I have actually never made a crazy patch block in all my years of quilting and thought this would be a good opportunity to do so and highlight some of the decorative stitches on the Pfaff Passport 2.0. My sister asked me to make a chair cushion for one of my mother’s antique chairs which my nephew has inherited. He likes grey and black which is fine but I decided that this cushion needed just a bit of colour as well. I hope he likes it.
The Crazy Patch Design
I was going to do one big rectangle of crazy patch but then decided that would be a bit crazy and divided the piece into 9 patches with sashing in-between. I drew the design out on graph paper first and of course had to make each patch a little bit different – talk about making work for myself. I wanted to use a paper piecing technique to make the blocks but not use paper. I chose plain white cotton fabric to trace the pattern onto and use as the sewing foundation for the block.
To trace the design onto the white cotton fabric I used my new light box which my brother-in-law made for me and is 4 times the size of my old one – perfect for this job. I used the Trace’n Mark Air Erasable fabric marker for the job from Clover.
I cut apart the large piece into the 9 sections and to make sewing easier I numbered the pieces as to which would be first to fourth. Even though the pink lines are nice and bright I will have to get the pieces sewn together fairly quickly before the lines disappear. A marking pen that disappears with heat would not work for the job as each piece is ironed after sewing. A water soluble marking pen would work and since the lines will never be seen doesn’t have to be removed. A regular ball point pen would even do the job.
Sewing the pieces together onto the white fabric is just like paper piecing except for there is no paper to be removed and the fabric will stay in place. Here is one of the crazy patches sewn together.
And this is what the stitching looks like on the back. The stitching is straight, even and has great tension even on the two layers of fabric. I did have the IDT system engaged and I used the open toed embroidery foot so I can see the sewing lines easily.
Choosing the thread for the decorative stitches is always lots of fun. A heavier weight thread such as a 30 would stand out very nicely, a 12 weight which is really thick would definitely stand out and a 50 weight thread which is an average weight thread would show up but not stand out. I decided on a 50 weight cotton thread. To make threading the needle easier the Pfaff Passport 2.0 does come with a built in needle threader. One of my favourite features on a sewing machine seeing how my eyes are getting worse the older I get.
It’s also very important to use the appropriate sized needle for the weight of thread being used. I’m using an 80/12 for the 50 weight thread. If I was using 30 weight thread I would choose a 90/14 needle and a 100/16 needle for the 12 weight thread.
Three different stitches per block is what I wanted and since the Passport 2.0 has a stitch library of 70 there were plenty to choose from. Remember the stitch menu is on the right hand side of the sewing machine on a slide out card. I did want the stitch to be equal on either side of the seam line so didn’t have quite as much variety but still enough to have to make a decision or two. I could use the satin stitch as one of the stitches but since I used it yesterday I’ll try out some new ones today.
Crazy Patch Block #1
I used decorative stitches #31, #60 & #53 for this block. An elongated X shape (#30), a zigzag variation (#53) and a flower (#60).
Crazy Patch Block #2
I used decorative stitches #48, #57 & #62 for this block. A star (#62), railroad tracks (#48) and leaves on a vine (#57).
Crazy Patch Block #3
I used decorative stitches#47, #34 & #55. A half star (#47), varied straight lines (#34) and leaves (#55).
Even though I had the white fabric on the back of the crazy patch I still added a tear away stabilizer to the back of the blocks before I did the decorative stitching. This just makes for a much neater, even and smooth stitch. It also makes sure that the fabric doesn’t bunch up or pucker as some of the stitches use a lot of thread in a small place and can cause bunching of the fabric.
I’m very pleased with the quality of the stitches and how they’re standing out on the fabric. I was a bit worried that using a 50 weight thread would not be thick enough but it’s looking really good so far. I think my nephew is going to be impressed.
Three down, 6 to go of these crazy patch blocks. I’ll get the other six sewn together, add the decorative stitches with the Pfaff Passport 2.0 and be ready to quilt the chair cushion when I return for my week of blogging in September. Stay tuned…