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 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 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 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 much to little time! Another quilt is calling! Maybe I'll show it on my next birthday......Pat


Anonymous said...

Oh, Pat; this quilt is just a joy! Of course, hand embroidery and crazy quilts are where my heart is and we share that love of watching people as one thing after another captures their eye! Your work is exquisite and a constant source of inspiration to me.

Sherry in Little Rock

TattingChic said...

That quilt is an absolute exquisite work of art! The baskets of flowers are just amazing!

Caron said...

Pat, that is SO beautiful!!! What a stunning piece.

StitchinByTheLake said...

First of all, Happy Birthday to you! If I were there I would sing to you. You would hold your hands over your ears as I cannot carry a tune, but I'd sing anyway! I cannot imagine doing this kind of embroidery - it is exquisite. Such tiny stitches and such painstaking work but what a joy when you have finished. It is simply stunning my friend. blessings, marlene

Andrea said...

That is extraordianary!! What beautiful work.

Happy Birthday Pat ~ thank you for being such an inspiration.

Marty52 said...

Happy Birthday! This is a beautiful quilt, so many different flowers and seam treatments! I'll have to study it a bit more to take it all in.

Melody said...

Happy birthday!

The quilt is just breathtaking. Wow.

Judy said...

Oh Pat the quilt is beautiful. I love crazy quilts because they are crazy!! Have a very special birthday and enjoy yourself. Thank you for posting the quilt.

Jackie said...

Very lovely quilt and HappyBirthday to a lovely lady. Just in time..its almost 19th here!

rlbates said...

Happy Birthday (a day late)! The quilt is very lovely!

Anne said...

Happy Birthday!

Thanks for sharing your gorgeous "baby." You have made me "crazy" for crazy quilts!

Again, happy birthday to you! My birthday is the 21st, and my DH brought me to Eureka Springs, and I will go to War Eagle tomorrow.

BTW, I picked up your "Teach Yourself to Quilt" book on eBay recently. I will have to find your crazy quilt book, too.



Happy Birthday Pat. that's a beautiful quilt.

Rosie said...

a very happy birthday for yesterday, and your quilt is out of this world!

The Feathered Nest said...

Hi Pat, and Happy Birthday! (just a tad late!) This quilt is absolutely gorgeous...I can see why you treasure it! It's just beautiful, thank you so much for sharing it and wishing you many more birthdays and much more creating! xxoo, Dawn

Willow Witch said...

Pat, I cant believe it I bought that book a few months ago and have never put two and two together! So of course I love the quilt because I couldn't walk out of the store without the book!
Now on to the most important part, Happy Birthday! Oct 18th was my gram's birthday and she is now my guardian angel so anyone born on that day, is special indeed!
But... when do I get to see the chicken quilt? Please......

sparkle jars said...

Happy Happy Happy Birthday!!!

This is my favorite quilt of yours.

Amy said...

IT is such a lovely quilt and what a great story to go along with it. Happy belated birthday.

Gaby Bee said...

I am sorry I missed your birthday :( Hope you had a wonderful day with LOTS and LOTS of cake and chocolate!
Belated birthday wishes, my friend!!!
Your quilt is breathtaking, Pat! I love all the little details, such great eye candy. You always amaze me.

Hugs and Love

Dido said...

I have just come across your blog and I'm so glad I did, I would have hated to have miss such a wonderful quilt as yours, I have seen many in my time and the detail in yours is so remarkable.

Nicki Lee said...

Pat, THANK YOU so much for introducing me to your blog! I just love your beautiful CQ quilt and can only dream of making something so gorgeous. I certainly wished I lived closer to you to learn from a pro... thank you! thank you! Many hugs!

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.