August 15, 2007

I have a confession to make...

Celine CQ Block 2

I am not really very good at crazy quilting and I don't enjoy it very much. Shhhhh...don't tell anyone. It is not that I don't like it, I admire other peoples work very much and I do like stitcheries with stem and back stitches... I just get paralyzed with so much choice and kinda can't do ribbon embroidery very well. Saying that, I am happy enough with my final blocks for a Crazy Quilt Round Robin that I did with a group of talented quilters and CQers in England and Sweden! I don't think I will be doing much Crazy Quilting in the future, it is just not a passion, and I don't think I'm very good at it! I will post a photo of my quilt when it comes back soon though.

I also suck at doing a proper quilting stitch. Barbara showed me her technique and made it look so easy to get even stitches on the front and back of her quilt. She can quilt amazingly fast. Now looking around I am paralyzed again by the amount of techniques for hand quilting. I am doing well just stab stitching each quilting stitch one at a time for my Dear Jane, probably best for that anyway, as there are so many seams! I'll put in my latest blocks here, just click to see the details! What are your favorite methods to hand quilt? Can you recommend a good book? I'd love to learn a method where I can go a bit more quickly, though I suppose having done 60 blocks since late June isn't too bad! I am aiming to get one done each day and sometimes get a few more...

F5 - Parcheesi - QuiltingI5 - Maria's Majesty - QuiltngC5 - Eye of the Cyclone - Quilting

E5 - Rising Sun - QuiltingD5 - Cathedral Window - Quilting

I am working on the heel gusset for my Pomatomus sock and while chatting with my friend Kathleen while doing a bit of knitting while kids ran wild over the house I managed to totally mess up the decreases. That will show me! No more talking and knitting on a complicated pattern, lol!! I spent last night ripping back to a place I could start again. A few days ago, Kathleen watched the girls for me and I snuck out to the quilt shop to see if I could find some fabric for the snowy mountains on my dad's quilt, and pick up the Jo Morton and Rothermel prints she had on clearance!! There were roadworks that had me sitting on the road for about 20 minutes. Instead of seething, I remembered I had my sock knitting with me and took it out and got a few rows done while waiting to  move again! I should remember to keep it in my bag just in case I have a minute or 2 of found time :) Gotta grab it while you can with 2 small kids!!

I'll leave you with this photo of Aisling who decided she needed a hat, mittens and tea towel bib to eat her spaghetti...gotta love them wacky kids!
Spaghetti Eating Costume


Tracy said...

Wow--! think your crazy quilt patch is wonderful! You did a great job. But if you feel it's not for you, that's ok. Sometimes it's just fun to try new things, and if they don't spark into instant of even lasting passions, you're sure to have learned something along the way before parting with it. Your quilted blocks look great too. I quilt but little, so have not so much advice for quilting technique, and I, too, use the stab & stitch along seams. Mostly I just use that "rocking" method, although I can only mange about 3-4 stitches on the needle and still get a gook result on the underside as well as the top. Keep working...and you are making such good progress on DJ. Lovely seeing Aisling all "dressed up" having her tea! hehehe...Happy Day to you all :o)

ruthsplace said...

I'm not a crazy patchwork fan either. I get paralysed by too much choice. Yours looks amazing.

Love the picture of Aisling, and 60 quilt blocks since late June is great progress in my book.

Connie W said...

Cathi, Well from what I see in the photos your work is excellent. Having not tried crazy quilting, I can't really have an opinion of how I will like it or not, but I have a plastic shoebox of bits & pieces of a stash for future use. I did some handquilting before I bought my longarm and all I can offer is the old saying, 'practice, practice, practice.' My stitches never did please me. I found it less difficult to make my top stitches fairly same in size, but to make the top and the bottom stitches look the same was a skill I never mastered. To me, the beauty is in the fact that items are hand-quilted. It is the ultimate in hand-made, although I love machine quilting and consider it to be its own art form. I admire all quilters and all kinds of quilts.

Sonnja said...

Hello Cathi,

What a lovely photo of Aisling.
Kind Regards,


Clare said...

I not an expert - my stitches are far from even - but do you mind if I ask a few questions? What sort of needle are you using and are you using a hoop? If you are using a proper hand quilting needle this might be your problem. Try with a long, thin darning needle. You can get more stitches on it and can even them out a bit more. Also try without the hoop. I started hand quilting after reading and re-reading Tonya's tutorial on hoopless hand quilting. Try on a scrap first if you aren't brave enough to try on the DJ.

Bonne chance!

sherry said...

Love the crazy quilting! and completely understand the non-passion; plenty of projects to go around! no stress!
And I love Aine's work in the last post. My daughters are forever running fabric under their play Singer; I should let the oldest have a go at the needle and thread!!
More importantly, 2 more days til Birmingham!! Can't wait. Is your DH driving you up in the week hours of Saturday? Luckily at 4-5amish there is no traffic and I can get there in 40 min! See you Saturday morn!

Rose Marie said...

Nothing wrong with trying something new and admitting if it's not for you! BTW, you did a wonderful job with the crazy blocks. I do stab at the seams also, but elsewhere I am able to do the rocking method. At a recent guild presentation, one quilter showed us her jaw-dropping quilts (she has won international awards) and all her quilting is done the stab way. She says the trick is to use a really busy backing to hide her method and it obviously works as the judges don't seem to notice.

Beth said...

I am not a huge crazy quilt fan myself, at least as far as making them is concerned, but I am amazed at the work others do. Not my style. Keep trying with the hand quilting, it just takes practice. I am by no means an expert, but I find it much easier than machine quilting, I suck at that big time. That's a good idea keeping a knitting project with you. I usually have something with me too, because my purse doubles as a knitting bag. And lastly, your children are just precious! Sooooo cute!

Jenni said...

I look at Crazy Quilt blogs occasionally as I really like the look of the blocks, but I've never really been able to very neat embroidery. I don't think my fine motor skills are very good, which makes me worry about learning to hand quilt. I've tried one of the 'methods', but can't get my back stitches to show very well. I think you're doing a great job to achieve all that!

gwen said...

Quilting: practice, practice, practice. I quilt with a hoop on a stand as I can quilt only in one direction but I do stab-quilting as soons as the seam allowances appear!
Crazy quilting: I never did any but my mother made some which I then put into patchwork.
Yours look all the better if it is not your cup of tea!
Knitting: I just bought knitting wool from the same brand (it is made in Germany!) to knit socks too.
Have a look at for ideas on machine quilting.
Take care.

Yvonne Landry said...

I think you did a wonderful job on the crazy quilting. We all have our favorite things we like to do and things we just never want to do again. Your Baby Jane is coming along beautifully. Your girls are just the cutest!

Hanne said...

Your crazy quilting looks good, but I can understand what you say as CQ is not for me either - give me backstitches and I am a happy camper.
As for the hand quilting - we can not all do the even on both sides stiches, me neither, but I like the look anyway - just look at vintage quilts - they look so good even if the stitches are uneven. DJ is not easy to hand quilt - I should know ;-)
Do you have a VHS player ?
I have a video here which helped me a lot, from Roxanne. Let me know please :-)

Mamaspark said...

I love your crazy quilt. I am just getting into the decorative sittching and embroidery. I love the pictures of your girls too. i have 2 daughters and a son. One of my girls has a cat named Aisling!! I'll see if she will send me a photo and send you so you can show your Aisling.

Susan said...

CQ is like anything else - just takes practice, but if you don't love it, why do it? That's kind of how I feel about knitting, and look how you love that. Those blocks look fine to me, though.