Friday, September 19, 2003

Aran Gone Round
Unblocked, but unbowed, Aran Go Round makes its debut:

A few loose ends to weave in, a quick dunk in some H2O 'n soap, smoosh out the water, and a blocking we will go! Final pix when dry, hokay?

Welcome to My Nightmare
How can something that looks so fragile totally kick my b*tt? It can if it's lace, my friends. For some unknown reason, if a pattern involves yarn-overs, I'll find a way to screw it up. Always. Here's my own 7th Circle of Hell, otherwise known as a Marks & Katten Mohair Lace Stole:

75 Stitches of Discomfort

Don't Let Its Beauty Deceive You ... It's Lethal

Mmmm-Mmmm, Good!
Got some goodies at the LYS last weekend -- 4 skeins of Jazz in Hot Pink, plus a pattern book, to make this darling vest (or waistcoat, as the Brits call it), for my niece:

And 4 skeins of very nice Rowan Kid Classic, a lambswool & mohair blend, in a gorgeous shade of teal blue. Enough to make a scarf for some lucky person:

So You Wanna Make a Crazy Quilt?
I received a few emails asking more about my Victorian Crazy Quilt. I love using the Foundation Piecing method of quilting -- sewing fabric directly onto a foundation consisting of either paper or fabric. Paper foundations must be removed; fabric isn't removed. I used Benartex's Foundation By The Yard in the Crazy Quilt pattern. One section of Foundation By the Yard gives you 16 crazy quilt squares, prestamped onto muslin fabric. I Googled and found several vendors for this product. It also comes in about 7-8 other traditional quilt patterns. Here's what it looks like:

Here's some of the stuff in my little Rubbermaid box of embroidery thread, beads, needles, etc. I don't use the little blue embroidery hoop much; I use a much larger wooden quilting hoop when embroidering. I'd post a picture of it, but one of my parrots got ahold of it and used it as a chew toy and I have to buy another one.

Then you need fabric. To emulate the ladies of the late 19th century, who used scraps from their silk dresses in their crazy quilts, I collected mainly satins and velvets. I purchased old prom dresses, cocktail dresses, velvet blazers and skirts, and small amounts of fabric from yardage stores. It took about a year to collect enough variety before I actually started the quilt.

But the most important resource for me was books on the subject of crazy quilting. Here are the four books I relied upon most heavily while creating the quilt:

The titles are The Magic of Crazy Quilting by J. Marsha Michler, Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches by Carole Samples, Art & Inspirations by Judith Baker Montano, and Crazy Patchwork by Meryl Potter. I believe several of these titles are still available, but the Potter book might be a bit difficult to locate as it's an Australian publication.

Stitching the crazy quilt blocks is fun, but the embroidery is heaven. And you don't have to undertake a 30-block monster like mine -- stitch up 4 blocks, embroider them, add a border and backing, and voila! you have a very nice wallhanging or table runner.

Have a nice weekend, everyone.

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