How to Sew a Crazy Quilt Square

I love the vintage crazy quilts! They are so full of color, texture, and interest. Your creativity in endless. If you want to have fun making a quilt, where just about anything is fair game, crazy quilting might be what you are looking for. A crazy quilt square can be extreme with many embellishments, such as embroidery, beadwork, lace, ribbon, etc.

There are many tutorials on the internet, but in this tutorial we’re just going to stick to the basics for making a crazy quilt square. I will do two different methods of sewing random fabric scraps together to create a quilt square. There are more meticulous ways of creating a crazy quilt square with pre-determined designs, curves, and circles, but I prefer a more random approach, like putting together a puzzle! No Rules!

There are two methods that I will share for sewing a crazy quilt square.

Supplies Needed:

Crazy Quilt Square Method One:
Piecing it Together

sewing a crazy quilt square piece by pieceThis method doesn’t have a foundation fabric, and may be a good option if you are adding some crazy quilt pieces to a quilt top, or want less bulk to your quilt.  To begin your quilt square, determine what size you want your finished squares to be, such as 7″x7″ (Don’t forget you will need extra inch for seam allowances, so plan for 8″). You will need to cut several pieces of fabric into different shapes and sizes. You should keep your pieces at least 2 inches in sizes, otherwise they become too small to sew together.

Find a piece to start with as your center piece, and a second piece of fabric to attach. You will want to select pieces that have a common edge that line up fairly well. It doesn’t need to be perfect. You can trim off excess.

Place the two pieces of fabric, right sides together, and sew with 1/4″ inch seam.

Continue to add pieces of fabric, branching out from the center, until you reach the point that you can trim around the edges, and end up with your 8″ square (allowing for 1/2″ seam allowance for your quilt, or whatever your project is going to be).

You should iron your crazy quilt square as you sew, to keep it flat, and even, and prevent puckering. Ironing is important for any sewing project – for that nice, finished look!

Crazy Quilt Square Method Two:
Piece on Foundation Fabric

For this method, you will need a foundation fabric, such as a good quality muslin. Cut your quilt square out of the muslin, adding an inch  for seam allowances. This is the preferred method of crazy quilting, due to the added support the foundation fabric provides.

Select a fabric piece to place face up, somewhere in the middle area of the muslin square.  Place second piece of fabric (right sides together) on top of first, lining up raw edge and sew, attaching to the foundation fabric.  Flip the face down fabric piece right side up and press.

Take the next piece of fabric, lay down with right side together, on previous attached fabric, making sure raw edges are lined up. Sew along edge, and flip face up. Continue to add fabric pieces until muslin square is covered. It’s ok if the fabric pieces overlap the edge of the muslin square. You will trim those off.

Embellishing Your Square with Stitches:

Once your crazy quilt square is complete, and you have ironed it flat, we need to add some stitches to create interest, and texture. This can be done by machine or by hand, using embroidery stitches. Simply choose the decorative stitches you want to use, and place them along your chosen seams. You can do all of the seams or just choose a few.

Look at your fabric design for embellishment ideas.  You can enhance a flower, or outline with embroidery stitches to make it pop with color and texture.

On the first crazy quilt square, I used several decorative stitches on my Brother SE 400 Sewing Embroidery Machine.  For the second quilt square I did hand embroidery stitches, using stitches from my YouTube tutorials.  If you don’t know how to do the stem stitch, back stitch, lazy daisy, or french knot, follow along on the Hand Embroidery-Learn with Me Series on our YouTube Channel.

The options for adding embellishments are many, and we are only mentioning a few in this post, so stay tuned for additional crazy quilt square tutorials, as we venture into connecting the quilt squares and more embellishment ideas.

About Bonnie

Bonnie has been sewing since she was a child, and her love of playing with thread has only grown since then. She continues to sew, but has a newfound love for all things embroidery.

2 thoughts on “How to Sew a Crazy Quilt Square

  1. Thanks for the information about how to make an eight by eight crazy quilt square. I have inherited a beautiful but shredded crazy quilt from my family. It simply is too worn and destroyed to show. I am going to try to duplicate it to keep original design in the family’s. After watching your two demos, I think I am going to try on some cheaper quilting designed cloth first before I go to the silks and velvet from the original quilt.I need to get the square sewing down, and then practice my embroidery stitches again. It has been years since I have done any crewel stitching. Thanks for the reminders and helping me to get started again!

    1. You’re welcome! I’m sure all of your skills will come back to you as soon as you get going again. Sounds like a fun, and rewarding project. Good luck with your venture, and thanks for visiting us.

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