I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crazy for Crazy Quilts

I have no idea why I am attracted to some of the things that I am attracted to...I love symmetry...(my sister has a name for that which I won't use in polite company). I like order and
neatness. When things are strewn about, I get antsy. (Is that a real word? I can't find it in the Oxford American Dictionary.) But that's the feeling I get...like fingernails scraping a blackboard. I don't mind if someone writes "Wash Me" on the car's back window in front of me as long as the letters are scribbled neatly. I am not a neat freak...well, maybe slightly, but I PREFER order.

Long story, short. One of my favorite collectibles is the Crazy Quilt. Now if you don't look closely, you won't see the order...you will see a jumble, but if a Crazy Quilt is done correctly, orderliness and symmetry emerge.

This was my first CQ acquisition...I was hooked, but good. It came from upstate New York and the backing is an old feedsack.

The only thing I did to the quilt piece was to replace the maroon triangle at the bottom..the rest of the silks and satins were pretty well intact. It was love at first sight. Thus began my quest...

I ran across this piece in a basket of "junk" pieces..I kept searching and then a dream came true. After many years, I actually talked the "hubster" into going to PA to Lancaster County...Amish country. He wasn't one bit happy (he prefers sunny Florida, not a place where electricity is frowned upon) but I finally wore him down and off we went! Oh, it was glorious and on our way out of Lancaster, I stopped at a little Flea Market and down in a big ole basket of linens, there IT was...my prized possession...a piece of an Amish quilt. ( I went to PA fully intending to buy a whole Amish quilt. I took $200...what a joke! I couldn't touch one for less than $400.) So I came roaring back across the Mason Dixon line with the following: a child's snow shovel, a piece of redware pottery by Ned Foltz, some assorted salt glazed pottery, an Amish made iron bowl holder and THE PIECE OF AN AMISH CRAZY QUILT!

Now, this picture does NOT do it justice. I pinky promise, it is beautiful!

Check out those stitches...every once in a while you will see one that's not just perfect, but all in all it's some of the most symmetrical stitching I've ever seen....love it!

I continued my search and found several more pieces here and there. This one is also in my living room and it sports a big white velvet heart right in its center! Stitching isn't as pretty, but I like the heart. Then one day I woke up and said to myself, "Self, why don't you try some Crazy Quilting?" I argued with me but I won and I started doing research on Victorian CQ's and
decided that I'd give it a try.

My first feeble attempt...a little cushion for my son's old rocking chair. Ok, this wasn't too hard...let's try something a little more...well, decorative, I am NOT Amish I reasoned.

I paid too much for this chair at an auction...I let my desire get the better of my sense and I kept on bidding...that lady with the hot pink blouse on was NOT going to beat me out of this chair...so to sort of "hide" my purchase, I designed and made this pillow. Does that make sense?

I used Amish colors but just sort of jazzed them up...a little...anything worth doing is better with a few sparkly beads I always say.

Why not do a little something for the bathroom? Maybe a 20x24 design...oh, brother.

A few beads here, a golden spider web there...thus, began my spider web period...uh, oh.

Let's buy a book of fancy stitches to go with the beads....
Book was by Linda Causee.

Now I progressed to "not so" Amish colors... and satin ribbon roses...such fun!

Have I lost you yet? Oh, poor reader, I am so sorry, but when I get on the CQ rampage, I can't help myself...it's almost over! I promise!

A pin cushion for my Mother.

So there you have it...a few of my pieces of another's life...the Crazy Quilt...a thing collected by a Crazy Girl! If you've never tried your hand at crazy quilting, then you really need to!

I am linking to The Shabby Chic Cottage's Transformation Thursday...grab the button on the right to join us.

May all your days be crazy,


Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

This lady here in Birmingham teaches a crazy quilt class, and many of the ladies make purses out of them. I have always wanted to take this class, but I have never made the time. I love crazy quilts!

Julie said...

Those are beautiful -- makes me want to try making one. I love making pretty stitching patterns. This would be a great way to use them.

Sarah Laster said...

Wow! I am amazed! You seem like such a kindred spirit. I too have what I call a "math" brain. Its very hard for me to do a non-symetrical anything. I sew, make jewelry, paint, really, whatever strikes me.. and most everything comes from something I repurpose so most of the time it is easier to be uneven here and there and it drives me nuts! I love quilts - any quilt - any condition and I love to cut up the ones that are ragged and make them into something new. What you are doing absolutely WOWs me! These pieces could be in a magazine and I seriously think you should submit your work and an ariticle to some of them. That pin cushion is a treasure. I will be a follower from now on and look forward to seeing more of your awesome work. Thanks for sharing!

Kim @ Cheap Chic Home said...

I didn't know crazy quilts were supposed to be uniform looking ;). Your pieces are beautiful. I like that you treat them like the works of art that they are. I'm seriously loving the one you made in the chair. Hugs, Kim

Bob West said...

Very Interesting blog. I am now a follower. I thought you might want to check out Paradox Principles as well.
All the best, Bob West

The Rusty Bucket said...

I absolutely loved the pics and the story! I have a sad tale about the crazy quilt that got away but I wax nostalgia. Thanks for the memories!

Lynn B said...

Wow Angela that pin cushion is so pretty!