Did you ever pick a fabric but it just wasn’t quite right? Especially if you are working with art quilts?

I have been there and done that. In April, I shared my Crab pattern as part of the Quilt Block Mania. The pattern was simple, but of course, I could not leave well enough alone. I couldn’t resist playing with it to make it just a little bit more special.

Would you like to know a few of the tricks I used?

First, to cut the legs, cut two at a time. If using batiks or solids, you can just flip one after cutting. If using a print, be sure to fold the print in half and then cut two at a time to get mirrored images.

I wanted to add a little dimension to the background. To do this, I used four different embroidery threads with a fly stitch. These stitches made a net like texture for my crab to sit on. I wasn’t worried about the net being perfect… have you ever seen a net on the beach that isn’t snagged or warped?

The different colors added additional dimension to five an illusion of movement.

The Hoffman Watercolor batiks have lots of depth. But I wanted to add a little more shading to the legs without more piecing or applique.

First, I tested a few markers, without very good results.

Next, I tried Prisma pencils and was able to get the shading I wanted. Pencil isn’t very stable on its own. That is why I used an extender to fix the color.

What I noticed is that the color brightened and blended when the extender was brushed onto it. The left claw is pencil only. The right claw has been painted with the extender.

Once the claws and legs were colored, I added them to the block.

The shell was embellished with a little stitching and a few beads.

I replaced the fabric eye stalks with beads.

Then, I added some beads to the netting to give it a little sparkle.

The only thing I have left is to bind it!

If you downloaded the crab pattern, I would love to see what you accomplished with it! If you missed this free pattern, you can purchase it now.

Happy Quilting!