Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Quilting a Crazy Quilt

 I had an email from someone wanting to know how I quilt my crazy quilts because she wasn't a fan of a quilt being tied. The photo below is of the last Crazy Quilt I made called A Time for all Seasons.

I was a traditional quilter for 7 years before I made my first crazy quilt and so I naturally quilted it as I would quilt any quilt. I was/am a self-taught crazy quilter, I didn't know that crazy quilts are usually tied! To be fair, my crazy quilts are not the usual crazy quilt either. Someone once said that my quilts are crazy and sane and that is probably a good description.

In the past, the Victorian style crazy quilt was very over-the-top busy with not much spare space between the embroideries. They didn't have wadding or batting in them and were made to be draped over a chair or piano. The quilts were tied or knots of thread inserted between the embroideries to keep the top and backing from sagging away from each other.

I didn't want to make that sort of crazy quilt and so made crazy blocks and had space for quilting around them. I used batting and treated them as a wall quilt that could hang straight and square.

I had over 12 years of making these quilts and loved every minute of it.

Here is a detail photo of a donation quilt I made for the International Quilt Festival in Houston that shows the quilting.

I always finished the quilt completely including adding beads and I just quilted carefully around them all. I very rarely hit a bead.

Below is a photo of one of my quilts before all the embroidery is finished.

Now here is a photo of the same block after it has been quilted. I just love the quilted look.

Here's one more block that I did for my quilt naturally Crazy.

These quilts are very time consuming to make and in 2016, I decided to stop making them and start exploring art quilts. I had been making art quilts on the side, but I wanted to take it more seriously.

If you are interested in seeing my Crazy Quilts there are photos of them on my website under Crazy Quilts

I still belong to an online group of crazy quilters and they have decided to run a crazy quilted Christmas Ornament swap. I agreed to participate and said that I would make three. What was I thinking??

Anyhow, here is the first base that I have made. Now to start adding the embroidery.

Bye for now,



Magpie's Mumblings said...

Crazy and sane - that's an apt description. I've never been a huge fan of tied quilts and haven't done any large crazy quilts that needed a decision as to how to finish them off. I think I would be in the same camp as you and want to quilt them 'properly'.

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Magpie Mumblings, not many people seem to make crazy quilts these days, they are more inclined to just make blocks or small items, probably because they are so time consuming to make.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

You're so right about crazy quilting being time consuming. My last project was a down & dirty easy throw for the foot of our bed. I pieced the blocks with each one featuring one color and then I used my machine feather stitch to 'embroider' them. Fast and looks great on the bed. Normally I would be spending months hand embroidering the seams but this was meant to be a utility quilt so the machine worked well. DH likes it so there's that about it.

Linda Steele said...

I love the look of machine feather stitch, Magpie Mumblings.