice carnival character who appeared in a "particolored" costume or that of Japanese Nobility, whose patched kimonos of silk and wool were often hand painted and heavily embroidered, but to a much simpler modern day version.  We will take a cue from the Victorians who created a crazy quilt stir in the 1880's when this fad swept the United States and create something that is opulently romantic.
Crazy quilting is extremely free-flowing by nature and you really can't mess it up.  This choice of building our foundation will also serve as a way to use up those small or odd-shaped studio scraps that are left over from other projects.

The first class assignment is to simply gather all your supplies for ease of working through each lessons steps.  


 * 9 inch by 6 inch piece of cotton canvas

* Small scraps of fabric  of your choice

( I used bridal satin, duponi silk, burlap, cotton batting, satin acetate lining, and a piece of a favorite old fisherman's knit sweater)

* Needle and Thread  (sewing machine if you prefer)

* Scissor

* Sewing Pins

* Iron


 * Scraps of lace, trim, and fiber

* Embroidery Floss to match your fabric choices, you can use one single color or more than one color as you change to various stitches OR thread to match your project if you choose to use a sewing machine that has a variety of decorative stitches

* Embroidery Needle

* Scissor

* Misc. embellishments such as buttons, beads, etc.

HeatnBond iron on adhesive hem tape OR Aleene's Original Tacky Glue
(You can get these products at most craft/hobby stores or big box stores but just in case I have listed the links to purchase them online)


* 1 Silk flower, a rose works well

* StazOn ink pad in color of your choice
 (I used Saddle Brown)

* Rubber stamp of your choice
(I used a Tim Holtz Shabby French  small script stamp, I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby at half price sale.  Don't forget if you order online to use that coupon code! ) 

* Center Embellishment: a vintage earring, ornate button, bead pearls, or object of your choice
OPTIONAL: Self-cover buttons or use the provided mini tutorial for creating a portrait button embellishment.
NOTE: if you decide to create a portrait button you will need the following:
Photo of your subject
 (a relative would be nice or I have provided you with some vintage images to use with this lesson)
Scanner and Printer
cotton muslin
quilt batting
needle and thread
1 inch plain button or 1 inch circle of foam core or corrugated cardboard 

* Scissor

*Instant Coffee

* Warm Water

* Spoon and Small Bowl

OPTIONAL:  Piece of cotton muslin to dry cheese cloth on, this way you get a surface dyed piece of fabric for use in another project.

* Needle and Thread

* 26 Gauge Wire
(I used VINTAJ natural brass bronze colored wire)  

* Seed beads of your color choice

* Jewelry Pliers, Round-nose, Long-nose, and Diagonal Cutters

* Scraps of lace

*8 beads, I used glass pearl beads

OPTIONAL:  Copper head pins, seed beads (same as used on leaves), small pearls or crystal beads


 * 1/2 Inch by 6 Inch strip of cotton muslin

* Small alphabet stamps 

* StazOn Ink ( I used Saddle Brown)

* 1 yard lace of your choice

*  Extra dyed cheese cloth from week 3

* Scissor

* 2 inch by 9 inch piece of flannel fabric

* 2 inch piece of 1 inch wide sew on hook and loop tape (Velcro)


  1. Ive made my list ----- I'll start me a fun little project container. I cant wait for the rest of this. i can see now that there will be some "wiggle' room on this one. that excites me.

    For starters my silk flower is going to be a "melty flower" ---- I only made hundreds for my daughters wedding.

  2. Your finished project looks so beautiful! You can tell you put a lot of time and love into this tutorial...

  3. Your cuff and your class look absolutely wonderful. Thanks for taking the time and effort to put this together!


  4. Oh I'm so excited! Thank you Sandy! I can't wait to start!

  5. This is so sweet of you to share. This would be a wonderful gift to give a friend. I see all kinds of reasons to make these. I can hardly wait to get started. Now to start looking at what I have on hand. This is really special. Hugs, mary

  6. Thanks so much for the 2 wonderful blogposts. WOW..I've wanted to do a "Crazy" Quilt for so long and had no idea where to begin. I've gathered lots of bits and pieces. Your tutorial was wonderful, and made it look so much easier than I ever thought. And I think starting with a small design will be so much more encouraging than doing a big piece first.
    I want to make some fabric journals for my nieces from some of my mother's jewelry/clothes pieces/lace and photos and this will add so much for the designs.
    Thank you for your time creating this feature, lovely photos and the excitement. Have a wonderful Sunday