Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sharing some details of the Crazy Sheep quilt

That is what I am all about: details. In my quilts, I want you to spend time looking at the details. Most of you will never see this quilt in person, so it is hard to give a feeling of scale here in this blog. This quilt is not huge, only 52" x 49 1/2" Here are on the some photos of the embroidery stitching in the Crazy Sheep quilt. All the fabrics used are suiting weight wools.
When you look closely, there are only about six basic stitches throughout the whole quilt. What's your favorite? Daisy chain? That makes sunflowers, French knots in the centers. Stem stitch? That is useful for stems, of course. Or feather stitch? I used that for stems and leaves, and ferns. Straight stitch? I used that for the petals of the dandelions (lower left). Blanket stitch? I used that for the grass at the bottom of the photo. Satin stitch? I filled in some of the leaves with that one. The chunks of felted wool behind the flowers make up my stone fence that goes around the sheep in the border. In the Woolly Sheep pattern, which I published in 1998, there is a split rail fence. All the fabrics were cotton, with some wool yarn details. The stone fence in the Crazy Sheep, in wool felting is brilliant. I must say that it wasn't my idea. A customer who saw the quilt in progress at a show, suggested it. It didn't work right away though. When I created the stones, visually they read as a stone path, not a wall. It wasn't until I embroidered the flowers on top that the wall stood up. The cattails are felted brown roving, with stem stitching for the stalks and leaves.

The gray sheep in the photo,
has felted horns with variegated pearl cotton embroidery thread sewn on to indicate the rings around the horns.

The sheep is fused with Steam-A-Seam Lite (a glue that comes in a sheet that you iron on the back of the applique) to the background and satin stitched with Sulky rayon thread. The ears are two pieces of wool fused together, cut out in an ear shape and inserted under the face applique before it was stitched. The ears stick out from the face. The details of the faces are hand embroidered with iridescent glass seed beads stitched on for eyes.


  1. Thanks. I worked on this quilt for two years. It was like giving birth...I had no idea what it was going to look like when it was finished.

  2. Does anybody know how to fix the photos which are missing?

  3. Your project has greatly inspired me and I have started to design my own applique quilt. I know it will be a long time in the making and that is all right by me.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Quilting is truly an adventure, Cyn. I spent four years in college, studying Fabric Design, to learn two words: "What if...?" That is the base to build creativity. You constantly need to question why things are done in a certain way; if you find a way that doesn't agree with your senses, make up a method that does work for you. Invent. I am glad I inspired you to follow your heart.