I think it was sometime in 2015 that I first discovered the Crazy Quilt Journal Project though it has been running for longer than that. I thought about it off and on last year and hand intended to sign up for this year’s challenge. The year got away from me, especially with all the craziness that happens at the end of the year, and it completely slipped my mind. I posted a little note to the project’s Facebook page and received a note in return saying sign up as a late registrant. So I did.
Then I panicked! I started cutting up my stash of old no longer wearable jeans. Then I changed my mind and pulled out the box of silks and satins and other shiny fabrics. I was going back and forth and neither set was gelling for me. In the process of moving around some of the fabric for a quilt currently in progress I cam across a set of tumbling blocks I had pieced together that have just been sitting since I could never figure out what to do with them. No layout worked for me. I counted them and discovered there were exactly 12. It was like an omen and inspiration struck.
I did some Googling to find images and whatnot to tease out the ideas puttering around in my gray matter. I pulled out my large sketchbook and my pencil. I made notes and sketched the initial images of what I wanted. I even found my water soluble fabric marking pen. I pulled out my stash of embroidery floss and perle cotton then added the bags (yes, bags) of 11/0 seed bead tubes. With my munchkin’s assistance the floss was sorted by color family and tucked into gallon size Ziplock bags.
Now I stared at my little stack of tumbling blocks. The last time I had done crazy quilting there was a foundation fabric the the pieces were stitched to. These blocks were already put together but would still need support for the embroidery. What to do? What to do? Aha! Quilt batting! I buy it “in bulk”, i.e. off the bolt at Joann’s when I have a 50% off one item coupon. I buy the largest width available and cut it down to the sizes I need for whatever quilt I’m working on. There are a bunch of smaller, random pieces. I cut a piece slightly smaller than my block, turned under the edges and stitched them down. After that I sketched the basic outline with my marking pen.
Now I was ready to stitch! And stitch I did, incorporating stumpwork techniques I learned in a class at CATS (Creative Arts and Textiles Show) in Riverside many years ago. As I wanted the stumpwork in the middle to be the dominant piece, the surrounding embroidery is minimal and mostly done in only a single strand, though I did add a touch of beadwork. The centerpiece as it was complete, but the block still needed a little something. I slept on it and figured out what I wanted, finishing it up this morning before starting on work stuff. I must say I am pleased with how it turned out.
Here it is at different stages.
And I would be wholly remiss if I did not credit the beautiful photos I used as a basis for my sketches:
The Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2017 has a blog here .