2021 Course Descriptions

Basic Crazy Quilt Courses


These are the framework for the intermediate courses. Crazy quilts are embellished with fiber embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery, applique, various dimensional techniques, beading, and so much more. The main focus however is fiber and silk ribbon embroidery work. So, the basic courses are heavy in these two techniques. The intermediate courses then build on these basics by introducing more techniques. To “learn” about crazy quilting the basics must be understood first. So, the initial course all students must complete is the BCQC-101 module. Basic does not mean “beginner”; although anyone at any level…even beginners…can work through the tasks in these Basic Courses without huge difficulties. The assumptions are that you already know basic sewing techniques (the course will not teach you to use a sewing machine for example); and basic fiber embroidery techniques (the internet is full of simple guidelines on how to embroider). They will briefly cover individual stitch instructions however.


Basic Crazy Quilt Course-(BCQC-101):

This is the first course you need to take. It is a required course regardless of your skill level because it covers “how I teach” as well as getting everyone on the same level playing field for future courses. Handouts in this course will be used in the following courses as well. The course covers critical design principles; how to use templates to achieve uniformly aligned and spaced embroidery; creating some frequently used fiber embroidery stitches for crazy quilt projects; and common silk ribbon stitches and flowers. This is a “controlled” class with very specific guidelines for construction of a quilt block suitable for embellishing that allows identification of “problem areas” you will undoubtedly encounter when you are working on projects independently. There is a supply list for this course, but items should most likely be in your own stash already…possibly except for silk ribbon. This is a mandatory course.


Basic Crazy Quilt Course-(BCQC-102): 

This course builds on the skills and concepts learned in the BCQC-101 module. Rather than a controlled class; this module leads participants through the creation of a block where students have the decision-making authority. The first half of the course is dedicated to "color" and covers all the thinking process that should happen when working with color. The second half of the course is the creation of a crazy quilt block working layer by layer to build the embellishing. This is an optional course. If you are comfortable in your crazy quilting endeavors and understand color selection guidelines; it is fine to skip this course.


Intermediate Crazy Quilt Courses


These are technique driven courses. Full crazy quilt blocks are not the goal…rather specific motifs or skills are the focus. The full intermediate series will result in a lot of motifs and seams…so having a “plan” to use these in a larger project seems like a more productive use than a stack of doodle-cloths. A set of hexagon crazy quilt block patterns are provided in the Beyond the Basics Course if a larger project is desired; but are optional for use.


Beyond the Basics:

This course expands on basic embroidery skills to create various motifs for crazy quilt blocks. Patterns for a variety of hexagon blocks are provided, or students can use fabric "doodle cloths" to create their work. The embroidery is extensive in this class but not technically too difficult. While some embroidery stitches are instructed (or build upon since the BCQC covered a lot of these already) the course mostly focuses on designing motifs and expanding on simple designs to create more elaborate designs. Some silk ribbon embroidery and beading techniques are introduced. Monograms are included in this module.


Dimensional Motifs:

This course continues the embroidery work of the prior courses and is technically more difficult. Fabric applique, printing on fabric, embellishing with fibers/ribbon/beads, and creating different dimensional embroiders are presented. These include the creation of slips in embroidery and beads that are then applied to another object. This is not a stumpwork course, rather the motifs are more elaborate and realistic in nature.


Over-Stitching Ribbon Motifs:

Embroidery with fiber and silk ribbon is used to create semi-realistic floral arrangements. These are beyond the basic Silk Ribbon Embroidery Motifs of roses and leaves. Rather, clusters of daisies, berries, wild roses, pomegranate, and fantasy flowers will be printed (or traced) on to fabric and over-stitched to bring these to life in ribbon. A parasol lady will be embroidered to include a silk ribbon skirt for her outfit. Each motif design can be printed directly to fabric (or traced) and will use different widths of silk ribbon to complete. White ribbon can be used for all designs (and then ink to color these) if you do not have an extensive supply of colors/widths in the ribbon. Fantasy flowers can use any type of ribbon, saving on the use of the silks.  


