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Embellishment of a CQ Block

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Note:  Crazy Mary is not only an active list member, she is quite an accomplished crazy quilter.  She has graciously agreed to document the construction and embellishment of a CQ piece, so that we can see the the process and the progress of the block.

Any questions or comments should be addressed directly to Crazy Mary.

This block is made from materials available through the Embellishment Club at RibbonSmyth for the month of June.  For more information on the club and the kits, click here.  Vickie Brown, the owner of RibbonSmyth and the author of several books on silk ribbon embroidery is both a vendor and a member of the SafeHaven list.

Step 1:

8" block drawn onto muslin and fabrics chosen to piece the block.  I have left about an inch extra around the 8" block for piecing over the line for seam allowance. The block tends to shrink also as it is being embellished so having the block pieced to extend over the lines will make you glad you did it  later.

Step 2

My favorite way to piece a block is to start in the center with a piece of fabric cut to have 5 sides.

Step 3

Here I have chosen another fabric and right sides together hand stitching the seam. You can sew the blocks by hand or by sewing machine. With this block project I have chosen to sew all the blocks by hand.  Notice how I cut the edge straight to sandwich the two fabric together for sewing.

Seam is about 1/4".  When sewing the seam, sew through all three fabrics.  The seam includes the muslin foundation underneath.  I have included a photo of the backside of the muslin foundation to show the seams also on this page.

Step 4

Seam has been sewn and pressed open. I am trimming the excess fabric.  Always cut on a straight angle when cutting the fabric.

Step 5

Fabric has been trimmed and see how I left extra fabric over the outline drawn of the 8" block.

Step 6

Third fabric right sides pinned together onto the muslin block to be sewn.

Step 7

Third fabric seam has been sewn, pressed open flat and trimmed.  Here I have pinned some trim onto the seam and will baste it on.  Later when I embellish the block the trim will be secured more from being embellished.  One end of the trim will be sewn into the seam when the next fabric is pieced onto the block.

Note: You can add the fabric pieces going either clockwise or counter-clockwise around the 5-sided center fabric.  I go which ever direction I have a better piece of fabric to add for the next seam.  I tend to always do things backwards but there are no rules to CQ and that's why I love it so!  If you end up at a bare spot you can always cover it up with an appliquéd on piece of fabric, an iron on image or embellishments.

Step 8

I have already added to more fabrics to the block and now piecing the last fabric. This photo shows how I am piecing the last piece. To make the fabric fit you can see how I have pinned it even though it does not match the previous fabric seams that have been sewn, which is is okay.  No one will know because it will be covered up.

You can trim away the excess and also even take the stitches out of the seam to trim away the fabric that will be underneath the piece you are putting on.  Look at the top of the blue fabric I have pinned on. I have pressed the edge under. I have done this so that when I sew the pinned seam and then press the seam flat.......that pressed under edge can be basted or pinned down until it is embellished later.

Step 9

The piecing of the block is finished. I have basted the blue trim to the top seam and ironed on the image print.  I have left extra fabric all the way around the block extending over the block line.  I turned the block over on the wrong side and basted along the outline of the block so it would show me on the top side where the block edges were when I embellish the block later. I used yellow thread so it would show up well.

Close-up showing the basting stitches outlining the block. I also always baste around the block again about 1/4" or so outside the block outline basting.  I guess I do this in case my block shrinks up some after stitching that I if I had to take out the basting outlining the block to sew the block later to sashing that I would still have the excess fabrics basted down.  I hand baste this way around the blocks also when I piece a block by machine. Easier to remove the stitches later.

The block construction is actually over at this point, but it is time for some more photos of a few details!

The backside of the block is never pretty!!! 

The block has been pieced and now ready to embellish.

The next lesson will cover the embellishment of this block.

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Last edited: 12/28/2003