Hello out there:
Although I'm a Charter Member, I'm really new to these QCA groups, forums, blogs, etc., and still haven't gotten a handle on reading and posting. So, if it sounds as though I'm fumbling around, I am. I'm also a new member to the Dear Jane group, but a crazy quilt block or larger quilt can be done before we get started on the DJ project in January.
Just happened to see this CQGroup listed and wanted to know what the Game Plan is for this group. That is, deadlines, specific ideas, or any other information I should be aware of concerning this group's procedures/plans.. I've already made a few crazy quilts, but I am beginning to enjoy the camaraderie that can evolve in quilt classes and these types of projects with like-minded participants.
I couldn't read any of the messages to find out what you all are about unless I joined the group. So here I am. Looking forward to hearing what you have in mind.
P.S. Do you all have just a small area when typing messages? I have to go to "Preview" to read what I've typed, and that just slows up the works.
I don't think we have any specific plans for the group as yet. It appears there are only a few of us in the group and it also appears that you are the most experienced crazy quilter in the group. Would you like to organize some type of a "class" to help us newbies get started? Just something basic, like how to select fabrics, what type of backing should we use, how to attach the fabrics to the backing. It could be like the mystery quilt where you would give us one step at a time to lead us through the construction of one block. Then if all goes well you might help us combine our blocks into a small quilt.
Not trying to put you on the spot, so if you don't want to do it, I understand.
I to be honest I had emailed admin and asked that a Crazy Quilt group be established. My hope was to build a community where those that have experience could help those of us with the desire to learn and delve into this beautiful form of quilting. If you are like me, your life is busy with family and household up-keep. The extra costs of taking classes and trying new things often falls behinds the needs of everyone in the household.
I have a desire to learn, a desire to build skills, to be amongst a community where we can all learn from each other and build comraderie.
I don’t know the how-to’s of crazy quilting but I’ve been doing forms of needlework since I was about 5 years old. There are always things we can learn from each other, even if it’s things like tips on organizing, suppliers for items we’d use to embellish, items to embellish etc…
If there are people here who have the time to teach us the basics where we could just get started I’m sure we’d all ramp up pretty quickly and take off with all kinds of things to do together.
I have read so much, about different techniques etc that it’s actually confused me more than anything. I have gotten to the point where I’m just cutting squares, using scraps and experimenting with what works and what doesn’t when it comes to successfully completing a block.
This site isn’t especially user friendly yet in allowing us to build sharing spaces, photo storage spaces etc… if you have to email admin every time you want to share stuff it gets frustrating and eventually admin will be so overloaded they won’t be able to keep up. I’d like to see a community offered like the groups pages on Yahoo. I belong to a few groups there and the crazy quilting groups are great about offering all kinds of help.
If anyone has time and experience to offer up, it would be nice as someone suggested if they could do a lesson where they just maybe set up a post such as Beginners Block, Step 1. Maybe throw a pic out there of the block and how it’s set up, numbered and where the stitching would be etc… does that make any sense?
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peg, i would be willing to show how i make my crazy blocks. i learned it years ago and i think it is not so commomn a method. it is all done by hand, but i don't see why it couldn't be done on a machine. is anyone interested in a hand stitched crazy block? if so let me know and i'll snap some pictures of a block in proress gini
gini in north idaho
I'm interested. I've only learned the flip and sew method.
Gini: That sounds good to me. Do you have a finished block you can post? If so, you can then do a step-by- step photo progression of your current project. If one can do a hand-pieced block, I don't know why it couldn't be done by machine too.
If you do the hand-piece, I could follow up with a machine pieced block if there's a significant difference in the two. I would use the same technique I used in my posted block. Once folks complete one block, I can post the quilt I did using several blocks. It was my first, and I liked it so much I have it hanging on the wall over my bed so I can see it every day. The only problem with my posted crazy quilt is that I simply followed directions from somewhere, but I don't know where.
If you look at Wynnie's two blocks, you can see where she has the first basic fabric piece--the 5-sided piece that starts both of her blocks. From that piece, you build the block whatever size you decide to make with your choice of fabric pieces. Is that pretty much how you hand-piece Gini?
By the way, I just found my Crazy Quilting book, so we can also select out information from there as it relates to what Gini has.
Gini and Lilian, that sound good to me. I'm like Peg, I've read so much now that I am confused so some basic "leading me by the hand" would be great.
I am honestly happy to learn anything that any of you have to share. Hand piecing and hand embroidery are my favorites. I love to do work by hand, especially during the winter. Im in Ohio so during the cold months I hibernate. Happiness to me is getting in my jammies under a big warm quilt and working on a piece by hand for hours. So relaxing.
When I started quilting, I learned to piece by hand and found that this aids me in understanding the methodology and logic for the way things go together. I find that true for all forms of needlework. Knowing the logic often prevents me from wasting fabric and time screwing things up.
