Saturday, September 16, 2017

Crazy Quilt ATC Tutorial Part 2 - Embellishing

The Crazy Quilt Quarterly Magazine is hosting an artist's trading card (ATC) swap - crazy quilt style. You may find the details about the swap at Kitty and Me Designs, here

Yesterday, I shared a tutorial explaining how to piece an ATC. The finished card will only be 2 1/2-inches by 3 1/2-inches. 

When embellishing an ATC, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. To keep the postage expenses down for this swap, the ATCs cannot be more than 1/4-inch thick (much like a fabric postcard.) This includes the thickness of the interfacing (Peltex or Timtex) you use.

2. All stitching needs to be within the outline drawn on the back of your muslin.

3. Beads, buttons, sequins and charms should be at least 1/4-inch away from the edges of the ATC card. (This is important when finishing the card.) I keep buttons and charms at least 1/2-inch from the edge.

4. What color scheme are you working with? The colors you use for embellishment should coordinate with the fabrics used to piece your block. For this block, I chose to work with pinks (as the ribbon is pink), greens (for leaves and stems), and blues. All of these colors go well with the basic black background fabrics.

Materials to embellish an ATC could include:
Ric Rac
Flat buttons (no shank buttons)
Seed beads and beading needle
Small flat charms
Silk ribbon
Embroidery floss (cotton, silk, stranded, perle cottons, etc.)

It is my hope that beginners will participate with this swap. So, for this particular ATC card, I tried to use several basic stitches. 

Click on any photo for a larger image.

Seam 1: My first step was to secure the loose edge of the ribbon. This was done with a running stitch made with green size 8 perle cotton.

Seam 2: I added a buttonhole stitch above the ribbon, using a different shade of green size 8 perle cotton.

The stitches were intentionally spaced irregularly and at various angles.

Detached chain stitches were added to make leaves.

Seed beads will top the stems in a later step.

Note: The pins in this photo were added at 1/2-inch intervals to help me space the next seam embellishment.

Seam 3: I planned to embellish along the center of this ribbon, but there was a flaw near the top that I needed to hide. 

Using another shade of green size 8 perle cotton, I worked pairs of detached chain stitches (leaves) with a straight stitch (stem) between each pair.

The flowers were made with 2 straight stitches and a French knot using size 8 pink perle cotton.

Seam 4: Sets of 3 French knots were evenly spaced beneath the ribbon using size 5 variegated pink/blue/purple perle cotton.

Seam 5: First, a feather stitch was added along the far right seam using yet another shade of size 8 green perle cotton.

Next, I worked from the bottom up adding detached chain stitches as seen in this photo. I skipped every third "stem" to add a flower.

To add the flowers, I stitched little stars made up of 4 straight stitches with pink size 8 perle cotton.

First, I made a "+" with two straight stitches.

Then, I stitched an "X" over the "+" with two more straight stitches.

This left one final seam to embellish.

Seam 6: Alternating sides of this seam, I worked a detached chain stitch (leaf), and then worked a curved stem stitch to create a flower stem. This was worked in green size 12 perle cotton.

Next, pink size 12 perle cotton was used to add two small detached chain stitches to make flower petals.

Motif: With the size of this block, I only added one motif. Spider webs were traditionally added to crazy quilts, so I added one to this ATC. I used size 12 white perle cotton.

Long straight stitches were carefully threaded beneath existing stitches to create spokes.

For this web, I looped the thread around the spokes and later tacked each into place with small stitches. (Pamela Kellogg and Kathy Shaw both have great tutorials on making webs.)
A spider's body and head were added with blue size 5 perle cotton. 

A detached chain stitch created the body. A straight stitch filled the center of the detached chain stitch (so the black fabric did not show through.) 

A colonial knot created the head. (These are slightly larger than French knots.)

The legs were made with a single strand of a matching of cotton embroidery floss. Each leg was created almost like a fly stitch. However, instead of making a "Y", I tacked the thread down making "V" stitches. 

Each leg stitch began between the head and the body and worked out. 

In the first spider photo you may see that the first set of back legs are almost even with the chain stitch. The first set of front legs extend just past the head. 

The second spider photo shows that the second set of front and back legs extend a little further out than the first sets of legs.

Beads: Dark blue Mill Hill Petite Glass Seed Beads were added to the pink flowers along seam 6.

Tip 1: I used a beading needle and a single strand of cotton floss in a similar shade to the bead.

Tip 2: To firmly secure each bead in place, I wrapped the thread through the bead 3 times. On the back side, I knotted the thread 3 times before moving on to the next bead. This takes a bit more time, but the beads are not loose on the card. And, if one comes off in the future, the others will remain.

Light blue seed beads were added to the flowers on seam 2.

I felt the feather stitched seam on the right looked a bit bare, so I added more detached chain stitches to make more leaves.

Now the block is ready to be finished into an ATC.  

Assuming our Internet does not crash again (it has gone out 4 times while creating this tutorial), I plan to share the final part of this tutorial tomorrow.

If any step of this process was unclear, please feel free to let me know or ask questions!

Thank you for stopping by.

Related posts:
Crazy Quilt ATC Tutorial Part 1 - Piecing
Crazy Quilt ATC Tutorial Part 3 - Finishing

Note: This post was updated on September 17, 2017 to add information about color schemes and securing beads and on September 18, 2017 to include the link to Part 3 above.


Brigitte said...

It was fun to see how you added all the embellishment stitches and how this card became more and more beautiful. Amazing!

Queeniepatch said...

Excellent! It's like watching a plant growing!

Catherine said...

I'm new to crazy quilting and still learning the process. Loved this tutorial and seeing your progress! It's coming along so beautifully.

Renee said...

Thank you, Catherine! I am hoping the information is helpful.

Catherine said...

I always love your crazy quilts and this is no exception! What a great idea too, and the recipient is very lucky to receive this piece.

Renee said...

What a sweet compliment, Catherine. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I always feel like my spiders (made like yours only with beads for body and head) would be crippled in real life, but I love them anyway. Cris in MT

Createology said...

Renee you are so quick to create this Beautiful CQ ATC and tutorial. I am still selecting fabrics for Tutorial #1 Piecing. You are wonderful and Thank You for being so generous with your time and skills sharing with us. <3

Anonymous said...

Beautifully explained! I'm glad to learn I'm not the only one who doesn't put beads on with monofilament!

FlashinScissors said...

Renee, its beautiful! I especially love your spider ..... it's soooo lifelike!
Barbara x

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Another excellent tutorial Renee! Thank you for taking the time to do this for everyone - I know from experience just how much time it took to write the post and take (and edit) all the pictures!