Use your embroidery machine to become a crazy-quilting expert. If you have scraps of fabric, thread, and an embroidery machine, you can easily create these colorful quilt blocks. Wondering how? All the patches, stitches, and elegant embroidery are programmed into the design. The process is extremely gratifying!


Today's Crazy Quilting with your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman



First a brief history lesson: Crazy quilting became popular in the late 1800s. Small, random patches of fabric were hand-stitched together and then embellished with elaborate embroidery. My great-grandmother Alice Lea Larson hand-stitched this quilt. The fabrics are leftover silks, wools, cottons, and anything that could have been salvaged from worn-out clothing and her fabric stash.


Today's Crazy Quilting with your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman




Today's Crazy Quilting with your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman



The quilt, without a backing, was given to me several years ago by Alice’s daughter. Before finishing the quilt, I took a photo of the backing fabric—old tablecloths cut into squares. Waste not, want not.


Today's Crazy Quilting with your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman



Fast-forward to today. Crazy quilting can be totally created using an embroidery machine. Eileen Roche, embroidery specialist and editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery, has mastered the technique using 21st century technology and is my guest on the two-part Sewing With Nancy series, Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine. Watch online or on PBS.

Preview of Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine

  • First select fabric; either silks or cottons are best. Solid colors showcase the decorative embroidery. Eileen and I chose silk fabrics for our projects.


Today's Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche



  • Then, check out the embroidery designs as found in the book/CD combo, Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine. There are numbers that are only stitched on the stabilizer to provide the sewing sequence, straight stitching lines to stitch down the fabrics, and then the embroidery stitches.


Today's Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche



  • Hoop a tear-away stabilizer and stitch the initial thread color of the embroidery, only on the stabilizer—the outline of the block and the numbers.
  • Roughly cut out fabric pieces and position right sides together on the stabilizer. The machine will stitch the pieces in place. How easy is that!
  • Before adding the next fabric piece, flip previous piece to the right side.


Today's Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche



  • Stitch the decorative embroideries, which have characteristic Victorian styling.


Today's Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche



  • Learn how to personalize the crazy-quilting blocks, adding dates or initials.


Today's Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche



  • Unhoop the fabric, cut along the final stitching lines, and the blocks are ready to add to a project.


Today's Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche




Today's Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche



  • Select cotton fabrics as another option for crazy-quilting.


Today's Crazy Quilting with your Embroidery Machine as seen on Sewing With Nancy with guest Eileen Roche



Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine, it’s a book with a CD

You too can duplicate your great-grandmother’s crazy quilting designs the easy way with Eileen’s book Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery MachineThe 80-page book includes a multiformat CD that features 23 embroidery designs: three different block designs, 12 accent designs, and eight designs to complete three in-the-hoop projects. 


today's Crazy Quilting with Your embroidery machine by Eileen Roche as seen on Sewing With Nancy



Watch Today’s Crazy Quilting with your Embroidery Machine on Sewing With Nancy online.


Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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