Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Fond Memories - Project Quilting 12.5

The Project Quilting 12.5 challenge was 'You're Crazy!' We were to make a quilt using crazy quilting techniques. I stewed for a bit, of course.This time it wasn't because of a plethora of ideas; it was a dirth. I just wasn't feeling it.

Then I got Wendy's Pieceful Thoughts blog post in my inbox and read it...and ping! A little lightbulb went on when I read, "That light blue piece is from an old shirt of BigJ's."

I knew I had some scraps from clothing I made my daughters when they were little. I'd had to do some serious culling of sewing stuff when we moved from Alberta in 2012, but I knew I'd cut off some little squares/hunks of various fabrics before I donated it all, and there was a TON, to a very happy girl who makes comfort quilts. The problem was, and is, that my sewing studio, though new and huge and lovely, has not got any new cabinets other than the two Kallax I ordered for MacGyver to hack into my cutting/pressing table. Because of Covid there's no stock at IKEA. So lots of my stuff remains in Rubbermaid tubs.

But I found the scraps! I have one tub dedicated to dressmaking fabrics and they were in it! So I was able to create this mini:

All along I'd wanted to start with the Laurel Burch kitties from a piece of brocade I bought a while (okay, over ten years) ago when I was in Sisters, Oregon for the outdoor quilt show to make a bag. It isn't, but it should be on my USO (UnStarted Objects) List for my PHD... but I digress.

I read that you should start with a five-sided shape, so I lopped off the corner along the big kitty's back and off I went. And promptly had to rip after the two velvet sides were attached! You see, instead of continuing to the third side after the two velvet pieces, I went across to the kitty's back and sewed a piece of green there, and then trimmed two sides of it square... and realized I now had a 4-sided piece - doh! 
Planning stages; green triangle not yet ripped

Things went much better after that, good thing because most of these fabrics I only had 6-7" squares of. That green fabric I had to rip and resew with the adjacent rose were skirt and vest little suits I made for Brianne and Dayna when they were around 6-8 years old. Here's a photo of  them in two of the many dresses I made them. These were Easter ones.

I do have a small piece of the non-patterned yellow of Dayna's dress; though I didn't use it, that photo is just too cute not to include! The beautiful, incredible, frothy piece of silk with the paint splash on it is a dress I made myself that I loved. Why I didn't keep it and cut it up to make scarves or linings for bags (I did use it to line the toiletries pouch I made Dayna to use on her wedding day), I don't know, but all I have is the scraps.

The velvet pieces are what I bought at what was then called Lori's Fabric Cottage in Sherwood Park, a little shop that carried fancy fabric for dressmaking along with a few bolts of good quality cotton fabrics for quilting. That was the trip, buying that velvet for collars upon which the Battenburg lace collars would sit, for the fancy dresses I was making for my girls, that got me totally into quilting.

The dresses were made of the blues and pinks floral to the right of the blue velvet. I also used the floral for the binding. The backing is velvet. I hesitated for a few seconds, but then thought, nope, I'm using it. It's sat here waiting for how many years? And a velvet backing is fitting for a crazy quilt. I don't care if 'no one will see it' because I know it's there and it just adds that extra 'ahh' to the quilt.

Very little quilting is on it, but I did read that crazy quilts aren't quilted, nor do they tend to have batting. But when I layered the top onto the velvet, and picked it up to see how it felt, I thought it just needed a lightweight layer between, so enter Thermore. It is just perfect. I love the stuff, and I am no longer having to promote it because of ambassadorship, just so you know! Connecting Threads (affiliate link) does carry it and it's very reasonable. With the varying weights and contents of fabrics, I liked the little extra stability this gives.

For embroidering along the seams, I was going to use the fancy stitches on my Bernina with some fancy Sulky threads, but then I thought that I had time to do some hand embroidery. So I started off simple, doing a favourite stitch of mine, blanket or buttonhole stitch in pink. From there I did the daisy chain, and then looked up how to do the feather stitch, which I did in green without the French knots and beads you now see. I came upon a great site, Pintangle, for embroidering crazy quilts, and decided to try the buttonhole-stitched little wheels she showed.

And that, my friends, is where it exploded. Once I added the beads beneath, I had to go back and add French knots and beads to that green feather-stitched seam. Then I added in another row of blanket stitch with a warm tan thread atop the original pink - that is a cool effect no? I tried the stab-stitched flowers, embellished with beads and French knots, and then saw a double chevron stitch, and cross-stitch with French knots embellishments, the two-sided blanket stitch, embellished chevrons... such fun.

