I've loved the look of Crazy Quilts for a long time and am now considering doing one (small experimental piece). I have a question though for any Crazy Quilters out there......... Do you put batting in and quilt it like any other quilt, maybe a stitch-in-the-ditch under the embroidery, or is it tied, or ......... I can't seem to find a suitable answer. Or is it, like most everything in art, do what you feel works best?
Michele Ann L'HeureuxFiber ArtistLancaster, California
I am not sure what type of piecing you intend to use for the Crazy Quilting, but most people piece on a foundation fabric. Besides making the piecing easier, it helps to hold the weight of the embellishments. It also equalises the fabrics...makes it so you can use different fabric weights and types (even stretch) and because it is on a base, they all behave more like one another.
So, that being said, you already have a 2nd layer. After the piecing, the stitching happens. Hand stitches or machine stitches. Beading and more.
To finish off the edge, alot of people use a pillowcase finish. But you can put a backing and binding if you like.
Some people do quilt them - but it depends on how you embellsh it., some tie them, and some use larger embellishments like buttons, etc sewn through to the back.
A good place to learn about Crazy quilting ideas, techniques and topics is http://www.cqmagonline.com/ They have links to a Yahoo group if you want to ask detailed questions from people who do it all the time.
Sandy in the UK
Hi, Michelle. Crazy Quilts generally are Not Quilted. They are generally sewn to a foundation such as muslin or a plain cotton base fabric, usually a square piece, although I have seen a wholecloth Crazy Quilt in Pennsylvania. It was a fine way to show off scraps of fine fabrics such as silk, taffeta, velvet, etc. The pieces were sown to the base fabric in a sort of flip-and-sew way. Sometimes all the edges were not turned under, but decorative stitching covered them on the top. Sometimes the Squares were edge stitched together and the whole thing was laid on top of another whole cloth and tied together. Still without batting. They were not meant to be anything but decorative since the fine fabrics were not washable. I hope this helps.....Jim D
Sandy and Jim -- Thanks for the info. I didn't think there was a batting between, but there is a call for entry for crazy quilts and one of the rules is it must be three layers, so I got confused!
Michelle, the best thing to do when you have a question about the rules in a call is to contact the organization. They will define what they mean by "three layers", but Sandy and Jim are right in saying that traditionally, these quilts did not have a batting in them.
Some time ago, I repaired a couple of crazy quilts and the foundation was a fairly substantial fabric akin to flannel. The backing was also a bit heavier if I recall correctly. Those two layers added ample stability to the quilt. And as Jim mentioned, these were not traditionally used as coverings, but rather as a way to display beautiful fabrics and the needleworkers needle skills.
Quilting is kept to a minimum.....just enough to hold the layers together. And tying is definitely a consideration.
When I made a small crazy quilt (25" X 35"), I stitched all sorts of "fancy" fabrics to muslin squares using a flip and sew method. But since I didn't want the look of small squares, I left some of the scraps of fancy fabric overlap the edges of the base muslin. After machine sewing the sqares together, I hand appliqued the overlapping fabric to the next block covering most of the seams After adding beading and lots of hand embroidery, charms, doilies, and a hand drawn portrait of my Mom in the center, I covered the messy back with another layer of fabric and added a silk binding. I hand tacked the new backing to the quilt and it blended right in. I LOVE crazy quilts. Its funny, when I first started quilting in the late 80's I didn't like crazy quilts and didn't see why anyone would spend so much time on something that you wouldn't use on a bed. My, how my tastes have changed! Let us know how you are progressing!
Dawn, leaving those flaps was a great idea. Very innovative solution.