Mary Corbet

writer and founder


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

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (75) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Hand-Stitched Crazy Patchwork – Book Review


Amazon Books

Happy Friday!

It’s been mighty quiet here on Needle ‘n Thread for the past week – I hope you didn’t miss me too much! I missed you, though, and I’m really happy to be back today! For those who have asked, yes, I’ve been a bit ill this week, but I’m crawling out of it now, and things are getting back to normal. Thanks for all the encouragement!

To help celebrate this resurgence of energy, today I want to review a Very Energetic book for you. It’s Hazel Blomkamp’s newest book, called Hand-Stitched Crazy Patchwork, and let me tell you right off the bat – it’s different.

It’s not your typical needlework book. It’s a bit crazy, just like the name implies…but in a good, good way!

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

When my copy of Hand-Stitched Crazy Patchwork first arrived, I had to tackle it in several sittings. Often, I approach a book with a pre-conceived set of expectations. This isn’t always the best way to approach a book, as it tends to limit your access to the book from the start.

“Crazy Patchwork” = “Crazy Quilting Book” was my first mistake, although…

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

…you can understand why I had that pre-conceived notion, right? If this isn’t crazy quilting, what is?

But that’s just the thing. Hazel’s book is more – much more – than a how-to on crazy quilting.

If I were to categorize the book somehow, now that I know the book, I’d call it “surface-embroidery-and-other-needlework-meet-extreme-crazy-quilting-that-is-mostly-surface-embroidery-and-other-needlework.”

And that’s about as clear as mud.

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

Hand-Stitched Crazy Patchwork is definitely a technique book. But it combines So Very Many techniques, that it’s more of a needleworker’s creative manual. It teaches you how to do certain techniques, while opening those techniques up to some fantastically creative applications.

The foundation of the book is the notion of crazy quilting.

But it’s not just a crazy quilting book. It’s a needlework technique book, first and foremost, and then a project book, with some projects grounded in crazy quilting and some projects surface embroidery that looks like crazy quilting.

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

The book starts out covering materials, tools, supplies and so forth, as any needlework instructional book does.

From there, Hazel introduces us to the basic techniques of crazy quilting so that, if you choose to apply the techniques in the book to crazy quilting, you have a foundation to work on.

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

Then, she teaches us gobs and gobs of stitching techniques, from individual stitches…

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

…to stitch combinations…

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

…to simple and more complex needle lace techniques…

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

…to needle weaving techniques…

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

…to bead embroidery techniques…

…and more – including surface embroidery techniques like long & short stitch shading… and even tatting!

And throughout all the instruction, there are gorgeous close-up photos of beautiful embroidery samples featuring the huge variety of stitching techniques offered throughout the book.

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

After the techniques section, we get into the projects.

There are five projects in the book, and while they all bear some resemblance to crazy quilting, they aren’t all crazy quilting projects. Some are embroidery projects that look like crazy quilting, but don’t involve patching together fabric.

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

Each project has a thorough materials list, followed by step-by-step instructions for completing the project.

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

The step-by-steps for each project refer the reader back to the technique instructions, so that the stitcher has a thorough understanding of how to accomplish each step.

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

The project above, Nightshade, is a surface embroidery project. It hints at crazy quilting, but it doesn’t involve any patchwork.

There are also finishing instructions for projects that result in made items, such as a basket cover and a Christmas stocking.

Hand Stitched Crazy Patchwork - Hazel Blomkamp

At the end of the book, you’ll find all the patterns for each stitching adventure!

In a Nutshell

Hand-Stitched Crazy Patchwork is oh-so-much-more than a crazy quilting book, so don’t let the cover or title fool you. If you’re looking for a crazy quilting book, oh yes! It fits the bill! But it’s also a surface embroidery book, a needle lace book, a needle weaving book, a bead embroidery book, a tatting manual, and a magnificent idea book.

Like all of Hazel’s books, it’s different! It goes where other needlework books haven’t gone before.

And it’s definitely worth putting on your wish list! In fact, I’d say it’s one of those books that’s going to sell out of the first printing. Just my guess. Could be wrong. But it appeals on so many levels, that I think a lot of people are going to want it!

Where to Find

You can find Hand-Stitched Crazy Patchwork through the following book affiliates:

In the US, you can find Hand-Stitched Crazy Patchwork here, through Amazon.

