Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My adventures with Crazy Quilting (1)

One of the thing that I personally find the most difficult to do is Crazy Quilting. It seems easy enough when I look at it, but for me creating a block well put together that just seems to flow is actually quite a challenge, to say the least.

In the past, I have tried to do a little crazy quiltinig (see photos in my Webshots photo album of my valiant efforts :-) http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/371378901JSZjCv so when I saw an online class about crazy quilting on the Joggles site http://www.joggles.com/store/catalog/index.php?cPath=75_450&osCsid=62ebc8edc8a505d9b46f49d17f7f288d I decided to take the plunge. This class is called "Encrusted Crazy Quilting with Sharon B". Sharon's site is http://www.inaminuteago.com/

The first challenge was to find the fabric, so here I was going through boxes of fabric and scraps in order to find some fabric that talked to me. I wanted to do a Christmas theme since I always like to do projects according to the period of the year I am in.

Then came my second challenge when I tried to piece my block together using the flip and sew method, starting with a five sided piece in the middle, but that did not worked out too well for me, so scrapped that block and decided to use one of those blocks already drawn for you that I found in the book called "101 Crazy Quilt Blocks" by Linda Causee. I flipped pages until I found one that appealed to me and used it to piece my block.

Something I forgot to mention when I was trying to put that first block together. I had put my five sided piece a little off center on my foundation, just like Sharon said, followed with other pieces around that central piece, going clockwise. My block was about 1/3 pieced when I turned around to look at something on my computer. By then I could see lots of white foundation fabric and some Christmas fabric and when I turned back towards my block, you can't imagine what I saw. There was one black spider, exactly like the ones we like to stitch on crazy blocks and "she" (imagining she was female) was sitting on the white foundation part of my block, so she was quite visible.

I hate real spiders, so shouted to my husband who was in the other room to come real quick and get rid of "it", so here comes my husband and I explained to him "not too calmly" that there was a spider on my block and to please remove it for me. He looked at it, bended closer over it and was not doing anything but looking at it. I said to him "Would you remove this spider" and he looked at me and said "Is that something that you have embroidered?" I said "NO" "It is a REAL one!" By the time he had finally reached the conclusion that this was a REAL spider, she was gone and he had to hunt her down under lots of fabric. At one point, not sure how but she felt on the floor and he put his foot over and that was the end of that. After he had left my room, I had mixed feelings about his behavior. On one hand, I was not too happy with him that it took him that long to react and on the other hand thinking to myself "My embroidery must be very good that when this man sees a real spider, he wonders if I have stitched it or not".

The third challenge was to put some lace and braid on my block. I went through all that I had that could possibly work and found a few pieces that I liked. I then tried each piece on each seam until that it seems to me that each selected piece could only go to that particular seam.

The fourth challenge was to start finding interesting seam treatments, which for me is much easier said then done. So far, I have made two.

The first seam is over a piece of red shiny rick-rack. I stitched some zig zag chain stitch over it in green and then added some detached chain stitches in red on each side.
The second seam consists of first stitching a curve line and then adding some red roses inside each curve made with bullions and adding some detached chain stitches to make the leaves.
After all this work, I took one day off to clear my brain as I have been spending so much time online looking at blocks and in books researching what might be interesting to add on my Christmas block that I found myself on information overload and needed time to process all this.
I am still at the information gathering stage and will soon be restarting stitching again on my block, hopefully with a clearer vision of what I would like to further add.