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You are invited to go crazy quilting!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Sam Solomon, our Creative Director at Designs in Machine Embroidery has been telling me to experiment with crazy quilting.  I’ve admired Eileen’s projects in her book, Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine but I didn’t think I had the skill level to understand what fabric to fold, where and when.  I remember taking a test in the 6th grade on spatial skills and paper folding and I struggled.  So clearly, crazy quilting isn’t for me.  But Sam assured me I could do it.  I intended to prove him wrong.
I decided to experiment with the 5 inch version of Quilt Block 1 from Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  I kept it simple by creating an unadorned quilt block using the embroidery techniques highlighted in the book.  I was shocked by how easy it was to do the flip and stitch method described in the book.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
Since the block was plain (and boring) I decided it was the ideal canvas for ribbons and other embellishments.  I never thought I’d get to use the spades and clubs embellishments on a project.  Victory!


Next I made the same block but added embroidery designs from the book.  Blissful success!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
It was important to me I set some rules during this entire crazy quilt block making process.  I only wanted to use 3 thread colors.  I embraced the concept of white and pink birds and am quite pleased with the results.  I added a decorative zig-zag stitch to attach the gray ribbon.


Two successes in one afternoon proved a confidence builder. Why stop now?  I decided to incorporate embroidery designs from Perfect Embroidery Pro. I used the mini fonts and the circle path for text. More success!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
The bicycle is a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  I arched the word “Create” around the wheel.  What a simple, yet fun way to display text!

The hot air balloon is also a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  I arched the text, “up, up and away we go!”  It wasn’t until the machine started stitching did I realize I had trapped myself.  What color do I stitch the word “go”?  I had to get creative on the fly—so I stopped the machine and stitched the “o” in white.  Not ideal but it’s a crazy quilt!

The footprints are also a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  You can add as few or as many footprints as you want.  Just remember to mirror image them!


Next I used the bee, flower border and hearts from Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  I like crazy quilting as a style because it’s like doodling on a textbook book cover or an acceptable way to add graffiti. It seemed fitting to add text, “Denise was here!”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
I used Perfect Embroidery Pro to add “Bee-utiful” and arched it around the bee.


Start thinking of favorite phrases, important dates like birthdays or anniversaries— and add them to your crazy quilt blocks.  Since I was stitching these blocks in March, I figured why not add the date.  It’s a momentous month, the month I tried my hand at crazy quilting with an embroidery machine.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
The eye is a built-in design from Perfect Embroidery Pro.  It was quirky and fun—the ideal addition to my crazy quilt blocks.  The large flower button covers a mistake.  No one but me… and you know!  That’s the joy of crazy quilting.  You can easily cover up mistakes.  Tiny baby buttons adorn the polka dot pink fabric.


Next, I did a Google search on crazy quilting and noticed a recurring theme:  spiders and spider webs.  It turns out they are considered a sign of good luck.  I don’t believe in luck but I do like spiders and spider webs.  Finally, I get to incorporate a creepy crawly spider into my embroidery!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
I used Perfect Embroidery Pro to draw one strand of the spider web, then I copied, pasted and enlarged the strand as the arch got wider and wider.  Next I converted the artwork to a running stitch with a 2.5 mm stitch length.  I hand stitched my Halloween spider.  (I tried my faithful hot glue gun, but the rubber spider wouldn’t stay.)  I think this block makes a statement!

The other embroidery designs on this block are free design downloads courtesy of our friends from Embroidery Online.  You can find these designs (and more!) by visiting the Designs Plus Newsletter. All embroidery designs are archived for your convenience and creative whim!

My lessons to you:

  1. If you want to improve your embroidery skills you need to practice. A great way to practice is by stitching a crazy quilt block!  Look at each block as a canvas to decorate.  Use it as your own small and manageable art piece.  Once you experience success, who knows how many blocks you might stitch!
  2. I only used Block 1 to keep my variation to a minimum—but imagine the possibilities! They are endless.  Use the embroidery designs included in the book to embellish the blocks.  But don’t stop there.  Get creative and resourceful.  Use your embroidery software.  Use the free embroidery designs we offer on our website.  Use built-in embroidery designs on your machine.  Get scrappy.  Get creative.  Go crazy!

Now’s a great time to purchase Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  Not just because it’s wildly fun and a great skill-building experience – it’s on special!  For a limited time, enjoy free shipping on U.S. orders.  Plus, Eileen will autograph the book, which is always such a nice personal touch.  Visit the Designs in Machine Embroidery website to redeem the offer.


Here’s your assignment this week:

I’m fortunate to have friends and coworkers that challenge me to try new things – like crazy quilting.  Who in your life pushes you to be your best and try new things?  What activities have they encouraged you to try that you discovered you loved?  Post your comments and one random winner will be selected to win a $25 gift certificate to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.
The winners of last week’s assignment answered the following question:When you get a new embroidery design how do you test it? Change Fabrics? Change Threads? Or both? 4 random names will be drawn and will each receive a $25 gift certificate to BFC Creations! The winners are: Kim – “Test it on the same fabric if possible.”, Carol M. – ” To test designs I use felt, scrap denim or scraps of solid fabric I keep beside my embroidery machine. Most of the time I just say a prayer and do the design on my project. I do test thread colors with my software before I do the design to see which color I like best.”, Belinda G – “I rarely test a design, I haven’t had a problem yet! Just lucky, I guess! but I usually choose other colors than what is in the design.”, and Barbara M. – “I do most of my color testing in my software. Then I can fine-tune it on a stitch-out. Sometimes I just trust the software…”BFC Creations





  • Crystal Farnsworth

    I love crazy quilting

  • Deb Adams

    Love the interest and beauty of crazy quilting and would love to win a gift certificate to help purchase the new book!

