Book Review:
Crazy Quilting: The Complete Guide

Highlights on Topstitch Appliqué Piecing Method

Kimber Pekora © 2008

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Title : Crazy Quilting The Complete Guide
Author : J. Marsha Michler
Hard back Spiral bound : 255 pages
Publisher : Krause Publications, Iola, WI 800-726-9966
( 2008 )
Language : English
ISBN-13: 978-0-89689-520-1
ISBN-10: 0-89689-520-3

In her book, Crazy Quilting: The Complete Guide, J. Marsha Michler has skillfully created a wonderful teaching guide for all levels of crazy quilters. The book binding and size make it easy to use. The book opens flat, which is perfect for reading and following along. It begins with an overview of crazy quilting, tools needed and basic theory.

My favorite part of the book is the large section, Ten Ways to Patch a Crazy Quilt, pages 19-50. Michler has given instructions with diagrams for ten different ways to piece.  The color photos are wonderful and really help you understand the process. The methods she covers are: Antique, Landscape, Confetti Piecing, Right Sides Together, Strip Patching, Make a Pattern and English Paper Piecing, Collage, Topstitch Appliqué, Two-sided Topstitch Appliqué and Stained-Glass.

J. Marsha Michler and Krause Publications have graciously allowed us to to share pages 41-43 with you here, which discusses the Topstitch Appliqué method.

Embroidery by Hand, pages 63-71, describes in detail tools needed, threads, embroidery tips, making even stitches, stitch combinations and variations.

In the next section, 100 Embroidery Stitches, there are complete instructions and color diagrams for both basic and advanced stitches used in crazy quilting.

The chapter Embellishments, pages 150-193, describes in detail how-to methods including appliqué, slipstitch beads, buttons, covered buttons, cordings, making your own cording, tassels, fabrications with tucks and pleats, designing fans, using laces and monograms. Motif Embroideries has step-by-step guides for tracing paper transfer method, punchneedle, ribbonwork, fabric flowers, silk ribbon embroidery, woven patches, spiders and webs.

Surface Work, pages 194-212 is also a step by step detailed guide for silk dyeing, fabric painting, marbling, stamping, stencils, rubbings, foiling, photo transfer and inkjet printing.

Machine Methods, pages 213-227, describes the basics for machine work, as well as instructions and diagrams for creating fabrics, straight stitch for decorative stitches, couching, zigzag satin stitching, trapunto, insets, sharp-edge patches, and self-made fringe.

Pages 228-233 describe the different Styles of Crazy Quilts. Including block, whole quilt and various other styles.

The book ends with Finishing a Quilt, pages 234-246, which covers borders, backing, batting, knife-edge finish, tying the quilt and bindings.

J. Marsha Michler also shares a gallery, pages 51-62, with some lovely crazy quilted projects she has designed.

It is my opinion that this book is a must have for crazy quilters of all levels of experience. The book is well illustrated with beautiful color photos, diagrams and easy to follow instructions. It has been my pleasure to review this book for all the readers.

For more information, you can visit J. Marsha Michler's website (

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