Sunday, March 17, 2013

Crazy Brazilian!

Last week I mentioned one of my favorite guild projects--"Crazy Quilt Pillow," designed by Millefiori. I think I was the first in the guild to finish because I became addicted with the creativity of choosing the "seam" stitches. It helped that each line that designated a mock seam was lined with dots which made it easy to stitch evenly spaced stitches. Even so, it was a challenge to find the right stitches for each section and the right colors to blend with the patch motifs.


Here is an over view of the finished pillow. I admit to sending it to my mother for finishing and she did a fantastic job. Now let's look at some of the sections.


First is the central motif. The pansies are done over bullions to give them dimension, and there are a variety of roses done with billions, cast-ons, and satin stitch. Isn't the hedgehog cute? But it was hard to do bullions with two threads at once!


One of my favorite seam motifs is in the upper left. I HAD to stitch those cute baby birds when I saw them in a crazy quilt book. Isn't that a clever use of fly stitch?


There were a lot of bird motifs in the pattern. Here is one corner with some cockatoos. They were easy, but quite effective. In this corner, you can also see how I finished the border and three of the corners with a stem stitch swag and clusters of beaded flowers. You also see above the birds my husband's and my initials. It was fun designing a few of the patch motifs myself.


Here are two more patches I changed from the design. The lower one was inspired by the humming bird charms. The pattern called for some birds motifs, but I didn't like them and the hummingbirds were perfect substitutes. Once I had them though, I needed flowers for them to drink from.


The upper motif is a rabbit shrunken down from Grandma's Bunnies. Anyone who knows me knows that bunnies are not optional in a piece like this. I stitched him with Boucle to make him fuzzy, did a turkey work tail, and a bullion carrot topped with drizzle stitches for the carrot greens. So cute!


Everyone in the guild did this corner motif differently. They used different colors and different stitches, and each one turned out beautiful. Isn't the gold-headed worm cute? And of course, you must have a spider web in a crazy quilt--I don't know why.


These owls are the reason that many of us wanted to do this piece. They were so easy, but so cute! Done with cast-ons, turkey work, satin and straight stitches. They are really expressive.


Can you spot the little lady bug in this bunch of cast-on roses? There were so many little things that made this pattern fun. The snow balls made from double cast-ons were an eye opener for me, as we're the little turkey work filled pods. There were many new techniques to learn, but so much personal freedom in color choice and the choice of seam stitches, that this piece never got boring and was always fun to stitch.


Here is the final corner. The large fly stitch leaves with the clusters of copper-colored beads were done in Cire, one of the EdMar threads I don't use very often. I love the sheen of it. It shredded a bit, but it is a beautiful thread I need to use more.


So now you can see why I am excited about moving from a printed crazy quilt pattern to the pieced pumpkin. I get to try out these stitches and techniques on something more representative of a real crazy quilt and I am expecting nothing but fun in the endeavor.



  1. your cushion is very beautiul, beautifully stitched and good on you Mum you have created it into a true work of art

  2. Hello Margo, I knew I would enjoy your blog and I was right. This evening I read through your entire blog and thoroughly enjoyed it. Your embroidery is really beautiful and this cushion is incredible. I hope we will chat often on Stitchin' Fingers. Kind Regards Mandy Currie (

  3. Thank you for the nice comments! I'm really happy you have enjoyed reading this and seeing my embroidery!

  4. It's breathtaking! And I love those hummingbird charms.

  5. Hi, Margo. That is an absolutely stunning design and I love how creatively you stitched each part of it. The "Crazy Quilt Pillow" is one of my Millefiori designs, and I've seen some beautiful work done by other BE stitchers. I especially like your scalloped edging and the little bunny. So pretty! (I signed up for your blog now). Rosalie Wakefield.

    1. Rosalie, I had sooooooo much fun stitching this design. It was one of my all time favorites. We stitched it in the Brazilian guild ran by Christine Hause and every one turned out differently.