I never thought I’d write a book on crazy quilting but last spring I was inspired to explore the combination of piecing in the hoop and decorative stitches. It didn’t take much to leap into crazy quilting. After all, what’s not to love? It’s a time-honored technique coupled with today’s technology. Its ‘crazy’ moniker comes from the use of scraps and often includes whimsical embellishments. Crazy quilting has something for everyone. It appeals to quilters – the piecing part; embroiderers – the use of luscious designs in colorful threads; the thrifty – great way to use up scraps of all fiber types; and the splurger: new charms, buttons, ribbons and other tidbits are just waiting to be included in a crazy quilt block.
Technique-wise, the ‘crazier’ the block, the more tasks involved in completing the block. So in Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine you’ll find three levels of difficulty: Level 1 is piecing in the hoop with colorful fabrics; Level 2 includes the addition of accent designs to the patches and Level 3 is where the crazy kicks in with buttons, yarns, ribbons, charms and more. It’s hard to know when to stop once you reach Level 3.
If quilt blocks aren’t your thing, then you’ll enjoy three in-the-hoop projects: a wristlet, eyeglass case and small clutch. All small canvases to display your crazy stitches. The wristlet was just the right size project for teaching on TV with my dear friend Nancy Zieman.
We taped the Today’s Crazy Quilting series on Sewing with Nancy in September and it’s live now. You can watch online here if you don’t have it on your local channel.
When you watch, look for Nancy’s crazy quilt stitched by her great grandmother, Alice Lea Larson in 1920. Nancy shares her story of this wonderful family heirloom that has been lovingly restored by Nancy.
Although it’s a fun day with Nancy at Wisconsin Public Television, my favorite part of the week is the prep at her office the day before taping. That’s when we get all of our ducks in a row. Nancy is a visionary and literally ‘sees’ the taping once she understands the technique that we’re teaching. She works out the schedule and timing of the telecast while I work on the samples. Once we have a firm outline, all hands pitch in to finish the samples. And when 5:00 rolls around, everything is done and ready for tomorrow’s early wake-up call.
To document my visit to the studio, I had a staff member take some photographs with my camera. When I reviewed the images on the plane ride home, I realized I didn’t have one ‘serious’ shot. Oh no, I had images of smiling faces both on camera and behind the camera! The true spirit of crazy quilting.
It was well, crazy! Hope you enjoy the Sewing with Nancy series, Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine. You can watch here.
Don’t just take my word for it, read Nancy’s take on the series on her blog: http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/machine-embroidery/todays-crazy-quilting-with-your-embroidery-machine/