Thanks to all of you for being so ready to help us! I can't wait to get started!
lilian, the blocks i make are more like foundation piecing, i think, i've never done foundation piecing. i started with an 18 inch squareof batting and added fabric to one side of the batt, embroidering it down as i went. gini
Okay, so that we newbies can get started, I'm going to post a Crazy Quilt Pattern we can use as a practice guide only for a 12' block. I just drew it this morning and numbered it with both Roman Numerals and regular numbers. It has 19 pieces of fabric, but you can add as much or as little as you want, and adjust the size of the block to larger or smaller. Also, check out Wynnie's posted samples fyi.
We can also make a 'dummy' block with plain paper or scrap fabric on freezer paper to give us a working model at home. Mine is just a sample; you can design your own to fit the size you want.
1. For a 12" block, start with a 14" piece of muslin as the foundation. [FYI, I didn't use muslin--I just free-hand pieced my blocks. Muslin adds stability until you see how the fabric works and goes together.]
2. Use a variety of cotton fabrics for your practice piece, so you can get the hang of how it will go together. You might just want to make a 6" or 8" block as a practice piece. After your first block, you can start using other fabrics, such as silk, with a light stabilizer.
3. This is the flip and sew method. Cut your base 5-sided fabric allowing 1/4" on each side for sewing. You can start with a 4 or 5-1/2" piece, depending upon how large you want the block, and put it somewhat off center on your muslin.
4. With the fabric side down and a 1/4" seam, sew one side of your base piece to the muslin. Press it and flip it over and press it down. Keep the base piece fabric up after sewing the first side.
5. Do the same with each subsequent piece--fabric side down, atop one side of the previous piece, sew a 1/4" seam, press the seam, flip it, and press again.
6. Because of the different sizes of your fabric pieces, you will need to overlap some of them to 'fill in the blanks." If you've seen photos of quilts and quilt blocks, you can imagine how the quilter manipulated and cut the fabric to make it fit.
This is just a start, so let's see how we do.
Gini, Wynnie, or anyone else who has made the blocks, feel free to add to the above, for the first round. I'm relatively new to this too, so we would be helping each other.
I understand the flip and sew method somewhat but what I find difficult is that from what I've read and tried to understand is that you draw out this grid on the fabric and you put your fabric on top of it but how the heck do you know where to sew? The lines you've traced on the fabric are now underneath the fabric swatches you're going to sew.
Do you put the fabric on the right side of the muslic where you' ve drawn or do you put it on the wrong side of the muslin? It's difficult for me to see the line once I've put the swatch on top and try to follow the stitching line. I end up just basically winging it and the sewing line I create is never the same as what was drawn.
Peg: You don't need to draw lines on the muslin. The pattern is just a guide. I'll try to get these photos on here for you.
Whoops, this is Sample 2, the one below is Sample 1. (Excuse the fabric, it's just scrap for this sample.) The black dotted is the first piece sewn, then flipped over to the right side. The second and third pieces were the orange things on the top right and bottom left, using the black dotted sides as your guide. The leafy black and white piece on the right was cut long enough to cover the right side of the dotted piece and the two ends of the orange pieces.
So essentially what you are doing is covering the extraneous edges with new pattern pieces, making sure they are long enough to cover the ends of sewn pieces. You will need to trim off the excess fabric underneath as you go around the design. You can make pieces long or short, or any size you wish so long as you cover the loose edges and the fabric is pleasing to you.
Once you get the block the size that you want, with at least a half inch margin of muslin if you used that, then you can add thin batting and backing, and embellish it with decorative stitches and other doodads like yarn, buttons, trinkets, or what have you. Then when you finish that, square up the block if you are going to add it to something else. Or just add a border around it and use it as a snack mat.
If you lay your first 5-sided piece-fabric side down-sew one side off-center to the muslin, press it, down then flip and press again. When you press it the second time, you will see that you still have the 5-sided base fabric ready for the next piece.
Let me know if this helps, Peg. I know how frustrating a new technique can be when we're not used to it.
i'm going to try and get my crazy pictures on here gini
you can see in the upper left corner the batting. you can also see the pins hlding the fabrics down. i fold a seam allowance over and lay the fabrics over and under each other, until i get a layout the i like. i pin them well to gether. then i pick an embroidery stitch and stitch the fabrics to the batt. i leave the fabrics on the sides long so i can weave them when i join the blocks. i'll try to get more pics on to help you see. i didn't have any blocks that i hadn't partially sewn down. they don't take much time to put together so i'll throw one to gether this weekend taking pics as i progress. in this method, you can't tell where one block starts and the other ends. it looks like one continual cloth of crazy piecing. i don't know why you couldn't do the decorative stitches on the machine. gini
3 blocks sewn together
the back side of a block. i leave the tails on the threads and pick them up if i need to continue a line of embridery on the front after adding more fabric.
i'm sorry the two top pics over lapped, the top is a block and the lower two are close ups of the upper left and lower right of same block.