Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Crazy Quilt - Making Progress

I've recently decided to pick up the crazy quilt and work on it.  A great project for wintry days.  A nice hot cup of tea, a slice of banana bread and my threads and fabrics.  

For several summers, several years ago, I would paint fabrics all summer long.  I would paint it with a special photo sensitive paint, lay grasses, cedar fronds, flowers, etc on the painted color and put the fabric in the sun to print.  Where ever there was something on the fabric, the color would not set and I would get a white image on the colored fabric.
Sometimes Ben would "help" Grammy paint the fabric - mostly by running up and down the painting boards when the paint was dry.

Ben is now 14, taller than me and starts high school next Autumn.

Isn't that the cutest thing you've ever seen?  Such a good helper.
When I was painting the fabric I cut the pieces into fat quarters (18x22" for you non-quilters) and there were often small pieces left at the end of a bolt of fabric so I would paint those to use myself.   One day, while looking at a nice pile of the pieces I painted for myself I came up with the idea of a crazy quilt made with the hand painted fabrics.  Since the fabric is 100% cotton I chose to use only cotton embroidery floss for the stitching.

Do you know why it is called Crazy Quilting?  Not because the pieces are crazy shaped, but because it resembles the crazing on old dishes - those little crackly lines that sometimes appear as dishes age.

It is traditional for every Crazy Quilt to have a spiderweb . . .

A butterfly - flying above some pretty flowers . . .

I really enjoy the hand embroidery and like to try out new stitches.  After working on it for a while I usually put it aside when it begins to feel like I'm repeating stitches too often - and then when I pick it up again it feels fresh.  I am making the quilt in sections and when sections are complete I join them together, and eventually it will be big enough to use on our bed.
This is the way a new section begins

The hand painted fabrics are hand stitched to the backing - and now I can have the fun of embellishing with embroidery.

 My tools and supplies.  The little bunny scissors were a gift from my dear friend Franni in Florida - I sure do miss her.
 I made the Hedgehog pincushion not long after we got back from visiting our son and his family  in West Virginia a few years ago.  They have Hedgehogs there (we don't have any here in NW Washington state, as least as far as I've seen) and we got to briefly see one on our trip to West Virginia.  The Hedgehog pincushion looks more Hedgehoggy with pins stuck all over him - but I just have my needles there for now.
 The beehive pincushion was another gift - I have such sweet friends.
I keep my floss wound on flat plastic bobbins, sorted by color.  I have three more boxes full of floss, these divided plastic boxes are perfect for this.

 Woolley sheep

 I like doing Lazy Daisy stitch too - so many possibilities.

 I really enjoy stitching these trees, they appear often in my crazy quilt.

 I work on the crazy quilt in sections that are approximately 4x4 feet, and then will join them when all is finished.

 I adore making French Knots - as you can probably tell.  I tell the story of how I learned to make them when I was seven, in my book "Are We Walking To Alaska?"

Snowy days of wintry stitching inspired me to do these stitches.

 Busy Bee on top of the pincushion.

 This is a section of dreams of spring and all the new blossoms.

Back to work.  Several of my friends do embroidery, are you one of them, and what do you like to embroider?