Crazy Quilt Progress

I could be working on my giant Sophie’s – both of them.

I could cast on some of my Maryland Sheep & Wool yarn.

Or, I could even finish something I already have on needles.

And, if I did one of those things, one of those sensible things, I would either have or be on my way to having something that I will love, or at the very least, use, at the end.

But, nope, I’m not spending my time doing anything sensible like that. Instead, I’m having a grand old time hand stitching, and beading, and producing something that in the end, I have no idea what I’m going to do with.

Here’s my before, and almost after – I say almost, because I still have to attempt my silk ribbon embroidery.  I’ve saved that for last.
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Oh, and did I mention, I’m making a mess too!

Look how much is going on! I can’t even tell you how much fun I’m having.

I dove headfirst into my feather stitch, combined with a fern stitch to complete the curlyques, topped off with french knots, and detached lazy daisy leaves. I didn’t even bother to try it out on a sampler first – just plunged right into the block. No fear! Those vintage buttons are hiding a little hole – nice! I found those leaf charms in my stash – now they’re good for something, right? And, that big pin in the middle is probably not going to stay – it’s pretty bulky. But, you never know. I think this is going to be a wall hanging, when I combine it into a four patch, so the bulk really won’t matter anyway. I added some beads to my chain stitch (next time I’ll try to make my chain stitch a bit more even, and probably use a smaller bead, but sometimes you just have to go with what you have), and I still have a bunch of beads to go before I call it done.

Of course, had a practiced my stithes first, they’d be neater. But, as you can see from the photo of my craft table, I’m not all that concerned about neat, and it’s all a big experiment anyway. I just wanted to get right into it, not dilly around with a sampler. Did I just say dilly? Next thing you know, I’ll be saying dally, too, and my word aesthetic will be as off as my creative endeavors.

Once I finish up with the silk embroidery and more beads, I’ll move on to the second block.  Already, the project has totally diverged from my vision.  I originally separated my fancy fabrics by color to come up with a sophisticated palette – cool colors, mostly blues and the like.  I thought I would stitch in the same color palette, creating a more elegant look.  But, I just loved my colorful threads so much, they landed on my fabric canvas, and sophistication went right out the window.  But if the purpose is the process, and the process is about fun, then it’s all good.  Maybe next time I’ll worry about the finished product a little more.  Or not.  We’ll see.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around why I like this project so much.  When I took Rebecca Ringquist’s class on embroidery at Creativebug, I was intrigued with her embroidering on vintage fabric, and on top of already existing embroidery.  What I didn’t like, strangely enough, was the texture of her work, her incorporation of so many different kinds of thread, especially the thicker wools and sock yarn.  Crazy quilting on fancy fabric is similar to what she does, but not as modern, but also not as messy – that texture – the oversized stitches, the bunched up canvas, the stitching on top of stitching – to me translates as mess.  (ok, ok, disregard what I said about mess above – there are areas where messy does not appeal to me).   I do like the fact that I’m stitching, totally freeform, on a colorful, patchwork canvas.  I like that there’s no map, that when I insert my needle into the fabric I can choose to go right or left, bloom into a flower, or turn into a leaf.   While the sampler I’ve been working on is pretty, and has been great practice, I don’t think I like following a printed embroidery pattern.   Or at least, I like this free for all better.

So that’s all the crazy quilting for today.  Tomorrow, I’ll show you the before and after of our kitchen remodel, and give you a few tips about hiring a contractor (learn from my mistakes, padawan).

Basic CMYK

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