Winner of the Favorite CQ Stitch Poll!

The overwhelming winner of the Favorite CQ Stitch Poll was Feather Stitch with half of the votes submitted!  I have to admit that it is probably my favorite stitch as well!  

Feather Stitch - 10
Herringbone - 4
Cretan Stitch - 3
Chevron Stitch - 2
Chain Stitch - 1
Buttonhole - 0
Fly Stitch - 0

I was a bit surprised to see that two of the basic stitches received no votes whatsoever!  

When working on a project, I try to include all of the basic stitches as I feel the variety adds interest.  Here are examples of some of my favorites of each of these basic crazy quilt stitches.

Let's start with the least favorites.  What's not to love about Fly Stitch?  It offers so many possibilities!  
Fly Stitch (on the bottom).  Also note the stacked Chevron Stitch above as well as the glimpse of chevron stitch to the right.

Layered Fly Stitch (on the left)

Buttonhole is another great stitch with so much to offer!  It makes a fantastic foundation stitch to layer other stitches with.  It probably is the stitch I use the least, but when I move beyond the basics, I love this stitch!
Buttonhole Stitch on a curve.

Buttonhole layered with other stitches.

A slightly more traditional buttonhole stitch pattern.

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My all time favorite way to use Buttonhole Stitch is with these little leaves!

I was surprised that Chain Stitch was not more popular.  It's such a great versatile stitch that can be easily substituted for stem/outline stitch.  See the photo above for one example of how chain stitch was used in a serpentine pattern.
Here an alternating or zig-zag Chain Stitch is used to secure down the rick-rac.

Chain Stitch made great stems for this seam.

Chain stitch was the perfect stitch to emphasize these interlacing scallops!

Chevron is one of the first stitches that I got excited about when I first learned to crazy quilt.  Nearly any thing you can do with Herringbone, you can also do with Chevron.  And that little bar at the top and bottom of each triangle offers so many possibilities!
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The first ever Chevron Stitch that I stitched, sitting on top of the lace.

Chevron combined with silk ribbon embroidery

Yet another Chevron Stitch example.  Also note the buttonhole stitch "hills"on the left under the flowers.  And on the upper right is a great example of detached fly stitch.

Cretan Stitch is a kissing cousin to both buttonhole and feather stitch.  As such, it is wonderfully versatile and no wonder its a favorite of many!
A stacked Cretan Stitch. Love the honeycomb shape you can get with it!

Here it is used to hold a piece of rick-rac in place.

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A simple, but elegant Cretan Stitch seam.

Herringbone Stitch came in second and that doesn't surprise me at all!
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Herringbone stitch all around the white patch on this CD pincushion.

A bold take on a herringbone border.

Herringbone is such a fun seam to work with!

This curved Herringbone is possibly the most favorite seam I have ever stitched using Herringbone ~ and also the most difficult!  But worth the fuss as it is spectacular!

And finally, a look at the favorite - Feather Stitch!  With so many great variations on a basic stitch, it's no wonder it came in first.

Scissor pouch
It's beautiful in it's most simple form.

With just a little bit of embellishment, it can be quite lovely.

With so many subtle variations, the possibilities are endless.

I'm guessing that at least half of my seam stitching is some variation of Feather Stitch.

So, so many possibilities!

Featherstitch Ferns
It can go from the simplest seam possible to one of the most complex!

I hope this glimpse into a variety of the basic seam stitches will inspire you to consider doing more seam stitching on your crazy quilts!  If you need more inspiration, In the coming weeks, I will be featuring each basic stitch and showing how to expand it into a fancier seam on my YouTube Channel.  Stay tuned!  


Assembling the Challenge Project

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I've just posted the last YouTube video about the creating of my Challenge Project for the 2019 Windsor Retreat!  You can find it here: Challenge Project Central Block  Since I was under a time crunch at the end, I did not film the final assembly of the project, but I did take some photos along the way, so I thought I would share a little bit about how I put it together here.  

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The first step was laying out all the layers of the project.  There are three primary layers in this project.  The front crazy quilted piece (I count the backing fabric and the pieced and embellished front as one layer at this point); a layer of batting - I used a piece of white 100 % cotton flannel, which is my favorite batting/interlining for crazy quilts; and the backing with a hanging sleeve pre-sewn onto it.  I'll show how to do that at a later date.

Once the layers were assembled and pinned in place so they would not shift, I squared the project using a combination of both a 12" square and a 6" x 24" Omni-grid ruler.  I marked the squared perimeter on the back using a purple disappearing ink pen.

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Next, I trimmed away all but ¼" of the backing fabric and flannel batting.  I did find it helpful to mark this line as well.  As you can see my inner line was already fading, but that wasn't a problem as I knew that once the front was folded around to create a binding on the back side, the project would remain square if my initial measurements were correct. 

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Then I folded and pressed the front fabric edge towards the back with a ¼" fold. Note that when I make the second fold, the backing fabric and lining will not get folded into the binding.  This helps it to lay nice and flat. 

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If I didn't take care, this is what it would look like before making the second fold.  There would be a lot of extra bulk in the binding and it would make it hard to mitre the corners. 

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With lots of space, things will stay nice and flat!  

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Fold again, slightly more that ¼" and pin up to the backing, keeping it as smooth and flat as possible. 

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Mitre the corners.  This view also shows the edge of the hanging sleeve that I had attached to the backing prior to assembly.

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I left the backing pinned through the front to keep everything positioned properly while I stitched the binding.  

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I choose thread to match the binding fabric, got out a needle and my scissors.  

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I stitched the binding to the backing with a tiny whip stitch, being sure to go through the flannel as well to help hold everything in place.  

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This is the entire back once completed.  The blue rectangle at the top is the hanging sleeve.  I do this on all my crazy quilt pieces that will be wall hangings.  If I need to hang it with thumbtacks, which is what I do for most of my small projects, then the tacks can go through the sleeve and not impact the actual piece at all.  Or I have the option of suspending it from a sashing rod.  It's good to have options!  

The last thing I did was to write my name across the bottom.  I usually create a quilt label for my projects, but since I was under a time crunch to get this one completed, I did not get it done before I finished it.  So writing on the backing worked well.  I used a Pigma Micron Pen to do this.  

I like the effect of the reverse binding on this particular project.  It finished it off nicely and meant that I didn't have to count the backing fabric in my additions to the Challenge Project.  If it had shown on the front, I would have needed to include it in my count and I would have had to leave something else out.  

On a larger project, I would have added some basting between the layers and possibly some tacking through to the back side to distribute the weight.  This was pretty light weight, so I wasn't worried about it distorting too much.    


An October Blessing!


This little guy arrived a few weeks early!  It was such a privilege to be present for his birth and to have spent much time with him and his family; my daughter and her husband this past couple of weeks!  He is my 5th grandchild (the 2 granddaughters both turned 3 recently), and the 3rd grandson born this year!  What an incredibly blessed year this has been!  

I'm a little behind on getting the next round of YouTube videos uploaded as a result, but there is one coming today on adding beads to embroidered seams!  Hope you'll enjoy it!  Challenge Project - Beaded Seams, Episode 10

I'm planning on a new series of videos about creating expanded embroidered seams.  I'd love to know what your favorite basic seam stitch is! If your favorite is not on the list, let me know in the comment section below!  I'll let you know what the winning stitch is on October 23rd!