Monday, August 4, 2008

...more Crazyquilt-patchwork "essentials"...

Hi, again! Guess what. I never thought that posting the previous article would cause me to work so hard, revising and fretting over the Workbook that the ideas are taken from. True to form, I've been trying to finish this 60-page tutorial since 2002, when I got really serious about gettin' 'r done, and when it only had about 32 pages of text & pixures. Well, phooey on that plan! Anyway, let's hope the three scans will appear somewhere in this post, 'cause (speaking ve-e-ery quietly so Blogger won't hear) I really need FOR BLOGGER TO HUMOR ME TODAY! Nice to get that out of my system. . .

Three: Another excellent design element consists of an intersection that joins the seams among four different patches. Altho' this join doesn't always look exactly like the English alphabet letter which gives it its name, an "X" intersection provides us with another option for our patchwork. The easiest way to create this join is to do it in three steps: first, sewing together two of the four patches with seam allowances pressed open; second, sewing the remaining two patches together, ditto on the seam allowances; third, sewing both of these two-piece sections right sides together so that their joining seams match at the place required, and pressing open that long seam. Please remember: because of the inherent irregularity of crazy patchwork, you may NOT see the "X" clearly, if at all. The thing that defines this construct is the fact that four patches intersect at one point. Please see my illustration. +++ Now, just one more join for your consideration:

Four: Illus. 6 on one of the drawings, below, shows one of my favorite decorative constructs -- a "star" intersection. I hope you notice that there are five patches whose seams come together at one point on the block, altho' there might even be six. A "star" can be created in the easy manner described in the text that accompanies the illustration, or you can simply sew five patches together in a clockwise or counter-clockwise [anti-clockwise] direction until all five seams are done. Since everything has to lie flat eventually (if you're working in the traditional mode), a "star" might best be pre-designed on paper, with templates cut out and used, etc.* By the way, this "Essential Element" is also known as Design Option No. 18.

We've gotten thru the standard seam intersections, so we can elaborate just a little more on. . . .

Five: . . . folded-corner patches. This time there's no pre-cut angle to have to fit the third patch into; in fact, folded-corner patches, for want of a more descriptive term, are not "third patches" at all. They are those appliqued pieces of cloth that are constructed with at least one angular point -- or corner -- which does not necessarily intersect with one or more of the block's seams (altho' it can, if we want it to do so). As difficult as this is to say in words, all of us have seen dozens of antique crazyquilts with this particular Element present among (and upon) the sequentially-joined patches. So, looking at the scanned drawing of the Heart-shaped block, note the patch numbered 5 with two asterisks, one at the corner and one more or less centered near one edge of that patch. The first asterisk simply defines the folded corner, and the other asterisk tells you to be certain to applique this edge on top of the pertinent raw edge of Patch No. 1. The neat thing is, we can start out with a piece of cloth in an appropriate size, and as long as it has at least three edges to make a patch, we can turn under all of its edges to the wrong side and press them into a pleasing shape to be used late in the patchwork process, OR we can place the patch as I did in the drawing, with one edge underneath Patch No. 7, one [upper] edge under Patch No. 9, and one edge helping to form the finished containment line for the left edge of the block. Only the folded corner's two adjacent edges need to have their seam allowances turned to the wrong side for a pressing; the other three edges remain flat. +++ But wait: . . .

Six: . . . if you will please find Patch No. 6 in the Heart's upper right "chamber," you'll notice a nifty variation on the patch with one folded corner -- a thing I can only refer to as a double folded-corner patch. Betcha I doesn't has to tell anyone how to create one o' these, huh? What? It is true: you can't make your blocks in sew-'n'-flip mode and make a block such as the one I designed for this exercise, BUT, any block of crazywork can be improved and made more traditional in appearance by the addition of either form of folded-corner patch. I recommend that you give it a try!

Don'tcha just love it when even very important facts have numerical limits?, freeing you to NOT have to memorize how many -- oh, dear. I digress again. Here's the next Very Important Fact of Crazyquilt-Block Design & Construction: there are only THREE different kinds of CURVES employed in crazywork! How cool is THAT!

Seven: the easiest of the three curves to form is the concave curve. Just remember, "cave IN." My best suggestion is that you save all of the curves and add them only along the outermost edges of your blocks, at least in the early days of your playing with curved edges. Next:

Eight: more often seen on antique CQs is the convex curve, which arches away from us when viewed straight on. And lastly:

Nine: the "S" curve is, obviously, a combination of the two curves just mentioned. Some patch edges might actually have two of each type of simple curve! Also obviously, any of these three curves on one patch qualifies that particular patch edge for applique -- by hand or by machine, as you wish. +++


* The 60-page Workbook I've been working on for so long is titled CRAZYQUILT PATCHWORK / Method Three. "Method Three ROCKS!!" It's all about crazy blocks & garments & tea cozies & whatever else you might have in mind one day -- only, I need approx. thirty days more to finish the wretched illustrations. Will give ya more specs. in the next post; also a few "inspirationals" from within its oft-revised pages. Meanwhile, enjoy the possibilities just presented, and know that I forever appreciate the kindness and enthusiasm shown in your messages to me since three Mondays ago. Gonna go get pixures now! Hope you'll spend another fifteen minits or so with me in a few days. . . . .



Mary said...

Miss Carole!

I just found out about your blog from Sharon Boggan's blog! Now we have the *two* best resources for CQers on the 'net. I treasure the wonderful class you taught at Miss Vickie's and was thrilled to finally obtain a set of your templates. I can't wait to see what new and wonderful works you'll be showing and telling us about here!


Karen said...

What great fun it is to watch your blog each day and see what wisdom you impart to us! Thanks and welcome once again to the world of blogging.

Jeanne said...

miss Carole,
Merci beaucoup for all these explanations ! But I almost cannot wait till your workbook is ready! Soo impatient.
Toute mon amitiƩ,