Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Dazzling Diamonds Sew-A-Long: Everything you need to know


“Have you ever wanted to create a crazy quilt, but were worried over how to start? Well, that’s exactly why I wrote Dazzling Diamonds. The intent was to give readers a full instruction book, using modern techniques, to enable them to create a crazy quilt from start-to-finish. I purposely used cotton fabrics because quilters and seamstress/tailors already were familiar with that type of fabric. I also made the decision to keep the project small so it was manageable in size so to not become too over-whelming. This is what I call a “planned project” because the quilt is totally designed for you. The layout, the individual embellishing design, and the specific embroidery stitches have all been provided to ensure a balanced final project. Success is practically guaranteed if you just follow the path laid out before you. The Sew-A-Long will also give you a venue to ask questions (just post a comment here on my blog).

Silks, satins, velvets make gorgeous quilts. But, they are not easy fabrics to work with, especially when you are at the basic stage of creating a crazy quilt. Plus, these fancy fabrics can be very expensive to source. We don’t want to waste our precious fancy fabrics as we learn the principles needed to create this multi-faceted quilt. Rather, let’s make sure to guarantee our success by using good quality cotton.

These blocks will be packed full of beautiful embroidery work, silk ribbon flowers, and beads/baubles. This gives the reader the full spectrum of techniques they will need to learn. The end result is a beautiful wall hanging. PLUS you will have gained the confidence to try a larger quilt…which could also incorporate those lush velvets, satins, silks and brocades we all dream about when thinking of traditional crazy quilts.

Cotton does not have to be boring! So, don’t be concerned that we are not using velvets or silks. This is after all, a “learning” endeavor. Plus, there are some gorgeous batiks and cotton tone-on-tone blenders on the market today. We will be using a wonderful set of rich autumn colors in the sample quilt for this Sew-A-Long. But, you can select the palette of your own desire…maybe a spring color set (like the book cover shows); or go with a lovely monochromatic grouping even. If you would like to use the same fabrics as I’ll be using…then hop on over to Connecting Threads (details below).”


How the Sew-A-Long Works

The Crazy Quilting Dazzling Diamonds will be released in 3 main parts and will be available on the C&T Blog as well as my personal blog following the schedule below. With each part, you will receive instructions to follow along as I recreate the Dazzling Diamonds Quilt from my book, Crazy Quilting Dazzling Diamonds. I will show you my progress and give you helpful tips and tricks in each part. There will be also be additional blog posts here on my blog; just to provide individual close-up photos and give you extra information as the Sew-A-Long progresses. While the book will be the path for this quilt, I will also share different piecing options and design principles you would need when venturing into a quilt that is not already “planned out” for you.


Tuesday, October 10: Dazzling Diamonds Sew-A-Long announcement (You are here!)(I'm a day late however)

Friday, October 20: Part 1- Organization, Design Principles, Piecing the Blocks

Friday, October 27: Part 2- Embroidery Design Transfer, Base Seams

Friday, November 3: Part 3-Silk Ribbon Flowers, Beads & Baubles, Finishing

What you’ll need

 Here are the links to the exact fabric that I will be using in the Sew-A-Long:

Autumn Sunset Batiks Fat Quarter Sampler |

Agate Batik |

Labyrinth Batik |


To get you prepared for the Dazzling Diamonds Sew-A-Long, here is a list of materials and project notes. In addition to standard sewing and quilt-making supplies, you’ll need:

A physical or ebook copy of Crazy Quilting Dazzling Diamonds.




Variety of small prints, solids, and nondirectional blenders in light/medium values:

1/4 yard or fat eighth each for blocks

Border fabric: 3/4 yard of medium-weight cotton upholstery fabric

Foundation fabric: 2 yards of neutral-color cotton broadcloth or good-quality muslin

Backing and hanging sleeve: 11/8 yards

 Other Materials

Water-soluble printable stitch stabilizer sheets or Embroidery Shape Templates (See Online Resources, page 94.)

Template plastic

Perle cotton: Size 8 in a variety of colors or 3-ply six strand embroidery fibers

Silk ribbon: Sizes 2 mm, 4 mm, 7 mm, and 13 mm in assorted flower and leaf colors (sizes can be adjusted but 4mm & 7mm is critical)

Seed beads: Size 11 (standard) (can also use size 15/20)

Round beads: Sizes 2 mm, 3 mm, and 4 mm in glass, crystal, or plastic as you like

Crystal montées: Sizes 3 mm and 4 mm or small

Sequins: Sizes 4 mm, 6 mm, 8 mm, and 10 mm

Floral beads caps: Sizes 6 mm–10 mm

Flat 2-hole and 4-hole buttons: 1/4 ̋–1/2 ̋ in diameter

Note: The selection of fibers, beads & baubles are personal and will depend on your own stash and the color you choose. All of the above types can be substituted with any other “bauble” you like, just keep to the same general size to ensure the final result remains balanced. Half the fun of embellishing is getting to use that “favorite” bead, sequin, button or jewelry finding!

 Connect with us!

 Follow C&T’s Facebook and Instagram pages for weekly reminders! You are invited to share your progress by tagging @ctpublishing and using #DazzlingDiamondsSewALong. But, if you have any questions, reach out to me here on my blog as I'm always happy to answer any questions you might have.

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