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365 Circles Progress

Sunday, September 25, 2016

My little wee project of 365 Circles is becoming like a tiny dynamo sumo wrestler!

Its pushing me farther into more hand stitching and its singing me songs of inspiration.

When I first heard about 365 Circles.

I was more curious than excited about appliqueing on that many circles!

But then, I started playing and soon, I was sewing and appliqueing away with the best of them.

I discovered I really like circles.

I discovered that circles are more inspiring because of simplicity of the shape.

I really love the spin off tiny circles.

This is only about one third of the circles I have ready to go into my new quilt.

Truth be told, I was more than I need for a king size quilt so I can pick and choose.

I have decided that a plan is required for this group of beauties.

I found these bundles above for $25 from a seller on Usedvic.

And a thrift shop had yardage for around 3.99 a bundle. Each bundle is at least 2 m. Two chunks are over 5 m. Its mostly fashion fabrics, but I'm sure that little pieces of these fabrics will find their way into my crazy quilts.

Happy Sunday Quilting!

Crazy Quilted Embellishment

Friday, September 23, 2016

Many of you out there online are just discovering crazy quilting.

Some of you though are just as experienced as I am with this form of art. So do add your own spin in a comment at the end.

I've been asked at workshops what makes my crazy quilted pieces look old fashioned.

This was not an intentional act on my part, simply a happy accident. But from all the comments at workshops and this blog, its made me rethink what it is that I do.

The following are my own thoughts on what makes a crazy quilt look 'old fashioned.'
  • I rarely use only 100% cotton.
  • I love slippery fabric with some stretch to it.
  • I often include bits and pieces of used clothing into my work.
  • I mix and sort through shades and I do use a color chart occasionally.
  • I often don't really "THINK" about it. I believe that this thinking about is what turns people off.
  • I also don't believe in calling a quilt "crazy quilting" just because you may have done some embroidery on the seams. To me, this is just adding embellishment to your beautiful seams, it's not crazy quilting.

This as yet unfinished little piece is embroidered on wool. But it is not a crazy quilt.

In the photo above, if you look carefully, you'll see a hand made running stitch on a wonky curve. This is how I make curves in crazy quilted work.

I am not a perfectionist and rarely do I get self-conscious about how wonky my stitches are as seen in this close up above. This was a part of the Smithers 2013 Centennial Quilt.

If you look closely, I'm twirling an ordinary yellow/gold fabric and couching it down to the whole piece.

In the photo above, you can see this cute little robin, has some yellow whip stitches on its breast. I glued down the outside rough edge of bird motif and stitched over top with rick rack.

I have left the seams and I go anywhere my heart desires as I embellish my blocks.

This is one of two, all cotton crazy quilts. I kept to the seams on this one and further embellished with machine quilting.

My Purple CQ above has dozens of original designs in hand embroidery stitches on the seams and elsewhere. There are no rules in crazy quilting.

My Beach House CQ went to the International Quilt Festival tour of several cities in 2013 as part of O Canada special exhibit.

Something about ordinary 100% cotton does not really excite me when I sit down to make a crazy quilt. These crazy pieces made themselves useful in a wee little table runner.

I'm working on edit and re-editing today and thought it was helpful to answer some of the questions I've received about crazy stitching.

Back to editing, have fun with the rest of today!

Happy 365 Circles Progress

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I'm so tickled to finally be nearing the half-way point of My 365 Circles quilt.

Quilty Folk

A few years ago I made my husband a quilt of his own. This is a really special quilt because I used my favorite method of the Slice and Dice Dresden Plates from the fabric using all Canadian Birds that are going extinct. My husband is a bit of  birder, not a complete addict or anything, but he fell in love with the fabric and the project began there.

I took a class with my good friend Louisa Robertson from the Okanagan.

Anyway, this Canadian Birds quilt is really warm for those cold winter nights when a wool lined quilt is the best comfort going.

But it's a little warm for other parts of the year. We needed a new king size quilt.

I have fallen in love with circles. I love crazy quilting, but this simple circle, yet complex set of circle shapes make things happen. You know?

Take the following "circles" google search and you'll likely stumble on a whole new world of unexplored possibilities in the images such as this blue little scrappy quilty circles version done by the lovely and talented Debbie of Stitchin Therapy.

I really feel the freshness of nature walk when I look at this set of circles. Its really lovely don't you think. And Debbie's email response to me for her permission to use this photo has not either been received or she is very busy. Needless to say, this photo does have her watermark on it and that could be why I haven't heard from her.

Using up scrappy bits of this and that fabric often have circular shapes cut from the fabric. Its a kind of karmic acceptance of the way the world turns. I believe that the circular shape is a natural way for people to share a common expression. I hand appliqued my Quilty Circles in my version. 

I did not spend a whole bunch of time pawing through bins of fabric scraps. My choices came quickly and without much hesitation, I was busy cutting out circles very organically.  I simply used another fabric circle pinned onto its buddy the 6.5 in. square background. Each block is likely to be trimmed down to a 5 3/4 inch.

I now am the proud owner of hundreds of wee tiny circles. I will start putting those to good use for something fun, maybe even in this quilt. Maybe in the border?

All is well on the creating front of my life. Are  you doing a 365 Quilty Circles quilt?

So far, I have 219 quilty circle blocks.

Take care and all the best.

Simple Scrappy Dresden Table Runner

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This is a fast table runner and getting to machine quilting it this weekend.

Prepare 38 hexies in 2 in. EPP using a variety of scraps. Arrange and hand piece these scrappy little hexies onto the two solid colored 12 .5 in. blocks like this in the photo below. Using a pleasing stitch on your sewing machine, sew around the outside edge to secure the hexie block to the background. I used black thread machine blanket stitch.

Turn your 12.5 in. square red color for my version. Tie off stitches on the backside.

With small but sharp scissors, cut away the red fabric from the shape of your Hexie Block.

This is one for my table!

Playing with fabric postcards for friends, maybe sell some at Sooke Craft Sale.

Playing is the name of the game.

That's all for now, work of writing and editing is still going on.

Happy Quilting!

Stitching and Embellishment Favorites

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Everyone has a different slant on traditional foundation stitches.

In this photo, you can see that the yellow ribbon is actually yellow fine gauze type of fabric. I liked it so in it went into this piece.

Machine embroidery is another way that you can embellish your cq's with and many it have done professionally or do it themselves. It falls into "machine embroidery embellishment." I don't use a lot of machine embroidery of this a large design, but I think it looks really funky in the right setting.

My fish-mates found solace in books on this rainy day of fishing.
I turned to my stitching projects.
I think this is "true" embellishment in the purchased netting of orange and beige, bottom right.
In the center of this cq piece, I've used some sparkly braid from my upholstering materials. It fits right in and with crazy quilting, I do not believe in boundaries.

The freedom to create is what I think crazy quilting is all about, what do you think?

"Mr. Lumberjack" is a fabric drawing our oldest son did for an art project when he was 8 years old. I have saved it and crazy embellished on this one for several years, its getting close to being done.

Labels from clothing are a favorite thing to incorporate into my crazy quilting. 

What are your favorite things you keep on hand to embellish your crazy quilts with?

Tell me in a comment, I'm really interested to know. Hope you are having a lovely day, this last day of Labor Day Weekend.


Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs