Friday, October 14, 2011

14 - Crazy Quilt Block

Today we will be making a Crazy Quilt Block with a fabric foundation.  Since crazy quilt blocks are normally made with many different types and weights of fabric (silks, knits, cotton, polyester and wools) having a sturdy and unstretchable base to attach them to is a must.  The base also allows odd shaped pieces to be added fairly easily.


Edited (5/15):  The Skill Builder Sampler will is available for purchase in book form!  It has been renamed "You Can Quilt!  Building Skills for Beginners" but covers the same skills with the easy, medium and challenging blocks and is a million times better than the original quilt along.  It is perfect for the beginning quilter or the experienced quilter who wants to branch out and learn new skills.  Find more information and order a signed copy in my Etsy shop or order on Amazon.  

Crazy Quilt made from my girls' clothing.
 I have a soft spot for Crazy Quilts.  One of my Life Quilting Goals is to make a "real" crazy quilt out of wools and silks with tons of embroidery.  Don't hold your breath, it won't be in the next 5 years, but someday.  :)  I have, however, made a Crazy Quilt out of my girl's worn/stained clothing and I love it!  It was really fun to make and I plan on making more as the girls wear out more of their clothes.  I even wrote up a series of tutorials for making a Crazy Quilt this spring - it seams like ages ago...  Well, enough talk, let's get started.

1.  If you are going to use any non-quilting cottons in this block, be sure to prewash them in the same manner you will be washing your finished quilt.

2.  Cut your foundation fabric approx. 13.5 inches square.  You can use any type of woven cotton for this.  In fact, I would suggest using a piece of why-did-I-buy-this-and-what-in-the-world-am-I-going-to-do-with-it? fabric.  Just be sure the foundation fabric will not show through the crazy quilt fabric that will go on top of it.  If it helps, you can sew on the backside of the foundation fabric over so the pattern is less intense.

3.  Collect your fabric.  I would suggest rounding up all of the scraps and odd sized pieces you have leftover from your other blocks and starting with those.

4.  Start Sewing!  Follow the directions for the Center Oriented Block.  The only thing that will be different, is that we will trim our block to 12.5 inches square when we are finished.   Don't get too stressed about the process - just keep adding fabric until the foundation fabric is covered.  For more info on adding trims and curved pieces, check out the Corner Start Block post.

 When it come down to it, this is really an improvisational block, so don't stress, just keep on adding pieces of fabric.  You can do it!  :)


  1. I too, have collected fine silks and such for an old fashioned crazy block quilt. Don't think I'll ever get to it. Having too much fun making crumb blocks--my sort of crazy I guess.

    Your quilt is charming and what an old fashioned way to use up the used clothing of your girls. Those fans are especially adorable.

  2. Woo! I have never tried this! It looks fun!

  3. Now is not the time for me to quilt (...time and a season...), so for now I will just enjoy watching you.

  4. Just posted a pic on your Flickr group of my crazy quilt square which I finished this morning. I'm really pleased with it - it is made entirely from men's ties which I buy at thrift shops to cut up for patchwork!

  5. I'm afraid I'm not too keen on the proper crazy quilt i.e. with many different types of fabric, but I do like the quilt from Des Moines AQS Quilt Show. I think this kind of contrast between the "crazy" method and the rather traditional form appeals to me. I also like your not so very crazy block for SBS and I think I'm going to for a similar effect with my block (still not made, but it will be, I promise)

  6. I was afraid of this one and had been putting it off but I did it and kind of like the whole process and the "mess" as Spencer dubbed it is a hot mess!