Meanwhile I actually binge-watched the final three episodes of Bridgerton while I stitched (meh it was alright, nothing to write home about), also a terrific episode on The Nature of Things on polar bears, started Cali K9, listened to a Tom Powers interview, and I don't know some other stuff if not just music and my thoughts. Handwork, which I used to love, and which I don't do much of anymore at all, has flowed back into my life methinks.

The smallest lacy flower appliquéd onto the quilt is from my wedding veil, and I attached a small sewing machine embellishment I'd bought at a sewing show years ago and never have used.I think it's perfect for this little quilt that gave me many hours of fond memories as I made it. Now it is on the wall where the Valentine mini was. I considered it becoming a 'mailbox mini' but didn't want the sun on these precious fabrics, so, like Bella these kitties are indoor kitties!

Oh yes, there is one more kitty, the button patchwork one. She's actually straight, (see first photo) but I had what I thought was two minutes to photograph the finished quilt and upload it to Instagram and then link it, so I wasn't paying attention to anything! (When I linked up I found out there was still a half hour, for some reason.) This photo and the one of the back were taken in the shade on the deck. The one at the beginning of this post was in the sun on the floor a few hours later. If you compare the two, you may notice the daisy chain now has 'leaves' in green added and the pink feather stitched seam has French knots. I was able to go back in and add these by 'popping the knot' through the fabric and then feeding the needle between the layers from stitch to stitch. Worth the extra time it took.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: crazy quilting
Size: 12.25" square
Fabric: scraps from dressmaking days and a piece of brocade
Backing: velvet
Batting: Hobbs Thermore
Quilted: on my Bernina with Madeira polyester
Threads: pieced with Gütermann and Mettler polyester

On Thursday evening, EST, or Friday morning Adelaide, or AEST time, I am hosting TGIFF, so be sure to come back to see my quilt that is in the ezine! If you want to buy a copy of the magazine, it will go on sale about the time of my post. It is a very worthwhile investment of only $21AU for a 6-month subscription imho. If you do consider trying it, I am now an affiliate, so part of the $21 would go to me if you click the link in my sidebar or below!


  1. I'm so glad I played a small part in the creation of this little beauty. What fun that you were able to find the fabrics and then enjoy all the added stitches and embellishments! Also glad it will be staying indoors - this one is a keeper!

  2. Oh Sandra your hand stitching is beautiful! The memories of the fabrics and the hand stitching make this a special keepsake piece. I love it!

  3. What a pair of cuties in that photo. I can hear them saying Mommmmmmmm! when they see it on the blog. You put a lot of memories in this little piece and your stitching is amazing. Hard to believe you rarely do embroidery.

  4. Pintangle is a great embroidery site - I have followed Sharon for many years as I embroidered first. Well actually I made clothes first, then switched to embroidery.
    But I have always collected fabric. Love your memories and mini quilt - definitely needs to stay indoors though :-)

  5. I'm glad you were able to find the fabrics you were looking for; I can definitely relate to not being able to purchase the items you desire during this crazy time. The hand embroidery details are lovely and it sounds like they were quite enjoyable details to add, too. :)

  6. Such beautiful memories in this gorgeous little treasure!

  7. Great project, and such a fun way to save memories! And I absolutely love that you used velvet on the back! Such a pretty, deep color and I bet it feels fantastic. I associate velvet with crazy quilts so it makes sense to me. Love all your hand stitches!!

  8. It’s a great memory piece! I wish I had played along! I’m always paralyzed by the “what if I don’t finish, what if it horrible “! I like all your hand stitching! Perfectly “Crazy”!!

  9. It’s delightful! You did a wonderful job.

  10. Hi Sandra! I have to smile at each and every bit of fabric you've used and identified in this Fond Memories piece. I can only imagine how it makes you feel. Fabulous interpretation of the crazy prompt! Love it - you'll have to give the scoop to Brady soon or share it in a journal with a picture of the piece itself. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  11. What a lovely project - perfect selection of fabrics and wonderful stitches and love!

  12. Very pretty! So fun to revisit memories and then showcase them in a little mini. The embroidery is really dainty. Congrats on a very lovey finish.