World-wide, with free shipping, you can find Hand-Stitched Crazy Patchwork here, through Book Depository.

You can also find the book through Hazel Blomkamp Embroidery in South Africa and through Create in Stitch in Australia.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a local needlework shop with a good selection of books, don’t hesitate to ask for it there, too!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(21) Comments

  1. Oh, my! This is exactly the book I need right now. I’m so excited — thank you Mary!
    And yes, I have missed you this weekend and prayers have been sent up for you.

  2. Hi Mary,

    This book sounds very interesting. I am taking Kathy Shaw’s crazy quilting courses at the moment. Might have to put this book on my wish list.

    Barbara L.

  3. I had the privilege of seeing Hazel’s samples last year when she came to Canada to teach at our annual seminar. They are absolutely divine!

    I’ve been waiting “patiently” for this book since last year and can’t wait to get my copy!

  4. Oh Mary, I’m sorry you’ve been unwell. I hope it was just the chemo knocking you around and that you’ll be fine once that’s over. Hazel’s book is wonderful – I ordered it as soon as she announced it. I’ll probably never work any of her projects as described, but she’s such a treasurehouse of techniques and ideas.

  5. Thanks Mary! I’ve just placed my order. If this book is as wonderful as both of Hazel’s crewel ones, I’m sure to love it!

  6. Great to read from you again; I did miss you.

    Thank you for the wonderful review. I had a feeling about this book and have one winging its way to me already. You’ve just upped my excitement level!

    All the very best!

  7. So sorry you’ve been going through a bad stretch Mary – hope you soon are feeling better. Thank you for the book review – this one was already on my wish list.

  8. Hi Mary
    thanks for the review. I have seen this book and had it on my Amazon wish list. However, I followed your Bood Depository link and found it costs less there and ordered it. I’m really looking forward to receiving my copy. I wasn’t sure I really wanted it until I read your review.

    1. Carol,
      Thanks for the heads up about the book being cheaper at Book Depository. I had purchased it at Amazon and they would not give me a shipping date. So I canceled my order and bought it at the Depository. They will ship in 24 hours… I can hardly wait…

  9. I have been seeing this book talked about!!!! So I just went ahead and preordered through your link. . Glad your feeling better this week. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you!!!! Thanks for all you do.

  10. Okay, as usual, you are an enabler. However, as I am a crazy quilter, I didn’t even try to resist. Used the link pre-ordered the book. Can’t wait to try the new techniques it offers. Always a pleasure. I’m glad you are feeling better. Can’t wait for the book. All the best – Sarah

  11. It looks like a lovely, and more important, a useful book. I can’t wait to add it to my already too large library. Thank you for the review and I’m glad you are feeling better.

  12. So glad you’re feeling better. I suspect that’s to be expected but awful when it happens. I am so excited to get this book after reading your review. I have a box with lace qppliques, vintage laces, 2 books on Crazy Quilting and e-books from Sharon Boggon as I ordered her two sets of templates to be used in the combination stitches. One day I will begin…I’ve been saying that for about 5 years now. It combines two of my favorite crafts…embroidery and quilting so what is taking me so long to get started? I know I have way too many UFO’s….8 quilts, several embroidery designs and crochet doilies in the works that I must get done first. Plus I bought books, ribbons designs and fabric from Di Van Niekerk when she announced she was going out of business-yet another craft to start and learn. I must admit I’m never bored because there’s always something to pick up and work on.

  13. Hello Mary, thank you for the fab review – the book looks really intriguing! Will have to put it on my wish list.
    So sorry you have been unwell this week, hope you are starting to feel better? Sending lots of good wishes Ann x

  14. Hi Mary
    Your reviews make me desperately search and buy books 🙂
    May God Bless you….
    Does Hazel teach how to do Tatting in this book?


  15. Oh Mary, I am so sorry you have been feeling ill this week but glad you are feeling better enough to visit.

    This book is to-die-for gorgeous, isn’t it? I have made so much crazy quilting in my time I just couldn’t resist the idea of not adding embellishments per se, but embroidering everything. And so far I am not disappointed – as you say, it deserves to be taken in small portions.

    Please stay well.

  16. Oh dear another book, ha ha. Of course I have to have it. I love crafts and art and this looks to combine the both, ideal for me. Thank you so much for sharing. I have only just found your site and absolutely love it. Keep up the good work.

More Comments