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Crazy Patch Embroidery: How to Stitch a Crazy Heart Two Ways

Crazy patch embroidery is so much fun, a great way to use up scrap fabrics or explore a new quilt design. And, it’s really easy to create! Although crazy quilting looks difficult, modern embroidery machine designs make creating it nearly effortless. Ready to add try this fun patchwork design? Here’s how to embroider a crazy quilt heart. Don’t have a specific design in mind? I’ll share my appliqué pattern PDF FREE, so you can create one too!

From a preset pattern to a free-form appliqué design, let’s go crazy!

Crazy embroidered patchwork heart

Photo via Molly Mine

How to make a crazy quilt patch using a specific design

Crazy quilting has come a long way since it began more than a century ago. Molly Mine has created a variety of machine embroidered crazy quilt designs that can be mixed and matched to create a seemingly unlimited combination of in-the-hoop blocks. Using their new Crazy Hearts design, I’ll show you how you can create beautiful, and easy, crazy quilt heart.

Designs like the Crazy Heart series from Molly Mine intricately piece fabrics like you would when creating appliqué. Placement lines are stitched on a base fabric, appliqué fabrics are added and trimmed, satin stitching finishes the edges, and lovely embroidery embellishments complete the ensemble. Part of the fun is in selecting the different thread and fabric combinations.

Get the Crazy Heart design here.


crazy heart 1fPhotos via Debbie Henry

1. Hoop your base fabric with a medium-weight cut-away stabilizer. Placement stitches are all created in the first stitch sequence. They show all of the areas where fabric patches (appliqués) will go.

2. For fabrics, I chose a selection of beautiful watercolor batiks. Fabric scraps are ideal for crazy quilting. While my fabrics coordinated, you may prefer fabrics with more contrast. There are no rules, which is part of the fun!

creating a crazy heart patchwork
3. Remove the hoop, keep everything intact, and place it on a flat surface. For the first appliqué patch, cut the fabric slightly larger than the area it will cover. Spray the back of the appliqué fabric with temporary spray adhesive, and finger-press it in place over the placement lines.

Note: Never spray the hooped base fabric. Always spray the back of appliqué fabrics away from your machine. Spray them in a box or on paper to contain overspray.

4. Put the hoop back on the machine and stitch the second sequence to tack down the appliqué fabric.

trimming crazy heart 5. Remove the hoop again, and carefully clip away extra fabric close to the stitch lines.

6. Continue until all of your appliqué pieces have been attached.Piecing together your patchwork heart
7. When all appliqué pieces are secured and trimmed, finish the embroidery with the embellishment stitches.

How to make a crazy quilt patch using decorative stitches with appliqué

Before I knew how wonderful digitized crazy quilt designs were, I created a simple crazy patch heart using an appliqué heart design from Dakota Collectibles and a crazy quilt pattern of my own. I folded edges over on the fabrics and placed them along the lines, stitched the seams with decorative stitches, and finished the design with an appliqué edge.

Note: If you do not have an embroidery machine, you could draw a heart shape and use the satin stitching function on your machine to finish the edges.

Get the Large Heart Appliqué here.
Download the crazy quilt PDF pattern here. Patchwork heart design template1. Print out the crazy quilt template at actual size or feel free to create your own. You can use the diagonal lines with any heart appliqué design, just enlarge or reduce the template to fit your heart.  I resized the Large Heart Appliqué  design to fit my 150 x 240 hoop.

2. Lay a piece of medium-weight cut-away stabilizer on top of your templates and trace the heart appliqué outline and patchwork markings of your choice on it.putting together your crazy quilt embroidered applique
3. Cut the first piece of fabric to fit the middle triangle. Spray the back with temporary adhesive and finger-press it in place on the stabilizer.

4. With the second fabric, fold an edge one-quarter inch to the wrong side. Use a fabric glue stick to dab along the back of the flap edge and fold it over to the wrong side to hold it in place. This creates what would otherwise be a seam allowance without the seam.

Stitching your patchwork heart
5. Use a decorative stitch with a coordinating color thread and stitch on the overlapped  edge to secure it to the fabric and stabilizer. Most regular sewing machines also have preprogrammed decorative stitches or you can use a zigzag or blanket stitch.

6. Prepare the finished folded edge of the next fabric, place it along the unfinished edge of the middle triangle, and secure it with decorative stitches.

Applique crazy quilt heart
7. When all sides of the middle piece are attached to each other, mark horizontal and vertical center lines for hooping.

8. Hoop as it is, centering it in the hoop, or hoop another stabilizer and attach the stitched piece, centering it on top. Run the appliqué heart tack down stitch to secure the crazy patch fabric to the stabilizer. Remove the piece from the machine, and trim away excess fabric close to the tack down stitches. Reattach and run the finishing satin stitches.

9. If you do not have an embroidery machine, create a template of the heart by tracing it on clear quilting plastic. Cut it out and use it to draw the final heart shape around the crazy patch piece. Trim it, place it on the item you wish to appliqué, and finish the edges with satin stitching, zigzag stitching or blanket stitching.

Crazy patch heart applique!

The finished heart can be appliquéd on another item, or left to be freestanding as this one was.

Going crazy for these patchwork designs? Check out this collection of patchwork embroidery designs right here on the blog! Then keep the madness going with the online quilting class Crazy Quilts, where you mix luscious fabrics like silk and velvet with embroidered embellishments for a crazy beautiful finished project!

 What is your favorite way to create crazy patchwork embroidery?


Beryl Marshall

Very nice but how can I print this off. could it be sent via email?

Debbie Henry

Beryl, you should be able to print to a printer or copy and paste it into a word processing program like Microsoft Word.

Carol pedersen

Could I please use this pattern as a Block of the Month for Kapiti Coast Quilters NZ in May 2016? This when we celebrate Mother’s day and would be great for our quilters to learn this technique.

Debbie Henry

Carol, if you are talking about the second heart, that’s fine. It’s my pattern. For the first one, you would need to get permission from Molly Mine (just follow the link).

JoAnn Brethouwer

I can’t wait to try both methods. I can’t thank you enough. You’ve provided for me a solution to a problem. I didn’t want to used just plain solid fabrics and now I don’t have to. I intend to use your appliqué method for filler HEXAGON blocks framing hexagons that are signature blocks. I’ll use Civil War reproduction and primitive fabrics for the appliqué hexies because the signatures were hand embroidered in black over a distressed primitive medium tan/khaki fabric. The signatures were written on a pre-drawn 6 1/2″ hexagon in blue water soluable “ink”. I chose this pen medium in case the signers made an error it was easily wetted to remove. Before embroidering the signatures … some had their well wishes written and signed … I used a ultra fine point Sharpie with bleed proof ink in brown/black DMC embroidery floss to make the signatures permanent. I was hoping the quilt would be treasured and in the likelihood that the DMC floss would be worn thin over time, the brown/black ink would still have the original signatures intact to stitch a repair. Thanks again for sharing your design and methods.

Debbie Henry

Glad it was helpful JoAnn. Your project sounds beautiful. Please post it when done so we can enjoy your creativity!


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