This Blog

This is a blog to show off my needlework, mainly crazy quilting, beading and crochet. It makes me happy to create these things and even more happy to share the fun with friends. Pictures of my beading projects are at

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Big Honkin' Needle

My local Embroidery Guild of  America (EGA) chapter (Constellation, Baltimore, Maryland) last week hosted two crazy quilt workshops by Betty Pillsbury. I was especially happy about this because I had gone to workshop Betty gave at the Adventure in Crazy Quilting retreat in Connecticut in 2011. She is good: clear instructions, interesting projects and fun. It was there we first heard her refer to using a "big honkin' needle" for embroidering with chenile thread. We used it again at the Constellation chapter workshops.

The first workshop was entitled "Motifs from Antique Crazy Quilts." Betty has a wonderful collection of antique crazy quilts from which she selected three to teach. I might have named this class "honkin' big motif" because they were, at 4x6 inches and 5x7 inches, way bigger than I have used on my quilts. After this class I will think bigger.

The first motif was a sprig of goldenrod worked in chenile on velveteen using our "big honkin' needles."

We were supposed to use silk chenile thread for this, but it was somewhat hard to find and I used rayon. It is a flat thread, whereas silk puffs out around the whole center. I like the way the rayon looks fine, but you can see the difference by looking at the lemon colored french knots in the lower center of the motif. These are in silk thread I got from a friend.

A second motif was also done on velveteen, a palette.

The flower on this is made with wired ribbon

Third was a pansy made of silk dupioni with ribbon stem and leaf.
I worked this on a crazy quilted 15" diameter circle I made up for use in the class.


This is it after the work from the second workshop entitled "Notebook Sampler." Here are the motifs made in this workshop:

A 3" flower made from silk essense fabric.
A 2 1/2" pansy  made from wired ribbon.
Two flowers with  needlewoven petals and two beaded dragonflies.
The green dragonfly is from a kit Betty provided.
Spiderweb made with metallic machine embroidery thread and 2 bullion roses.
These were two wonderful days of learning and fun with friends.