Sunday, April 30, 2023

Crazy Fun! the Island Batik Ambassador Challenge for April

 Crazy Fun!  Island Batik asked the Ambassadors to work with the provided Aurifil thread pack to make a crazy quilt.  

So, how does one go crazy with stitching?  I don't know, I had fun, it wasn't crazy at all.  But that's the name for the type of quilt shown above.  I was lucky enough to see and touch one that my cousin Elizabeth had at her house.  A number of years ago, way too long because I miss them all, Elizabeth invited all the girl cousins from my dad's side to her beach house in Cape Cod for the weekend.  Arlene, my sister-in-law, was included as well, because she's been good friends with my cousins for years, too.  Elizabeth's mother-in-law was a big quilter, and co-founded the Long Island Quilting Guild, and had a shop.  When she passed I was lucky enough to get some of her fabric and a machine from Elizabeth, but I digress.  Elizabeth knew I loved quilting, and showed me this stunning example of a crazy quilt.  

This is an amazing blend of satins, velvets, polyester prints, lace, embroidery and more.  I was in awe.  The other thing that amazed me was that there was no binding.  The edge fabric folded over and started on the back.  Front and back, crazy patches of fabric and stitching, and lace and trim sewn together.  I couldn't figure out how it really didn't end, and how the fabric was folded and continued.  How did the maker do it?  It's like she made one huge top, folded it in half, and then just sewed the jagged edge fabric from one side to the other to make it reversible.  Elizabeth said she found it in a thrift shop.  There was no label on it.  I asked Elizabeth to send a few photos, so I hope you can see how the edge was done.
Can you see the corner?  It's mitered, almost, but the purple is on both sides.  I hope I can visit with Elizabeth again and look closer, now that I have more quilting information and can really puzzle this out.

But for now, let's talk about my Crazy Quilt.  
I was given the Aurifil thread box for Jade Vine in the January
Ambassador box. 
2830 Mint, 4654 Turquoise Foam, and 4662 Creme De Menthe, in the 50wt Mako cotton size.  Turquoise Foam and Creme de Menthe are variegated.  
 Since the shades of thread were lighter, I knew I needed a strong darker background on the fabric to show it off.  I also needed to play with my Janome 550 embroidery only machine, and learn how to use some of the 350 stitches on my Janome Horizon 9450.  Both machines were purchased during the pandemic, and I haven't been able to get actual lessons on either yet.  I'll have to remember to request them again from my favorite shop, Pocono Sew and Vac.  I get all my machines from there, and the staff is awesome. 

I played with a number of ideas but decided that I would stitch out 2 designs on the embroidery machine, and make a wall hanging for the long arm room.  I picked hand crank sewing machine, and a stunning butterfly on bloom, both from Embroidery Library.  I should have looked for instructions on my machine to reverse the machine design, but it stitched out so well the first time I didn't worry about it.  I used Aurifil 2021 Natural White for the thread, and Creme de Menthe for the body.  It's stitched on Hyacinth  Basics, with a fusible interfacing on the back, and tear away stabilizer.  I realized after stitching that the shades of thread don't really show much, but it's pretty anyway.  The butterfly was stitched with Turquoise Foam and that looks awesome.  The design is meant to be whitework, but the color change of the thread adds so much! 
Schmetz Embroidery needle used in both machines.

I did a rough trim on the designs and then added strips of fabric, mostly from Royal Crown, until I had something that was larger than 12 1/2".  
The center block starts with a rough pentagon shape, and is bordered with multiple pieces of fabric.  I cut a 14" piece of tear away stabilizer to start, and used some Elmer's glue stick to hold the pentagon in place, then put favorite sides together, stitched a seam, trimmed off the excess, and added another strip.  I had rough cut a variety of strips about 2 1/2" wide, most from the Royal Crown collection that I used in the Puff quilt challenge in February.  I figured the greens would work well with the thread collection, and the purples would offer enough contrast to show the thread. 
Progress adding the fabrics. 

 Yes, favorite sides together.  Most batiks are the same front and back, but if you look closely, there are minor differences.  One might have more little bubbles or one might have a cleaner line from the tjap (chop, stamp used with the waxes for the design).  I look to see which I prefer, but if I forget to look, it's not really an issue, no one will know.  Once I added the piece, I finger pressed the seam open, and added the next piece, until the stabilizer was filled.  It was really fun to just add the variety of fabrics, almost like using a foundation paper piecing pattern, but without lines.  

All the threads used.  See the little needle and thread?? So cute!

Then it was time to do the fun stitching designs.  I had a blast using so many!  I tried something from each section, and changed threads multiple times.  Each seam had a different design, but I think I used the needle and thread twice.  There are scissors, and spools of thread, too.  Satin stitches, long stitches, and designs, hearts, leaves, swirls.  I didn't add extra stabilizer to the crazy patch block, but did put it under the embroidered squares, to make sure the designs stitched well.  I even used the alphabet to write my name.  
Stitch options.  350 plus alphabet, and you can mix and match them to create your own designs.

After it was all stitched, I trimmed the blocks to 12 1/2" and sewed them together, added a border from the collection scraps, and decided to quilt it on my Handi-Quilter Amara with Pro-Stitcher, using Aurifil 40-3 in 1243 Dusty Lavender, and a stipple design.  I haven't done much with cropping out areas from a design, and didn't want to quilt over the machine and butterfly, so I played with that option, too.  Lots of learning happening lately.   I used a scrap of wide backing I had available, and Hobb's Poly Down batting.

When my son comes, I'll have him help me hang this on the back wall, but for now, it's done.  I had an 12" Ackfeld metal hanger and decided to use it for this.  I'm thrilled with how it came out, and hope you enjoyed the information.  

Please remember to check the other Island Batik Ambassador posts for their projects using Aurifil Thread for a crazy project.

Also, Island Batik has announced the May Ambassador blog hop, so please go see what we're planning, and enter to win fabric.  I'll be posting May 15, so make sure you see all the uses of the Studio 180 tools and new fabric collections shipping to stores soon. 

Brenda Alburl ~ Songbird Designs

Renee Atkinson ~ Pink Tulip Quilting

Pamela Boatright ~ Pamelaquilts

Susan Deshensky ~ Lady Blue Quilt Studio

Brittany Fisher ~ Bobbin with Brittany

Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts

Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts

Reed Johnson ~ Blue Bear Quilts

Victoria Johnson ~ Forever Quilting For You

Randi Jones ~ Randi’s Roost

Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs

Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood

Denise Looney ~ Quiltery – For the Love of Geese– you are here

Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights

Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine

Anorina Morris ~

Lisa Pickering ~ Lisa’s Quilting Passion

Sarah Pitcher ~ Pitcher’s Boutique LLC

Claudia Porter ~ Create with Claudia

Lana Russel ~

Elita Sharpe ~ Busy Needle Quilting LLC

Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail

Sandra Starley ~ Textile Time Travels

Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations

Suzy Webster ~ WebsterQuilt

Thanks for stopping by!


Jennifer Schifano Thomas said...

Hello Maryellen! I love your quilt, especially the butterfly! The Jade thread set looks so gorgeous. Have a great day.

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

I love this Maryellen!! It's perfect!

Pamela said...

So cute! Love the stitching on this, you did an amazing job!