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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Crazy Quilt Spider Web Tutorial

I was recently asked why I use spiderwebs on so many of my crazy quilt pieces.  Well, the Victorians used spiderwebs quite often on their quilts.  The Victorians loved anything exotic and ornate!  They had a great love for nature.  Not only that, they considered spiders in their homes to be a sign of good luck.



Back to the reason that I use them on my crazy quilts so often is that many of mine have a garden theme to them.  Spider webs seem to work well for me.  And I really love doing them!!

If you look closely at real spider webs, they're mini works of art!  Each is unique, no two are alike and they are perfectly imperfect:


Spider webs are incredibly fragile and those little spiders work so hard and diligently  to create them:


I vaguely remember one day late last Summer, while I was still completely out of my mind, standing in my living room looking out the window and watching a spider build her web on the corner of my house.  It was mesmerizing to watch her go round and round, connecting the threads that support the spokes of the web.  It took her 2 hours to make that gorgeous web:


For today, I thought you would enjoy a tutorial on how to make embroidered spider webs.  And I guarantee, it will not take you 2 hours to do!

For my spider webs, I like to use Kreinik #4 or Kreinik #8 Braid.  You can use whatever you like.  DMC #8 Perle Cotton works nicely as does 1 or 2 strands of embroidery floss.  I like the Kreinik Braid because of the sparkle and it shows up well on my blocks:


Obviously, the first thing you'll need to do is to decide where you want to put your web.  Mine is going in the bottom left patch of this piece.

Next, you'll want to start in the middle and make the long spokes of the web:


Just make long straight stitches.  Keep in mind, that perfection is not part of this process.  Real spider webs are usually not perfect and you won't want yours to be either.

Next, you'll need to connect the long spokes with the connecting threads:


This will also couch down the long spokes.  Look at this photo closely.  You'll want to bring your needle up on the far side of a spoke thread, cross over it and put your needle down on the far side of the next spoke thread:


Make some of your stitches close together and some further apart.  Do a few on an angle and skip one occasionally.  Here is my finished web:


When I get my spider on this piece, I'll show you how I make my spiders with buttons or beads and thread for the legs.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a photo of my Autumn Spider Purse which I completed the other day.  Yesterday, I crocheted the trim for the bottom.  I plan to get this sewn up today and in the shop tomorrow:

11 comments:

LuLu Kellogg said...

Gorgeous Pam!!

stitchenmylifeaway said...

Oh good tutorial. I do love spider webs. We don't see many webs here in Texas I think it's to hot to build them in the summer here. I do remember one summer having a banana spider as big as my hand with a web filling the opening behind the green house. We watched him/her all summer and way into the fall before a storm carried it all away. I’d agree on them bring luck. LOL
Shay

Laurie said...

I love webs myself, and have 2 awesome ones outside the porch door. Very pretty embroidery, I'm hoping to be as great at it someday!!

Lynn Stevens said...

oh this is so cool, one I will have to try, hum... maybe something for Halloween!

Carol said...

Thank you Pam, Very Much! You are right, it does look pretty easy. I think I want to try it with the braid, so I'll be in search of it before I start. There is not a lot of places to get thread, that I know of, near me. I sometimes hate to resort to online, but fortunately you usually find what you want!!
xx, Carol

Sandy G said...

L@@K at that spider web! It's "beatimus"! Pam, you always make things look easy! Thank you for sharing! Will be watching to see Mr or Ms. Spider created. :o)

Moreen said...

Wow! thats great Pam thank you for the tutorial will have to give that a try - your work is lovely.

MosaicMagpie said...

Pam,
This is a great tutorial. The spider webs on the old crazy quilts was one of the first things I noticed. Not something you would imagine on a quilt with handwork being the emphasis. A spider web? But there they always are in all their glory.
Thanks again,
Debbie

Kreinikgirl said...

Great article Pam! The photos of actual spider webs do make them look like works of art.

dogonart said...

Thanks for the tute. I was just looking for some hand work to do and this is just right. I saw your beady little spider on MA's blog and I'm going to use something similar to that too. Thanks again. Your work is lovely.

Gina E. said...

Pam, this is a great tutorial. I've stitched webs on my two cq blocks, but was not happy with either of them, despite following instructions in books. But your instructions are very clear, so I'm going to do a little sample to keep in my stash, so I can follow it next time I do some CQ.

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