Tuesday, January 1, 2013

a new beginning

New Year's Day is a time for beginnings - a new blog, and a new crazy quilt.

I'm making a crazy wall quilt for my daughter. This will be the third small quilt in a series of four, one for each of my daughters. You can read more about this project and its origins over in the sidebar.

This quilt has been weeks in the planning, with much experimentation,  and several false starts.


  Liz and partner David had requested birds - David is a keen birdwatcher on their small country property. Not necessarily real birds, they stressed; imaginary ones would be fine.

At first I planned to applique the birds in Baltimore album style, with a crazy pieced border. It took weeks to design the blocks, but I couldn't make it work.


Needleturn applique is not my forte, and machine applique looked clumsy - it will only be a small quilt, and the scale was wrong.

So I returned to what I do best - crazy quilting. Another experiment showed that my bird designs could be successfully reduced and embroidered, as a focal point of each crazy block.

 I decided on 6.5" blocks, twelve in all, set 3 across and 4 down. (Not sure about the border yet.) The blocks were drawn up and adjusted to fit a bird more or less in the centre of each, and this morning I was ready to begin.

 I chose some fabrics, and traced the block onto the foundation fabric. (These blocks will all be foundation pieced.)

And here's the complete 'naked' block, ready for embellishing with embroidery, lace, ribbon, and all the 'doodads' so beloved of crazy quilters.

But first, I fused some lightweight Vilene to the back of the block, to keep it from distorting as I stitch. Now, let the fun begin!

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