Friday, October 17, 2008
My Best Crazy Quilt on My Birthday
Earlier this year, not long after I started this blog, I decided that I would post my BEST crazy quilt on my birthday. October 18th is my birthday!!!!! So, I'm sticking to my decision and showing the quilt. It's not everyday a person turns 64, so to inspire myself to "keep going" and hopefully show you something pretty...here is my best crazy quilt.
I made this quilt several years ago as the subject of a Leisure Arts, Inc. book. (The Big Book of Crazy Quilt Stitches) It took me nine months to design, make and write the instructions for this quilt. The colors were chosen by Leisure Arts, as my own would have been quite different, but the designs are all mine and it was made totally by me. Took me as long to make this as it did each of my kids....I suppose that's one way to look at it. I like my kids better, to tell the truth, but this quilt comes in pretty close after.
The blocks are six inches square and done using the paper piecing method. I don't usually use paper piecing, but Leisure Arts wanted it that way...so there you are. Actually, there really is only one background block....made twenty-five times and then turned one turn each block across and embroidered with a selection of my embroidery motifs. I chose to piece the whole quilt together before doing the embroidery, but it can also be embroidered one block at a time, then sewn together.
At some point, this book became not a book on silk ribbon embroidery, but one using the motifs to embroider using DMC floss. Not a bad idea, but not what I had envisioned, so with the exception of this quilt, the models in the book were not made by me. They were done by Leisure Arts employees using my designs. To this day, I still think silk ribbon does these designs more justice than the floss, but, at some point, I intend to make that very kind of quilt.....so I can have both examples to go along with the book. I have a top pieced, yet to be embroidered, in my UFO drawer.
All the seams are embroidered, as it is with most crazy quilts. This quilt is also hand quilted. There is not a lot of quilting on it, just enough to keep the patches in place. Except for the border. I quilted the border in diagonal lines and every now and again added pastel beads in the stitching to give it a tiny bit of shine when the light hits it just so. I do so love to have something in my quilts that won't be seen unless you look carefully. Some people make quilts that will be noticed the instant you walk into the room...I like to make a quilt that nobody notices until someone stands patiently in front of it and really looks. Then, I think they deserve a treat! That's kind of warped, if you ask me, but true nonetheless.
I used a darker pink for the roses in one basket......I wanted one of the baskets to "stand out" more than the others. As it turns out, when I show this quilt, someone usually points and says "Oh, look at that basket of roses!" I love that. But, if you spend any time looking at the quilt, you will see four other baskets. Each embroidery design is repeated four times in the quilt in different colors.
One of the motifs I really enjoy adding is the bows. They are stitched in the middle, tied into a bow with the "tails" folded this way and that, held in place with French Knots.
And, of course, another of my favorite motifs to stitch is a leaf and there are many here. Click on the photos for a close-up and you can see the different leaves. So much fun!
This really is my BEST crazy quilt. I'm 64 years old today but I feel like a forty year old trapped in a sixty-four year old body....where did the time go? I must get busy....so much to do...so little time! Another quilt is calling! Maybe I'll show it on my next birthday......Pat