Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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All the Embellishing Fun of Crazy Quilting… without the quilting!


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If you like the idea behind crazy quilting – the whole notion of embellishing seams with embroidery stitches, and adding unique touches with beads and so forth – and if you like the look of “primitive design” in embroidery, but you’re not a quilter and you don’t draw your own designs… well, what can you do?

Carol of Chickadee Hollow Designs combines the fun of “crazy quilt” embroidery, the variety and quirkiness of the Primitive embroidery look, and the personalization of color choice and embellishment in her array of projects available on her website. When I saw them, I thought – “That’s funny. It’s all the fun of crazy quilting embellishment… without having to do any piecing and quilting!”

Chickadee Hollow Designs - fun crazy quilting without the quilting!

Now, keep in mind these aren’t properly crazy quilt design, as they aren’t made out of pieced fabric. When Carol designs a piece, she sketches it out, draws in the embroidery stitches and “seam” treatments, colors the piece in with watercolors and colored pencils, and then, through a scanning and printing process, transfers the colored design to fabric. What you receive from her when you order one of her designs is the printed fabric, ready to embellish. You can personalize your project by varying your stitches, adding beads, and selecting the colors of your threads. Each project comes with stitch instructions and thread color recommendations, to keep it easy on the stitcher — but… if you want to be a bit more creative, you can play around with color and thread choice and so forth.

Chickadee Hollow Designs - fun crazy quilting without the quilting!

I think Carol’s projects would be a great way for someone to get into embroidery. The Christmas ornaments she features, for example, would be an excellent project for teaching embroidery to a youngster. It’s always fun to work on something colorful, that requires a variety of stitches!

Her Christmas stockings, too, are cute – and I love the little scenes within the bigger piece. It’s not the kind of embroidery project you’d get bored with!

And, outside the realm of Christmas, she also features some pillows and other objects for home decorations.

Chickadee Hollow Designs - fun crazy quilting without the quilting!

I think the concept is interesting – I’m not a crazy quilter (I keep thinking I’m going to go back and try to redeem myself from my first crazy quilting blungle!), but I do like this idea of working up the “look” of crazy quilting in another form. Jeannine’s hearts kind of remind me of this idea – they’re a great way to sample all kinds of stitching. The other place I’ve seen the concept at work – where you get the pleasure of crazy quilt embellishing, but where you aren’t actually quilting – is Judy’s work on Possibilities, Etc., where she “crazy quilts” on needlepoint. She makes really pretty pieces this way!

If this type of stitching looks fun to you – or if you have a youngster in the family who’s ripe for learning embroidery stitches – you should stop by Chickadee Hollow to see if Carol’s got just the project for you. You never know – it could be a whole new type of stitching addiction….


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(5) Comments

  1. Oh! You find the coolest stuff, Mary! What sweet designs!…They get the wheels spinning and make you think of all sorts of creative places to go. Thanks! -Jeannine

  2. What a great review, Mary! I’m excited. This adaptation of CQ is right down my alley, personally. And I know my readers want to know about it, too. I’ve scheduled a link to your review to go live on my blog early Sunday morning (Central USA time). Thank you! And rock on, girl!


  3. I love the stockings and ornaments Chickadee Hollow has. There are so many things that would make a great gift for my Mom who loves to sew and quilt. Thanks for sharing this with us Mary. I plan to place an order very soon.

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