Thursday, September 29, 2016

Crazy Cushion Progress

Progress on my book "Artisan Crazy Quilting" is going well, with so much behind the scenes that I cannot share just yet.

I'm so glad to be back to a new Crazy Quilt project.

A gift of handmade art for a special lady.

I incorporated some favorite colors and was given the freedom to design. This little gem is soon be making its way across the ocean.

I had to complete it in very  little time, you can see my special approach to crazy quilting is totally moving towards a different kind of voice within the world of crazy quilting.

I am totally smitten with circles, they are finding their way into my dreams. Last night it was a Ferris wheel against a sunset!
I was having such fun and in my dreams, I simply don't feel vertigo that I do in real life!!

I will be place something on the corners, its all an experience every time I make a crazy quilt of any kind.

I reused a luscious graduation gown into this piece. But the champagne color left me a wee bit out of sorts and off I went to find something that went with the general color approach, finding the orange and black fabric. 

This is the back side of that fabric, it was bit too much of color for the kind of sweet and mature image I was given of the lady this cushion be gifted to soon.

This is the top so far, and still in progress.

I intend to cover the corner areas of the border stitched strip to make them pop!

I've more to do today quilters and wishing you all happy times.

I'll post more after the weekend!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

365 Circles Progress

My little wee project of 365 Circles is becoming like a tiny dynamo sumo wrestler!

Its pushing me farther into more hand stitching and its singing me songs of inspiration.

When I first heard about 365 Circles.

I was more curious than excited about appliqueing on that many circles!

But then, I started playing and soon, I was sewing and appliqueing away with the best of them.

I discovered I really like circles.

I discovered that circles are more inspiring because of simplicity of the shape.

I really love the spin off tiny circles.

This is only about one third of the circles I have ready to go into my new quilt.

Truth be told, I was more than I need for a king size quilt so I can pick and choose.

I have decided that a plan is required for this group of beauties.

I found these bundles above for $25 from a seller on Usedvic.

And a thrift shop had yardage for around 3.99 a bundle. Each bundle is at least 2 m. Two chunks are over 5 m. Its mostly fashion fabrics, but I'm sure that little pieces of these fabrics will find their way into my crazy quilts.

Happy Sunday Quilting!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Crazy Quilted Embellishment

Many of you out there online are just discovering crazy quilting.

Some of you though are just as experienced as I am with this form of art. So do add your own spin in a comment at the end.

I've been asked at workshops what makes my crazy quilted pieces look old fashioned.

This was not an intentional act on my part, simply a happy accident. But from all the comments at workshops and this blog, its made me rethink what it is that I do.

The following are my own thoughts on what makes a crazy quilt look 'old fashioned.'
  • I rarely use only 100% cotton.
  • I love slippery fabric with some stretch to it.
  • I often include bits and pieces of used clothing into my work.
  • I mix and sort through shades and I do use a color chart occasionally.
  • I often don't really "THINK" about it. I believe that this thinking about is what turns people off.
  • I also don't believe in calling a quilt "crazy quilting" just because you may have done some embroidery on the seams. To me, this is just adding embellishment to your beautiful seams, it's not crazy quilting.

This as yet unfinished little piece is embroidered on wool. But it is not a crazy quilt.

In the photo above, if you look carefully, you'll see a hand made running stitch on a wonky curve. This is how I make curves in crazy quilted work.

I am not a perfectionist and rarely do I get self-conscious about how wonky my stitches are as seen in this close up above. This was a part of the Smithers 2013 Centennial Quilt.

If you look closely, I'm twirling an ordinary yellow/gold fabric and couching it down to the whole piece.

In the photo above, you can see this cute little robin, has some yellow whip stitches on its breast. I glued down the outside rough edge of bird motif and stitched over top with rick rack.

I have left the seams and I go anywhere my heart desires as I embellish my blocks.

This is one of two, all cotton crazy quilts. I kept to the seams on this one and further embellished with machine quilting.

My Purple CQ above has dozens of original designs in hand embroidery stitches on the seams and elsewhere. There are no rules in crazy quilting.

My Beach House CQ went to the International Quilt Festival tour of several cities in 2013 as part of O Canada special exhibit.

Something about ordinary 100% cotton does not really excite me when I sit down to make a crazy quilt. These crazy pieces made themselves useful in a wee little table runner.

I'm working on edit and re-editing today and thought it was helpful to answer some of the questions I've received about crazy stitching.

Back to editing, have fun with the rest of today!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Happy 365 Circles Progress

I'm so tickled to finally be nearing the half-way point of My 365 Circles quilt.

Quilty Folk

A few years ago I made my husband a quilt of his own. This is a really special quilt because I used my favorite method of the Slice and Dice Dresden Plates from the fabric using all Canadian Birds that are going extinct. My husband is a bit of  birder, not a complete addict or anything, but he fell in love with the fabric and the project began there.

I took a class with my good friend Louisa Robertson from the Okanagan.

Anyway, this Canadian Birds quilt is really warm for those cold winter nights when a wool lined quilt is the best comfort going.

