Key to My Heart

Block 7!  Woo-hoo!!  I am going to have to take a break from the crazy quilt pretty soon so I can work on some more quilt patterns.  I hope to start selling them on etsy to get Lisa off my back drum up some business.  I really enjoy teaching classes, but I haven't had one since June.  Wow.  Time flies when you have no control over your life children.

Speaking of children, here is one of the little darlings who holds the key to my heart (get it?  There is a lock and key in the block under her).  The picture is about 9 years old because she was 5 at the time.  She is holding my baby doll, Mary, who was originally my dad's and is 70 years old.  Mary is wearing one of my baby outfits.  I spent a lot of time thinking about how to frame the picture.  I really like the wisteria tree I ended up with.  Embellishing this picture makes me want to go back and add more to my son's.  Ideas?  You probably can't tell, but I also picked out the headband in this picture with pink satin floss. 

The peacock is borrowed from Jenny Hart over at Sublime Stitching.  I hope to get one of her books soon.  She has a lot of vintage designs with a modern twist that appeal to me, like the birds and cameo.  Besides, you can't go wrong with a girl from Texas. 

Have a great weekend!


A Thyme to Be Me

Welcome to the unveiling of block #6 in the crazy quilt saga.  No pictures, no initials, just "things."   I love the bright colors in this block.  That's really the only thing I don't like about antique crazy quilts.  They just tend to be too dark.  I wonder if our ancestors really used colors that were so heavy all of the time, or if the fabrics have just darkened with age. 
The silk ribbon flowers on the right are my representation of thyme, the national flower of Bohemia.  Yes, Bohemia really was a place and doesn't just mean someone who is a Hippie.  I am very proud of my Bohemian roots. 
These are my Bohemian great grandparents, Jacob and Otillie (Ziegelbauer) Cimrhanzel.  He was born in Bohemia and came to Texas in 1890 and she was born here to parents who were immigrants.  I just share that because I really love the picture.  They were married in 1910.

Please ignore the funny blue spots.  That's the wash-out ink that I have so much trouble washing out.  I made a tiny cross out of tag board for a template and then spaced out lines for the arrows.  The sets of threes are, of course, for the Holy Trinity.  I tea dyed all of the thread and silk ribbon for this.  I really like how it turned out, especially against my favorite shade of green.


My Little Man

Have you ever noticed that your favorite project is the one you are working on now?  That's how I feel with my blocks.  My favorite is always the most recent.  This one showcases a picture of my son from 10+ years ago.
The pink medallion in the upper left corner is one that I tatted.  The shamrock is the national flower of Ireland.  The spiderweb is just because you have to have one on a crazy quilt, the orange and green lace medallion is one that I bought and dyed, and the lace is from my stash of vintage lace.  I can't get enough of that stuff. 

This pink silk is from an old kimono.  I picked up a grab bag of large squares of vintage kimono fabric at the 2011 San Antonio quilt show.  A friend mentioned that my block was looking a little sad, so I embellished this piece by stitching over the basket and making little tulle flowers with melted edges.  The flowers are about 3/4" each.

This is my big melty flower, about 4" across.  The tutorial for these flowers is on the Calamity Kim site.  I've only made the one large and 4 tiny, but it is so much fun!  I hope to make lots more soon.


Crazy in Love

This is block four, also finished quite a while ago.  Good looking couple in the center, eh?  That was certainly a few pounds and a lot of grey hairs ago!
Most of my fabrics I found from scrounging bargain bins, yard/estate sales, and a few are actually from treasured memories.  Then there are the ones from my friend Lisa's donation of those designer's fabric books.  The stripe above the wedding picture is an example of that.  There is some really cool material in those books, especially the silks.  Lisa also gave me an awesome book to haul around (as in, it's a handy size and has spiral binding) to reference stitches and ideas:  Crazy Quilting-The Complete Guide by J. Marsha Michler.  I have really good friends.  And not just because they give me things to play with, but because they give me encouragement and a sounding board.  Ok, enough being sappy.  Back to the block!
The fuzzy thistle (I think I like it even more than the peacock feather from block 3) is in honor of my Scottish heritage on the Sanders side.
Bet you can't guess what the needle and thread are for! 
I'm throwing in a close-up of the vintage lace collar.  It's a found piece, not a family heirloom.  I'm a sucker for old lace, though. 


Crazy with Jealousy

During a recent trip to Roxann's house the other day to treasure hunt for some lace that would melt, she ran across the rest of the crazy quilt blocks her grandmother made.  They are unfinished and probably never will be because of the integrity of the fabric.  One is a long rectangle (maybe one foot wide and two feet long) and the other is a large square about 2', like the one I showcased a while back. 
I assume that the basting stitches are to keep the seams flat before the embroidery is done because the the pieces are all sewn down really well without the basting.
One edge of the long skinny piece has some embellishment on it, but none of the large square has anything but basting.

The fabrics are interesting.  I hope you can see the detail in the black satin here.  It has woven fans.  I'm a sucker for fans.  The hot pink is a piece of ribbon with picots on both edges.  It is still as bright as it was a hundred years ago.
This is the back of the square piece.  Looks like something from Frankenstein's monster, huh?  While not as eye catching as the front, I think it is still awesome.  Thanks for sharing, Roxann!


I Must Be Crazy

This is crazy quilt block 3, which I finished months ago but got lazy and didn't post.  We won't go there. 
This one is for my son (see the initials?)  The first two were for my daughters (hence the A and E). 

I love the white silk ribbon laurel wreath.  I don't know if that's what it is, but it's what I'm calling it.  I can't tell you how long the satin stitch on the J and R took, or how many times I ripped it out.  Grrrrrrr!!  The grey plaid fabric that it is stitched on is from a vest he made last year for 4-H. 
Check out my peacock feather:

Most of the fancy fuzzy yarns couched on these blocks are compliments of Roxann, who is a bigger packrat than I am (that's a compliment!)