Recently on a beautiful Saturday afternoon the Nebraska State Quilt Guild held what they call a “Quilt Gathering.” These gatherings are held around the state in different areas, are free to the public and have programs of interest to quilters. The events are planned by the district representatives and the one just held in my area was planned by a good friend of mine and the other district rep. plus my friend volunteered to be one of the presenters for our afternoon program.
The theme of the afternoon was “Crazy Quilts” and my friend Gloria has been making crazy quilts for quite a few years and has made some very beautiful examples she showed that day. She had lots and lots of examples of things you can do to manipulate fabric, trims, and embellishments and told how she stitches it all up into a beautiful creation. Gloria likes to work on the sewing machine but does hand stitching too and the quilts she has made using these techniques are stunning.
The second half of the program was given by Terry Melby from Kansas. She has been doing crazy quilting” for many years but she loves doing her work by hand. She had many lovely panels to show and pass around for the audience to get a close look at. She said she has certain size picture frames that she displays the crazy squares in her home. The finished work is stretched over stretcher frames that fit the picture frames so she can change them out and rotate the squares – a very good idea. Her work is exquisite, and full of all kinds of fabrics, trims and hand embroidery stitches, a real inspiration.
We all enjoyed both programs – good to see both machine and hand work on the same subject with the two presenters. I enjoyed them both but to be honest I probably will never get hooked on it in either form. I have done one small crazy quilt wall hanging for one of my daughters and husband after they got married.
It has been so long ago – finished it in 2002 – but think the blocks are about 8”. One blocks depicts my daughter, one about her husband, one about their wedding and the last about the two of them together. I did the embroidery stitching on my sewing machine and used trims and embellishments on the blocks. There is a piece of lace trim I tatted in one of the blocks, fabric from the bridesmaid dresses, photos printed on fabric and charms to depict them and their lives.
After making this wall hanging I decided I really did not enjoy working with the satins, silks and velvets in the crazy quilt format. I tied it by stitching from the back into the seams so the ties wouldn’t show. Maybe I would feel differently now but I really have no desire to do another crazy quilt but I do enjoy looking at the detailed work of others so the afternoon program was very enjoyable.