But it's a little warm for other parts of the year. We needed a new king size quilt.

I have fallen in love with circles. I love crazy quilting, but this simple circle, yet complex set of circle shapes make things happen. You know?

Take the following "circles" google search and you'll likely stumble on a whole new world of unexplored possibilities in the images such as this blue little scrappy quilty circles version done by the lovely and talented Debbie of Stitchin Therapy.

I really feel the freshness of nature walk when I look at this set of circles. Its really lovely don't you think. And Debbie's email response to me for her permission to use this photo has not either been received or she is very busy. Needless to say, this photo does have her watermark on it and that could be why I haven't heard from her.

Using up scrappy bits of this and that fabric often have circular shapes cut from the fabric. Its a kind of karmic acceptance of the way the world turns. I believe that the circular shape is a natural way for people to share a common expression. I hand appliqued my Quilty Circles in my version. 

I did not spend a whole bunch of time pawing through bins of fabric scraps. My choices came quickly and without much hesitation, I was busy cutting out circles very organically.  I simply used another fabric circle pinned onto its buddy the 6.5 in. square background. Each block is likely to be trimmed down to a 5 3/4 inch.

I now am the proud owner of hundreds of wee tiny circles. I will start putting those to good use for something fun, maybe even in this quilt. Maybe in the border?

All is well on the creating front of my life. Are  you doing a 365 Quilty Circles quilt?

So far, I have 219 quilty circle blocks.

Take care and all the best.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Simple Scrappy Dresden Table Runner

This is a fast table runner and getting to machine quilting it this weekend.

Prepare 38 hexies in 2 in. EPP using a variety of scraps. Arrange and hand piece these scrappy little hexies onto the two solid colored 12 .5 in. blocks like this in the photo below. Using a pleasing stitch on your sewing machine, sew around the outside edge to secure the hexie block to the background. I used black thread machine blanket stitch.

Turn your 12.5 in. square red color for my version. Tie off stitches on the backside.

With small but sharp scissors, cut away the red fabric from the shape of your Hexie Block.

This is one for my table!

Playing with fabric postcards for friends, maybe sell some at Sooke Craft Sale.

Playing is the name of the game.

That's all for now, work of writing and editing is still going on.

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Stitching and Embellishment Favorites

Everyone has a different slant on traditional foundation stitches.

In this photo, you can see that the yellow ribbon is actually yellow fine gauze type of fabric. I liked it so in it went into this piece.

Machine embroidery is another way that you can embellish your cq's with and many it have done professionally or do it themselves. It falls into "machine embroidery embellishment." I don't use a lot of machine embroidery of this a large design, but I think it looks really funky in the right setting.

My fish-mates found solace in books on this rainy day of fishing.
I turned to my stitching projects.
I think this is "true" embellishment in the purchased netting of orange and beige, bottom right.
In the center of this cq piece, I've used some sparkly braid from my upholstering materials. It fits right in and with crazy quilting, I do not believe in boundaries.

The freedom to create is what I think crazy quilting is all about, what do you think?

"Mr. Lumberjack" is a fabric drawing our oldest son did for an art project when he was 8 years old. I have saved it and crazy embellished on this one for several years, its getting close to being done.

Labels from clothing are a favorite thing to incorporate into my crazy quilting. 

What are your favorite things you keep on hand to embellish your crazy quilts with?

Tell me in a comment, I'm really interested to know. Hope you are having a lovely day, this last day of Labor Day Weekend.


Monday, September 5, 2016

Quilting for Others

Sometimes a new commission starts here, with a pile of clothing and some new FQ's for spice in the creation. Often an email is received and we get together to chat over the final details of the project. Clarity in this conversation is critical if you are going to actually make a handmade project for money.

Making things for friends and family is one thing, a fun thing. It doesn't have to be square even and family will love it.

When getting into the 'business so to speak' you are responsible for making the project that your customer has in mind. 

Sometimes a simple project is brought to you and  agreement is met with quickly. Did you ask the right questions? Has your customer flown off to Africa now and can't be reached.

Did they want a blue background or a brown background for their Mother's hand made Dresden Plates? 

Even if all you are doing is the hand applique, you must have a realistic hourly rate to quote to a potential customer. Yikes! a mistake like this can be a very real problem if you didn't speak about color. It begs the question that if you are going to be a vendor of handmade items, whether it be online or at a church fund-raiser, be prepared.

I have found the photocopies of Victoria Findlay Wolfe's tutorial making this Triangles Galore Tutorial.

I have a family request in camouflage fabric. That should be fun.

I hope my mind wanderings of things to think about when making things for money. I think that it makes sense to me that if someone asks me to make something I don't normally make, then hand the lead over to someone else in the business of crafting.

Before I go, how many of you know that you might want to join the Crazy Quilting Community on Google Communities.

It's very easy to post your own crazy quilts or stitches by clicking on the big + sign on the bottom right of the opening page.

Also, Happy Labour Day Weekend!
OK, I'm getting back to sewing.

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