The Crazy Canvaswork Cushion – Part 2

First Section

First Section

Once I had managed to get the canvas mounted on the frame, I could start stitching. Although the project is inspired by Crazy Patchwork, and is supposed to be random in feel, I always find it easier if I can give my randomness some structure, so I have worked out a few guidelines for myself:

  • At least two colours in each patch
  • Heathering will be permitted, but confined to the middle of the cushion
  • Try to use crossed, slanted and straight stitch patterns in equal measure
  • Don’t try to straighten lines – use partial stitches.


Brighton Stitch

Brighton Stitch

They are only guidelines and I may ignore or break the rules later on!

The first section is worked in purple and pale minty green, using Brighton Stitch. I like this stitch. It creates a neat, geometric effect, covers the canvas well, and can be made as subtle or as dramatic as you like.

I’m also keeping track of the amount of thread I use. It will give me some sense, as I get nearer to completing the cushion, of whether or not I am likely to reach the end of the cushion or the stash first!

Florentine Stitch

Florentine Stitch

For the second section, I decided to use the simplest and most basic of Florentine Stitch patterns. Only two colours, and a simple, regular zigzag.

I’ve found that three strands of the Paternayan are necessary for this stitch to cover the canvas, whereas for the Brighton Stitch I only needed two strands. The basic Florentine stitch is also terrifyingly quick to do. I realise this is an odd thing to say, but I want this project to last me a while, and if the sections turn out to be really quick, it won’t.

Second Section Added

Second Section Added

It’s too early to draw any conclusions, but the first two sections also used about the same number of strands taken from the skein, even though in one case the lengths were used whole while in the other, two lengths from the skein produced three needlefuls!

I have yet to decide whether I will emphasize the joins, either by creating some sort of seam embellishment, or simply by back stitching in grey thread to make the edges seem crisper and sharper. That decision can wait until I’ve finished, not least because I suspect that I will need to see the whole thing at once before I decide!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Oh, I really like that Brighton stitch!

  2. Jules says:

    Brighton stitch is fab! What a pretty effect.

  3. Carolyn says:

    That is looking really nice. I also like the Brighton Stitch.

  4. Sue Jones says:

    The two to three ratio is about right for the necessary difference in the thread thickness between diagonal straight stitching and vertical stitching. Diagonal stitches are closer together, so don’t need to be so fat. (Always something to bear in mind on any sot of counted embroidery.) I also like your Brighton Stitch – new to me. It would look very impressive and regal (on a different sort of project) with gold metallic thread in the corners peeping out of that rich purple.

  5. Andy LW says:

    Looking marvellous, Rachel – especially the Brighton stitch. I like the joins “merging” without definition, but as you say, that might change when you’ve done more.

  6. Cynthia says:

    I’ve never heard of someone worrying that a project will be over too soon! Love the color combination for the Brighton stitch.

  7. deanna7trees says:

    me too….love that Brighton stitch and the color you chose. beautiful connection between the 2 sections.

  8. coral-seas says:

    Brighton stitch is a new one on me and I love it too!

  9. Penny says:

    I love these stitches. Will it be a problem if you run out of thread – do you have easy access to more in the same dye lot? That would worry me – I’m always buying more than I need ‘just in case’ *smile*. I too love the Brighton stitch.

  10. An excellent start! Looking at what you have done so far from a quilter’s point of view, I would be tempted to make it a “mixed media” project and add braid, lace and other embellishments along the joins. I’m looking forward to seeing how it progresses.

  11. Anita says:

    Brighton stitch is very pretty and I think it has got a beautiful texture! Lovely colors .

  12. Janice says:

    I love the Brighton stitch too. I agree about needing a structure to your apparently random crazy patches. It’s all too easy to end up with all the large patches in one place and then gradually getting smaller. A good spread of the sizes is what’s required. Hope you don’t finish it too quickly!!!

  13. TErrie says:

    Brighton stitch – new name to me. It’s pretty. I learnt and passion about stitches after following your blog. You’re inspiring.

  14. karen says:

    Rachel this is wonderful…precise, neat, perfect. I will be interested to see how you address the seams when you get to that stage.