It was a dream job....creating the blocks for a 3' X 4' crazy quilt for my new friend and student Barbara to embellish on her own. When she is all done, she will mail the blocks back to me for assembly and finishing.
I've been cranking hard on this all week, as I have other things in line to do, and I want to get her stitching right away. And as of 10 o'clock this morning, the 12 blocks are done and ready to mail.
I started with a trip to Fabric Depot for silks on Monday.
The room where this quilt will live actually has a very controlled palette of warm chocolate, spice, ivory, deep red......and just a flash of green in the paintings on the wall...
...as you can see if you click on the picture. There is lovely scrollwork over the window, repeated on the bed linens and elsewhere in the room that I decided to "pick up" in my blocks too. The quilt will be draped over the chair in the foreground.
So off I went. I wanted stay in total harmony with the room but to add some bright new music to it too.
As always, I used the design wall as I pieced. This shows Block #3 partly sewn and with other fabrics pinned up to guage their potential placement in the block.
And here is how a block in progress looks on the sewing table...
I always work well beyond the size of what the finished block will be. It gives me more options to shape the composition just a bit when it comes time to trim it to size.
This block is all sewn and ready for marking, basting, trimming, interfacing, retrimming, and then zigzag stitching around its perimeter. That's how I always prepare my crazy quilt blocks; this prevents fraying and those silks just want to fray in the worst way!
I used a very light batiste cotton for the foundation fabric this time to see how I liked it.
And I did like it, a lot. If I got distortions in it from my strange curved foundation piecing, the wrinkles ironed flat to nothing, especially after they were interfaced.
This looks rumply but it is actually very lightweight, flat, and smooth. I used "Touch of Gold" fusible interfacing which is sheer but does the job well.
All cleaned up and ready to go.
Here are a couple of the other blocks that I especially like. Remember, this is 100% improvistion as I work, no pattern....so I never know quite what I'm going to get until it is done. I will pin a partially sewn block into its place in the quilt on the design wall, and that does help me steer things a bit....but otherwise, I'm winging it!
This one is actually similar to the one shown above.
The chainstitched soutache on the red silk does echo the scrollwork in the room, so I made sure to use that fabric in each block.
I did leave at least one large-scale chunk of fabric in all 12 of the blocks, as Barbara wants to embroider motifs on a fairly good-sized scale, and needs that space.
These are each going to finish out at 12" X 12".
Here they are pinned up all together...
It will be so interesting to see what Barbara does with this "base" for her handwork!
I hope she enjoys the journey....it could be a long one. I'll let you know when she gets back...