It's Crazy!!!

Time to start a new project!!!  As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, I am having an individual show at the Shelburne Arts Cooperative in August.  Most of the items for this show will be wall hangings.   No show of mine would be complete without a crazy quilt.  I use Karla Anderson's stack the deck method.   I found a book of hers that I don't have at a used book store in Santa Fe.  I found the inspiration for this project in that book.   On a fabric buying trip to New Hampshire this fall I found a wide selection of Kaffee Fassett prints and many other vibrant fabrics which is the bases for this quilt.  The main difference between what I made and her quilt is that in her quilt the blocks are on point and it is the size of a lap robe.  The Arts Co-op doesn't have any way of exhibiting a quilt of that size so I scaled it down and decided not to put the blocks on point.  

What I love about Karla's method is not only the ease of assembling the blocks but also the randomness of the blocks and that you can use as many fabrics as you see fit (see blog entry http://www.newenglandfiberarts.com/node/14 for detailed instructions Karla's method).  I chose 5 lights and 4 darks.   Since there are 9 fabrics and only 6 pieces in each block, not every fabric is going to appear in every block which will make it look a bit random.  I needed 16 blocks (4 blocks of 4) to get a quilt large enough for the design to shine.   I cut out 2 - 10" squares from all the fabrics and 3 squares from the black fabric and started stacking the fabrics.  Each stack would have 6 squares stacked up, 3 lights and 3 darks for a total of 3 stacks, which would yield me 18 blocks -  always good to have a couple extra.  FAMOUS LAST WORDS.

Even though I have made many crazy blocks in my day, the rule of thumb for most quilters is to start with a small amount of blocks and make sure everything is going to work out correctly and that you have cut things out to the right shapes, ect.  .  I cut the first stack, shuffled it and proceed to do Karla's assembly line method.  As you can see from the photo of when the 4 blocks get sewn together into the one larger block the darks and lights hang together in a particular way.  Out of this first stack there were 2 blocks that did not hang together that way...OH, OH!  On the shuffle of the next deck of 6, I took pains to make sure that the darks and the lights hung together a bit better.  It took a bit longer and a bit more planning but it  would mean a whole lot less waste,  

Once all of the blocks were assembled, I trimmed them all to 8 1/2" sq. and then headed down to the basement and my design wall...time to have some fun and play around with these blocks and see how there were going to end up fitting together,   It is projects like this that a design wall REALLY comes in handy since there are any number of ways that these crazy blocks can be arranged and there is just no substitute for being able to play around with it up on a wall and then stand back from it. Once I had the arrangement where I liked it it was time for the 16 blocks to be assembled into the 4 large blocks.  I then played around with those 4 blocks deciding which one would go where.  The reason I am crazy about these crazy blocks is that I have so much fun designing with them.  I liken it to putting a puzzle together and no two people would put this puzzle together the same!  WHAT FUN!

The photo of the quilt top once assembled (bottom photo) was taken down in my basement with it on the quilt design wall.  I did the best I could with the available light.  The top photo shows the actual colors of the fabrics.  I put that bottom photo out on New England Fiber Arts' facebook page and asked people "what so you think I should name it?"  My friend Margaret suggested "Broken Stained Glass" and another good suggestion was "Citrus Twist".  If I hang onto the quilt and wait until my show in August I will probably name it what Karla named hers, "Summer Solstice" but if I put it in the "Red Show" at the Arts Co-op in February, I will probably go with one of the other names.  Any suggestions?

Add new comment