Some of you have asked about what I meant by constructing crazy quilt blocks "the traditional way", so I thought I'd show my take on that.
It's really just cutting out shapes, ironing under edges, and basting the whole thing together on a foundation before sewing it all down.
Here's how it looks on an old and unfinished crazy quilt:
This is about 8" X 10", the size of most of the blocks I made. You can still see all the basting threads.
But I decided pin basting was faster and more accurate...
Very occasionally I would flip and sew a couple of pieces together, but mostly all my blocks came together like this.
Sometimes I would sew part of it down before adding the rest of the pieces, but usually not.
I topstitched everything with clear monofilament thread. In the bobbin I use a rayon thread by Wonderfil...it is so thin that a lot fits on the bobbin at once. This is a good thing. Also, it is strong but still lightweight enough to make it easy to tear off a patch, if need be, in order to switch up the block's lay-out. A quick hard tug and zip, it's off with no damage done.
I did that quite a bit, actually!
Here are some more blocks:
...the "Ribbon Block"...
...and the "Tapestry Block". The leaping critter is actually a photo transfer of a picture I took of a wonderful textile that was in my great-grandfather's furniture store in Indiana well over a hundred years ago. Obviously I wasn't going to cut that up...but I could still use the design this way.
I've had some fun mixing the old with the new like this. I pieced some fragments of that unfinished crazy quilt into my blocks, and salvaged a few of the embroidered motifs as well (the flowers in the top right corner above are an example). I also pieced in some old fabrics from that quilt in with my own contemporary fabrics. And each block has one of the vintage Kensitas flower cigarette silks that I bought from Maureen a few months ago.
My friend Conni Jenkins, of The Scoop, the Score, and the Deal had sent me a really cool artist trading card with an embroidered clover leaf on it. Well....I just had to put it in the quilt too.
She stitched it on some lovely felt she made with her embellisher.
It totally belongs here. It's the same perle cotton and style of embroidery as the antique motifs!
My goal has been to combine vintage and contemporary in this quilt, and I feel more successful with my second attempt at the border blocks.
The blocks are all trimmed, zigzagged, interfaced, and ready for handwork.
The last two major CQs I made (the H Quilt and the Spring CQ) had much more controlled overall designs. The tops were assembled first, and as a whole, before embellishing.
But in the old days crazy quilters almost never worked that way. Their piecing was random and they finished embroidering their individual blocks before assembling them into a top.
It truly gives a different look. So that's what I'm doing this time around.
There is a lot more work to do on the center section first though....