SEEing the Possibilities in an Optical Lens Crazy Quilt Pendant

Pat Winter © 2008

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I first began creating the microscope glass slide pendants a few years ago, borrowing the idea from mixed media artists. Seeing them use ephemera again, this time under glass floral pebbles, inspired me to create round miniature crazy quilt pendants under glass. I tried cutting my own glass circles, but it was a disaster. I searched the local stained glass shops and even did a Google search for small glass circles with no luck. I did find watch faces, but they were never the same size and you need two for a pendant. That was when I realized I had to browse for round mixed media work and I found the optical lens to be a perfect solution. Back to search them out….not an easy task. After ordering a few sets, I did find a gal on Etsy who would cut round glass pieces for me so I ordered a dozen. This would save on the optical lens use, as they are pricey. I found the round shape to be harder to foil, but it is worth it when you have this small round treasure completed. Let me guide you through my process to create your own crazy quilt under glass.


  • Two optical lens (or one optical lenses and one glass circle)
  • Muslin scrap
  • Fabric scraps
  • Tiny cloth image (optional)
  • Doll or insertion lace scrap
  • Petite beads, tiny charm
  • Petite needles (optional but easier to work with)
  • 2mm or 4mm silk ribbon
  • Small circle of decorative paper
  • Basic soldering supplies: lead free flux and solder, iron, foil tape, bone tool, pliers or tweezers to hold hot project


Select an optical lens – search eBay for the best deal.
Trace around the lens onto a piece of muslin scrap.
Gather some fabric scraps and an image.
Center the image within circle.
Add the first fabric on image.
Continue sewing fabric scraps around the image or a center fabric.
Center your lens over the pieced area to see if it is satisfactory.
Gather small supplies.
Trim your CQ piece to the traced line. Sew on lace first.
Next, add some stitching.
A little silk ribbon embroidery is a lovely touch.
Sew on beads and charm last.
Assemble the CQ piece, lens, backing paper, back glass circle and sandwich in that order
Add foil to the center area first. Use a bone tool or popsicle stick to firmly adhere foil to glass.
Repeat on each side with the foil just hanging over edge.
Use lead free flux and solder for your jewelry if it will be touching the skin.
Use the bone tool to press firmly, but gently, to glass.
Solder and let cool before cleaning or glass will crack…trust me on this.

If you want to dress up your pendant, you can glue broken rhinestone necklace bits around it, or pretty stones, charms, etc.

You can paint your pendant with gold leaf paint pen, acrylic paint, or alcohol ink.

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