Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crazy Quilts Are Quilts Too

Have you visited the Crazy Quilt Show on-line at Pigtales and Quilts? There are some wonderful examples of CQ entered in a contest on this site. The creators of the CQs are waiting for you to come look at their work. You can actually vote for your favorite and help some lucky CQer win some fabulous prizes. There are also some wonderful CQ enthusiasts who have linked to the site and you can visit their blogs to feast your eyes on even more eye candy. You can win prizes yourself if you link up right away. Only a few days left.

Also of interest to those loving CQ would be the Crazy Quilting Journal Project (CQJP). Over 200 ladies and gentlemen from all overthe world have registered to participate by sharing a completed CQ block/project each month for 12 months. The works shown so far for January and February are outstanding. You will find a link over in my side bar.

Enjoy the sharing going on at both of these sites and consider participating in one or both of them next year. In the meantime, check them out and try to contain your drool.

Hugs, Shari

Saturday, February 4, 2012

CQJP 2012 January Block

I did it! I actually found time to finish a block in a month. As a committee person for the project I thought I had BETTER find the time or I wouldn't be in any position to encourage others to do so, lol.

I have entitled this block Inside Neptune's Garden Net. I hope it gives you the feeling that you are under the sea, inside the golden net of Neptune with those 3 large fish, looking for a way out through the seaweed.

When I decided to participate in CQJP 2012 I thought it would be an opportunity to challenge myself a bit with each block by doing something that I hadn't done before but might have wanted to try. I also decided it would be a good time to revisit some techniques that I hadn't done for awhile.

On this particular block the challenge was to work with that gold netting. I can tell you it was a true challenge to get it to lay on the fabric and not curl the fabric right back up because the netting has a 'memory'. It was a gold net bag that had held some chocolates. It expands well when full but it retracts to its original condition when not full of chocolate, evidently, lol. I had only the corners and the side points tacked down and I thought that would hold the netting open. My initial plan was to stitch all the seaweed elements over it to hold it in place - the next morning. When I picked up the block the next day it was all rolled up inside the netting. What a tangled net we So, I spent the better part of the afternoon that day tacking that netting in place from the center out on the fabric. I fought with it like crazy because it really wanted to keep retracting back to its tight bag shape. Does this make it 'crazy' quilting?

One of the techniques I revisited was stenciling the distant fish onto the fabric with Shiva oil paint sticks. I even cut my own indistinct stencil. I really like the effect of depth it gives to the block. I laid a lot of dark seaweed on both sides using scraps of yarn, perle cotton and other funky stuff. I used a lot of feather stitches, fly stitches and some of the fibers are just laid on with couching stitches. I also tried my hand at scrunching a large piece of fabric for the sand and tacking it down to retain the pleating. I just love scrunching fabric. Then I laid the netting, the fluffy/bushy central seaweed and the seashells, coral rocks, skull and blown glass bead.

I decided to use needle weaving for the legs of the starfish holding the shell down. The center is a very tight buttonhole and cross stitch, with silver blending filament accents to make it show up a bit more. I love the vintage trim that winds its way across the ocean floor. The sand dollar is cut off a necklace from the thrift store, as is the skull by the seaweed on the right.

The 3 large fish are also thrift store jewelry parts. They are mother of pearl cut from an abalone shell. I used some rose petal motifs from some old dyed lace curtains for their tails. I trimmed one petal down a bit to fit under the body so I could tack it in place before setting the fish body in place over the lace. The veins in the tail are also silver blending filament.

I hope you enjoyed this part of the journey. I have begun my February block. It is pieced and I have some ideas but need to pull the threads and other embellishments before I can start my stitching.

Hugs, Shari