Thursday, August 7, 2008

regarding "CRAZYQUILT PATCHWORK / Method Three" (and why you might find it an interesting read). . .

Bloggy Greetings, one and all! First things first: THANK YOU, CANADA, for sending your 70s and low 80s to the Great Plains USA!! Oh, what a lovely moderation of temps we are being blessed with today! Gotta give credit whence it cometh, eh? Lots & lots of clouds in the skies above, but no Fearless Fosdick black ones, thankyouverymuch. (And when's the last time YOU thought about The Fearless? Me, too. . .)

Springtime in August gives me such a great sense of Hopefulness, ya know. More thanks-givings are coming your way as I recall the kind words about the recent Tutorials. I truly hope you won't think that this is just too much analytical overkill, 'cause these findings have helped me immeasurably. Mostly, my acquaintance with the "Twenty-two Essential Elements" has taught me to recognize and appreciate a really excellent (that is to say, well-planned and well-executed) antique crazyquilt whenever I have the pleasure of meeting one. You know as well as I do: not every crazyquilt is created equal, as not every one of them is pleasing to the eye of the beholder. Well, I suppose there's something to be said for having too much information about almost any subject we can imagine. A lot of information is being offered to my Sisters of the Fancy Cloth, to be sure, but I'd so much rather think of it as insight instead of just an abundance of simple and complicated facts. If the subject intrigues you even a little bit, please come along for a sometimes exciting, sometimes startling journey into the Wonderful World of Crazy-Patchwork Design and Construction -- which, as you must know, is the primary "umbrella topic" for everything we've been discussing since last Friday. OK!

The Introduction to the Workbook gives the historic data that explains where the fundamental, altogether essential idea for "...Method Three" originally came from. My favorite disclaimer is about to be uttered again, so be warned: "Not everyone needs to know this, but. . ." if you are like me, crazy piecing -- no, successful, decent-looking crazy piecing -- is very difficult. I'm not sure that even Martha Green's extraordinary piecing method would be easy enough for me at this stage, and many people swear by it! So what's a crazyquilt-loving, extremely OC/perfectionistic/left-brained eldermom to do when her focus takes off for an extended vacation and doesn't tell her where it's going? The answer came in one of those "duh!" moments we can all relate to: in five words, I thought, why not use freezer paper?

Oh, I know; nothin's that easy -- or is it? Well, almost! Actually, "Method Three" is my sort of updated manner of constructing crazy patchwork by using pattern pieces, not unlike Ms. Michler's technique as described on page 26 of her very important book, The Magic of Crazy Quilting / Second Edition. The difference is, instead of making my Pattern on typing or drawing or graphed paper or even on a high-quality tissue paper, I use Reynolds brand white, poly-coated, temporarily-fusible freezer paper. I pre-design all of my CQ blocks nowadays, being sure to include a mix of the "Essential Elements" among the patches, and so on until I have individual pattern pieces that will be pressed onto the wrong sides of my various block-making fabrics. There's quite a bit more to know, however, and that's why I wrote the current Workbook. Thirty days more should be enough time to finish the remaining illustrations and "fiddling" with page numbers and captions and photographs for the front cover. Of course, I don't expect this little overdue publication to create a major stir in CrazyLand, especially when "Method Three" is so untraditional AND is almost too "sane" for most serious CQers. But for some of us. . .

Some of us really do need more help than even a quilt-shop or guild-sponsored class can give us. Some of us need to see what we are doing before we cut into our cloth. Nothing on earth can take me back to the time when it was natural and fun to "wing it" at the work table. The part of the process that energizes every new project now is the knowing part, the certainty that the final product will make sense to my eyes as long as the design is reasonably good AND the colors I choose are in harmony. "Method Three" requires three or four extra steps before you prepare your foundation cloth, gather all of your pressed fabrics and arrange them near you, grab your favorite cutting tool(s), and start making the preliminary patches. Those extra measures save me hours of fretting and not-very-silent conversations with myself, as I wonder aloud, "Why am I doing this?, and why doesn't someone make me STOP?!" [whine, whine, whine...]

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I found another wonderful antique block for you to study, if you wish to. Will try to coax Blogger to let me put it here, where it belongs. Everyone, con-cen-trate. . . . .

2 comments:

Marty52 said...

I'm sure your Workbook will be welcomed with open arms by the Crazy Quilting community, Ms. Carole. I've been sewing my blocks pretty much on the fly, so it will be an interesting exercise to actually plan one out. Hmmm... will have to play more with that idea!

Kathy said...

I don't consider anything you write about overkill! I enjoy reading every word which activates those sleepy brain cells.