Chapter 16: The Story Behind the Quilt ~ Crazy Memory Quilt

Finished quilt

Finished quilt

Crazy quilts have always been something that I wanted to try. I like to do hand work every now and then. A friend and I decided to do a small wall one with 9 blocks of  12 x 12. For mine, instead of all the different fabrics like velvet, silk, and other choices, I decided to do it all in cotton. I also decided to do it all in neutral colors. After heading to my local fabric store here in my area I found a lot of tone on tones and different patterns within them to work with.

Sewing machines today have a lot of decorative stitches but I wanted to try some by hand. I went and got three books on crazy stitches. I know, how many can there be?! You would be surprised!! I used a 14 x14 inch block of muslin for my base. I then added a cut out piece on top and sewed it in place. I was careful to cut a 1/4 inch seam and not cut the muslin in the back. Once the block was pieced, the fun started. I used different stitch designs and different DMC thread colors for each different stitch design. It was trial and error at this point.

In my travels to different surplus stores, Good Will and others I found buttons and objects that I wanted to add into my crazy quilt.  I also had things on hand that I thought I could add onto the piece in some way.

This block has a pair of earrings I was wearing when I met my husband. The date we got married. Of course there is a butterfly in a lot of my blocks because I love butterflies. Each block has something different also. In this block  was when I started experimenting with rusting and beading.

Wedding day block!

Wedding day block!

England, Navigator

England, Navigator

The above block is when we lived in England. My husband was a Navigator for the USAF. The stars and propellor from heart beads and buttons and stars. We adopted our first cat and I had my first garden. The plastic flowers reminded me of the plastic knobs in my kitchen. (Just click on photo it will get larger so you can view).

Second Cat, Sundial

Second Cat, Sundial

This block we were living in Albuquerque, N.M. The photo of our second cat, which we adopted there, was taken on a pile of quilts. I took this photo when I took a photography class. We hiked a lot there and came across a sun dial thousands of years old (button with beads around it). Today you can not get close to it, the state has blocked it off from the public.

Maine, log cabin, and third cat!

Maine, log cabin, and third cat!

This block has a log cabin block to depict the log cabin we built in Maine, snow flakes that was tea dyed, and our third adopted cat. Leaves because we are surrounded by acreages of trees. There is even bird buttons because we feed a numerous amount of birds in the area.

Boat Block

Boat Block

At one point in our lives we lived on a boat. Sold everything we owned, moved onboard, and traveled down the east coast. We named our boat the December First. I even found gold boat beads. A friend had some anchor buttons she gave me to use in the quilt.

I sewed all the blocks together and then put a backing on the quilt. To hold it all together I bought some trim and sewed that along the seams of the 12 inch blocks with a button at each intersection. I put a sleeve on it and hang it every now and then on our wall.

This was so fun just searching for the right objects to use with each block. Always great to look back on where you have been and what you have done. I hope you start one of your own.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Chapter 16: The Story Behind the Quilt ~ Crazy Memory Quilt

  1. Beautiful work, Patricia! Very interesting hearing about all the details. Great memory quilt!

  2. Kan

    I love your quilt! Your attention to detail and creativity are amazing!
    I take it you’re self taught (with the 3 books..lol) on crazy quilt embroidery?
    I have a good friend, who teaches a class on it. I signed up and took her class 3 yrs or so ago.
    I’m finally finishing a 12 block (14″ squares) quilt for my Mom. I planned to make one for Mom, and one for myself. I have the centers done on all 24 blocks, but mine will have to wait.
    Thanks for sharing yours, and all the beautiful work you did.

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