A Spider Web for Luck

Barbara Blankenship © 2010

   
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Throughout the history of crazy quilting spider webs have been used as embellishments on crazy quilts. During the Victorian era they were thought to bring good luck to the quilter; therefore, they became a necessary part of each crazy quilt. Although modern crazy quilters do not hold this same belief, spiders and spider webs are still a popular embellishment.

Although I do not particularly enjoy stitching the spider web, I think it is a beautiful embellishment when complete. In this article I would like to share my method of creating one type of web.

I begin by laying out the vertical straight lines of the web. For this web I am using Kreinik #12 tapestry thread color #5005. In this particular design you will always come back to the same beginning point and fan out your stitches at the base of the web.

I take particular care in making sure each of these straight lines is smooth with the fabric. Take your needle to the reverse side of the fabric and lock your stitch in place before you go to the next stitch.

Where your needle exits will determine where you begin the next straight stitch. You will work from top to bottom or bottom to top. This will save on the amount of thread you use.

Each of the straight stitches will need to be couched down. Use a very fine thread in a matching color to do this. Iíve used the Bijoux #425 Pyrite. When couching, I try to do it at the same place I will be stitching the horizontal rows. In this photo you can see my couching stitches.

This photo of the reverse side gives you an idea of how I work row by row, couching the vertical spokes of the web.

Stitching the horizontal rows becomes very easy if you couch in the correct places. You simply run your needle under this thread and continue across the entire width of the web. Leave the thread loose on these rows.

The last step in completing the web is to couch down each loop in the horizontal rows just completed. Notice the loops are pointed slightly upward in the photo. Insert your needle from back to front just slightly above and to the center of the first loop. Place your needle under the thread and pull it up. Insert the needle in the same spot you entered and pull thread to the back. Continue across every loop in that row and the remainder of the rows.

Every spider web must have a spider. Iíve used an 8mm Swarovski bicone crystal for the body and a 4mm round crystal for the head. Any black thread can be used to stitch the legs.

Melanie, one of my dear friends and member of our local Lake Jackson Crazy Quilt Bee, stitched this gorgeous spider web. With her permission I am including a photo.

We would love for you to submit photos of your spider web and spiders. If you have a special way of stitching your webs, or any unique designs, we would love to see them.

 

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