  • Lori E

    My fellow ASG (American Sewing Guild) members are the ones who challenge me. Each meeting I learn something new, whether it’s a tip, another way to do something or a completely new skill. They make me a better sewist, embroiderer and human being!

  • Cindy Champagne

    Love crazy quilts. Have been making them for 35yrs! Would love to win the gift certificate to by the book.

  • Valerie

    My sewing classmates. I’ve found I really like applique.

    You could applique on crazy quilt blocks too!

  • Joyce Fike

    I love the colors!!!

  • Dianna Wilson

    My new sewing/embroidery buddy Pam. Been neighbors for years, but in last 9 months discovered our mutual love of fabric and sewing! Now we do so much together.

    • Denise Holguin

      That’s handy! If I had such a neighbor I’d be the one to knock at the door, “can you spare a bobbin?” 🙂


  • Paula Brooks

    Very cool

  • cIndy

    My granddaughter pushes me to try new things, because I want to make things she likes!

  • Belinda Germain

    I really do not need anyone to push me to try new things. I love learning something new. I have taught myself to sew, knit, crochet, many types of crafts and decorating.

  • Kristal

    I am fortunate enough to have a husband that encourages me to try new things. (He was my cheerleader when I completed a half marathon last year!)
    He encouraged me to embroider on a shirt for him (I was nervous that I would get the design crooked.) Now that I succeeded at that, I have done more!! I love to embroider on clothes now!!

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    my sewing friends Carol and Polly inspire me to try new things. They have access to classes and they share information with me. They told me how to use Mylar in designs and now I love incorporating it into designs on my tshirts as well as Christmas ornaments. I’ve never tried crazy quilting and always wanted to.

  • Mary Anne Fox

    My sis in law encourages me to get my butt in gear because she gets her quilts sewn and I need to quilt them. I have downloaded a zillion embroidery patterns now I need to get them in the hoop.

  • Gail Beam

    My grandchildren are always coming up with something they want me make that does not have a pattern! Luckily, I have been able to create something that resembles the project that they have requested gramma to make.

  • Judy graczyk

    I am pretty much a self starter and have taken on a lot of craft, sewing and art projects. Biggest supporter is my husband who encourages my quilting, embroidery, and anything else that I am attracted to.

  • Pam

    My girls! Thank goodness they say ” we can do it”

  • Michelle Hall

    My sister is great at encouraging me to try new things and providing positive feedback

  • Carol K.

    I am challenged by reading many sewing and embroidery sites on line. Fist I download and print the instructions and any pictures I feel will be helpful. I become brave and just jump right in. I figure fabric is a gift to use for learning and enjoying.
    It is fun to share my new adventures with my friends!
    Soooo blessed!

  • Teresa Niwinska

    My daughter in law, Alice gives me a challenge – to finish her artistic projects. So far I could do it all!
    Thank you for your blog – enjoy it every week.

  • Anne Le Floch

    My kids, they love what I make and always ask for more with variations, and when they see something they like, they ask me to make it!

  • Terri

    I have a sewing buddy, Ellen and we meet weekly. We both challenge each other to try new things. Last fall, we were working with wool in our projects…currently we are working with crazy quilting by hand. Now, I’ll have a new challenge to throw at her– crazy quilting using our sewing machines and more specifically using the embroidery function of our machines!

  • Joan Davidson

    I Love crazy quilting and would really like to try your method as it seems different than the one I use. I have a BFF who encourages me to create and try new things. Everyone should have one of these!

  • Cathy

    My niece, who went to art school and fashion design. Now she is taking baking and pastries. I have made landscape quilts, and she is continuing to help me push myself to try “new” and different fabrics in my quilting projects.

  • Lex Appel

    I would have to say that my husband is my biggest cheerleader, but all my roller skating friends have inspired me to come up with many combinations of designs. I have made over 100 water bottle covers as gifts for the skaters & every one is different.

  • Cyndy Lacey

    It has to be my husband. He is always getting me to step out of my comfort zone and do the things I say I wish I could do. His comment is always I bet you can, why don’t you try it.

  • Shirley Clark

    I get a lot of inspiration to try new things after my Babylock Club at my sewing center. We have show and tell every month during the club meeting, and there are always so many different kinds of projects. It helps me to see what others are doing, and sometimes I discover things I’d never seen before.

  • Allen

    Blogs such as yours, embroidery magazines, and the Internet are my biggest inspiration and motivation!

  • Carolyn

    My husband is my encourager. He’s the one who convinced me to buy a multi-needle embroidery machine. Now he says he’s created an embroidery pattern hoarder!!

  • Vicki B

    My good friend that I made through my quilt store. She encouraged me to try paper piecing. What fun.

  • Debe

    Wow, those blocks look really good, minus the BIG spider, lol. I coordinate an embroidery club & have to seek out new ideas, tools & trends, plus re-do old ones, so I guess the people in the club inspire me to “keep being challenged”.
    My husband is my biggest fan & embroidery supporter who only complains sometimes when holed up in the sewing room for hours doing challenges.

  • beth daniels

    I am encouraged by challenges in my machine embroidery club meetings. I see how people use their machine for beautiful embroidery done in the hoop. I found many things on the internet that I can embroider without any trouble.

  • Janet Rettig

    My husband encourages me in all I do or want to try and keeps me from giving up. Right now it is machine embroidery when I seem to have nothing go right he reminds me why I love it.

  • Kim

    I joined a club that meets monthly. Someone is always coming up with some new ideas and sharing them. Everything from sewing, quilting, and machine embroidery.

  • Deanna

    My friend Amy challenges me to do more.

  • Bruce

    I love the colors and I love crazy quilting. Thanks for sharing.


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