Styles of Crazy Quilting:

Modern crazy quilting differs from the type of embellishing our great-great-grandmothers did because we have an extensive range of supplies that did not exist in her era. Over time, the Victorian Style of embellishing crazy quilts has given way to inclusion of more dimensional adornments. This course identifies the various styles of embellishing and then concentrates on two most common of these: Victorian and Shabby Chic. The first section will be re-creating a Victorian Style Block using silk fabrics and embellishing based on a historical pattern. Silk, velvet, brocade fabrics are used in the second section as we create a Shabby Chic Style purse which includes embellishing a printed image front with loads of lace.


Artistic Gardens:

This course expands our artistic view through the use of various paints, markers, pencils, etc. as we create backgrounds for stitched garden scenes. Guidelines will be established but the student has huge opportunity for expression. Some new embroidery stitches are included but lessons are more conceptual in their design rather than following a traced picture.

Advanced Crazy Quilt Courses


These are technique driven courses and cover skills that you will not normally use in all crazy quilts. Finished projects will vary and will not always be at a scale that fits crazy quilts when a larger design is necessary to better learn the specific technique. Each project can be adapted to crazy quilts however by simply reducing the size of the design or by using only a portion of the full design on a crazy quilt; after the technique has been learned.



If you research traditional stumpwork, there are a lot of examples of small people with wired fingers and stuffed animals or foliage adorning ornately carved wooden chests. The humans would have thread wrapped wire fingers and wear clothing created by combining various needle-lace shapes to resemble sweaters, paints, etc.  Often, a forest scene was depicted for these wee folks that might include a large cluster of acorns or a fiber stitched stag. Normally, parts of this scene were totally “out of scale”. For example, an acorn might be three times the size of a deer standing next to it. In a more modern version, items are usually more in scale with each other. For this course, we will be creating a dimensional foliage with insects that includes detached leaves and wings. Skills include wire wrapping, needle-lace, padded embroidery, and fiber embroidery stitches.


Dimensional Surface Beading:

Standard beading is honestly no more than securing a bead to a surface. It is not a difficult concept to understand. Complexity increases as you add more beads of different size and shape. Stacking beads and creating objects with beads increase the difficulty. When you add other objects to the mix, the fun really begins. So, if you enjoy “blinging” up projects; this is a good class for you. It will require that your eyesight and mobility allow you to work with tiny objects; and good lighting is a must! Supplies needed for this course will include uniformly sized (sz 11, sz 15) seed beads, cabochons (flat back stones), montees’, bicone crystals (sz 4mm, 3mm, 2mm), rice beads (3-5mm), bugle beads (2-4mm) and round pearls (sz 3mm). There may be some “odd beads” in the design as well which might be hard to find an exact match for…but substitution is okay. We will be working on a small beaded objects with additional options for completing a special doll with beaded parts. I'm still working on all of the handouts so some things can change even up to the last minute...but I do guarantee that whatever our final projects are...they will be fabulously beaded!


Thread Painting & Knots:

The smaller the scale of a project, the more difficult the work. Delicate designs require delicate fibers for the embroidery. This course will work with DMC 6-strand cotton and silk threads (which are finer than standard sewing thread). Some designs will be tiny to help reduce the amount of stitching; but will also increase the complexity of the work. Good eyesight is a must! Good lighting is a must! Some magnification might also be a must for some of us. The finished project will also include a lot of knots…French or Colonial and Bullion Knots will be practiced, and practiced, and practiced. The end projects could be a good pillow center or book cover design.


Check out the Calendar to see when each course is OPEN for registration. You’ll then have 3 days of open registration in which to sign-up for each specific course.


Kathi M said...

Thanks Kathy! I am SO looking forward to learning and doing some new things! I've gotten so many compliments on my CQ purse and have even had someone ask if I would make one for her!

Rhonda said...

Hi Kathy, Long time since I have been here. Its been a busy and tragic past 18 months for me, but i'm going to try to dig in and take some more courses. i miss the quiet, relaxation of the hand work. looking forward to taking the classes this 2021....