Friday, April 03, 2009

Finally Crazy: a Saga

When Debra send me one of her machine embroidery motifs, I tried to use it as the starting point for a crazy block for Alz Quilts. I made it my goal to push on this--going on after I thought it was finished. (My less-is-more attitude is not well suited to crazy quilting.) This was interesting. Ordinarily quilters think in terms of color, value, and shape. Line is less important. I found that I had to think about line in planning this block. It was a new approach for me, and I could almost feel my brain growing!

I drew a block plan, using freezer paper templates. This works for me. When I have just done flip and sew in a truly crazy way, I've found I regret the fabric choices and have to figure out a way to compensate. This way allows me to audition fabrics.


Heres the basic block. I liked this, and would really have loved to stop. But I forced myself to go on.

First some machine decorative stitches. I'm learning the Janome here, killing two birds with one stone, to coin a phrase. Then I couched some fibers, and attached the ribbon flowers (The leaf in the upper left was knit by my mother; she made it for me to use several years ago. It was a natural-colored thread, to go with linen, and I painted it green to use here. The paint had the added virtue of stopping its tendency to curl.)



I intended to stop here, but realized it was still naked. So then came the embroidered vine thing, with French knots. I'm stretching the limit of the embroidery stitches I remember here. Then I painted some lace motifs (not well done--I should have cut them out before painting), and added them, then I did a bit more embroidery, and then finally the yo-yos and little butterfly, something I usually wouldn't do.


Here's the finished version. I'm happy with it, although I didn't originally visualize such a 70's mix of avocado and harvest gold! Maybe those colors are classic.


Thanks to all you crazy quilters out there. Whenever I thought I'd had enough, I looked at some of your pictures, and realized I hadn't even started!

16 comments:

Vicki W said...

I think it looks great!

Allison Ann Aller said...

Any time you want to cross over to the other side....we crazy quilters will welcome you with open arms.
This block is fantastic!!!

Paula Hewitt said...

you sound like a crazy quilter after my own heart. the finished product is very nice, but i think i prefer the un-adorned block - but thats just me :) i do like the avocado/harvest gold colour scheme, and i like your idea of cutting templates for the crazy pieices rather than random flip and stitch - which always looks horrid when i do it.

floribunda said...

whenever I try flip-and-stitch I end up with an impossible corner to deal with -- there's something about the concept that I just haven't grasped. Your block is beautiful!

dee said...

Really nicely done Kay. For someone who doesn't think she is good at this you sure did a beautiful job. My little MGB sports car was Harvest Gold in '71 and they call my living room color Khaki but I know that underneath it there's avocado lurking

Deb Geyer said...

It's lovely Kay!! It looks like you had a lot of fun with it!

Joyce said...

It turned out really well. I like the idea of using fancy machine stitches. The colors work well together. Maybe that's why harvest gold and avocado were so popular back in the day.

Debra said...

I am so happy to see that little embroidery motif find such a great place on your CQ block! You are just steps away from crossing over the line. Isn't this the 2nd CQ block in so many months?!

Nellie's Needles said...

Looks mighty fine to me, too. There's a nice balance to all your choices of colors and textures.

jenclair said...

You are definitely crazy now! Love it!

Candace said...

Wow - its beautiful, Kay! I really like the variegated threads in your embroidery - and the wide zig-zag stitch on the left with the little dots at each point is terrific! I'm really impressed at how you pushed your limits - good advice for us all! And of course - perfect colors which really suit our the Squash House!
Cheers!

*karendianne. said...

I've come by several time to study and look at this piece. It's incredible. I dig the fact that you've been able to stretch with the Janome, too. What a great opportunity. The embroidery piece you received from Debra is absolutely the perfect thing to work from. Your overall composition is impressive. I think Crazy Quilting is classic and opulent in the best sense. I love the coloring, too. That is CLASSIC!!! I hope we get to see more of this. From you.

hee. *karendianne.

Deb H said...

It's BEAUTIFUL! Great job! I love it. I wouldn't have thought of the 70's at all. I think green & gold are classic (as long as it isn't a kitchen appliance).

Thanks for your kind words I my blogg too Kay!

McIrish Annie said...

you did a great job! I've done one CQ block much like you. It gave me a true appreciation for what the CQers do. Very time intensive. Love yours.

Barbara C said...

You did a lovely job! That little touch of red makes the whole block pop.

Libby Fife said...

I don't know how I missed this post. The block looks balanced and really stands well by itself.

I just discovered the freezer template method for crazy quilting. It is slower but I think the results are better for me-easier on my mind:)