Thursday, June 24, 2010

Artful Thursday - Crazy Quilting

This last week has been somewhat crazy so it's entirely appropriate that Part Two of last week's Artful Thursday be Crazy Quilting!

It's my favourite technique (or genre, if you prefer) for so many reasons: you can use all manner of bits and pieces and types of fabrics, ditto for the threads, ditto for the embellishments, once I piece the foundation I can work on it anywhere, less can be more, or more can be more and the stitch variations are endless... in short there is just about enough scope for my imagination...

I used a scaled down version of the words from last week and made a new "Fleur" panel - this time I fused the letters as before but instead of a blanket stitch around the edges I did a simple running stitch through the centre of each letter. (Click on picture to see)

Once I had the "Fleur" part finished I trimmed the panel to a size that could easily be divided by three - this is my loosey-goose way of designing, on the fly and hoping it all comes out right in the end! (I do make sketches but the proportions that look great on graph on paper don't always translate as well in reality so I make changes as I go.)

Then I designed the three rectangles above, all different and only one in traditional crazy-patch. The others are simple piecing because I like the contrast when they are all put together.

Detail of the crazy pieced square.

Here's what it looks like all sewn together with borders. I did the decorative stitching on the squares before sewing this all together because it's much easier to work on a little square than a bigger piece. I make them all slightly bigger than required and after the embroidery is complete I trim them back to size, then sew the quilt together.

Closer view.

After all the piecing is finished I baste the quilt top to the batting; I find adding the embellishments works best when you have that added stability - some of the things I use can be somewhat heavy and having the batting there helps prevent stretching.

I like playing with stitches and threads and often use a "Blended Needle" which is combining either two colours of thread in one needle, or two types of thread (for example, one strand floss and one strand blending filament). As I used three strands for most of this, I chose two strands of the colour I wanted to be dominant and one that would soften that slightly. It's subtle but adds an interesting look when you're up close.

Now for the embellishing - I only just got started! Buttons not only add a decorative element but they hide a multitude of things, one of which can be an awkward connection of two different seam decorations! The corners of the borders were tricky too as I did a buttonhole stitch along the bottom of the panel and a herringbone around the rest. i did that because herringbone along the bottom would have interfered with the stitching on the smaller rectangles and I would not have liked that at all. I will eventually cover all four corners with little buttons.

If you are interested in crazy quilting this book is the best I have seen; Elegant Stitches by Judith Montano and published by C&T Publishing, ring bound so it lays flat (you'd be surprised how important that it when you are trying to stitch and refer to a diagram at the same time!) and the stitch diagrams are large and clear.

And the photos are inspiring beyond words!

I am halfway through the embellishment so hopefully I'll have the pictures up here on Tuesday. I have to work for the next three days (yep, three in a row - so much for it being a jobette!) and my husband is retiring tomorrow - EEK! So I will be busy until Monday... Have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by.


tamdoll said...

Your quilting is so beautiful.

Tina Eudora said...

Just beautiful Jillanye, I have always wanted to do a crazy quilt and a few years ago I started a baby quilt and used yoyos on a sort of crazy quilt background, I think I will get it out and finish it this summer. Thanks for the great tip on the book also, one can never have to many lovely books!
Tina xo

Dorthe said...

Dear Jillayne,
this is so very beautifull,so love the muted colors, and your wonderfull stitching.
I so understand about, you doing patchwork, and therefore has difficulties to let go,and be more slobby,with your creating, dear, -but a visit with KC will certainly help that, did it for me, and now I love the way with threads hanging, and no straight seams!!!
Hugs, and love,

Becca said...

Hi Jillayne, I love the fabric in this piece. Almost vintage looking. I was interested in what you were saying about the 3 threads in the needle. I would have never thought to try that. Also, didn't realize the batting could make a nice difference when stitching by hand or embellishments. I'm making a small CQ kind of heart, you know how I don't like to measure, so just sewing pieces together, then cut out a heart. I'm enjoying trying to add beads, and embroidery. :-)

Celestina Marie Designs said...

Hi Jillayne,
WOW your work is amazing. What a talent you are and I love your color palette and the stitching is gorgeous. You make me want to become a quilter. LOL!! I don't think it will happen since the paint brushes seem to never leave my hand. LOL

Lovely post and beautiful quilt.

Thank you for stopping by and your kind comment. The wedding party is going to be fun.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

Anonymous said...

Jillayne, it looks beautiful. Like Dorthe, I love the muted colors. I have that book! And another of hers and one by Dorothy Bond and another by Carole Samples. The Samples book is the best ever - more examples of stitches than I've ever seen anywhere. It just doesn't have the spiral binding, which I think ALL craft books should have!

Maggie said...

You are something else are so of these days I will have to do a crazy quilting project....once I get some of my projects out of the way......always look forward to seeing what you are up to. hugs