Friday, June 7, 2013

Crazy Wall Hanging

As a teacher, I find I am often too tired for anything word-related by the time evening or the weekend arrive. In my off time, I like to do visual things: I sew, needlepoint, beadwork, etc. In saying this, I am attempting to explain my absence from this blog for the past few months: it’s not that I’ve neglected sewing, or quilting, it’s just that I’ve not had the energy to post. I have, however, been able to take pictures of all the projects (though not, sadly, while in progress). So, now that summer’s here (Hoooray!), I am catching up on the blog.
A couple of months ago I had the distinct pleasure of combining two of my interests, and challenging myself at the same time. We all know I like to quilt, but what may not be known here is that I am part of a regular theme camp at Burning Man. Every year, my camp mates (friends, family), go to Burning Man and run our theme camp, called Death Guild Thunderdome. I like to think of it as interactive theater, and as such, it take a lot of planning, and fund raising to get the camp and show to Nevada every year. To that end, we have fund raising events every spring. This year we decided to hold a silent auction to raise help raise fund and “bring the Dome to the dessert”. We have many wonderfully creative and talented people in our camp, and many of us donated items for the auction; I donated two quilts, a Disappearing Nine Patch (about which I’ll post next) and a crazy quilt wall hanging.
I had never done a “true” crazy quilt before, though I’ve made a couple of faux crazy quilts from patterns, teaching myself how the technique works. Now, I felt, I was ready to try the real thing.
First, I printed a picture of our logo on printable fabric (love love love that technology). This would be the center piece of the quilt:

Next I went to my scrap bins (yes, I have several) to find scraps of suitable material: mostly black, but with some green, red, blue and purple thrown in. I set all the scraps on top of my cutting table and started building the design around the center piece, sewing each scrap on before deciding on the next one.
This sort of “free hand” design is extremely liberating to me. It was quite challenging, but extremely fun as well, to put the patchwork together with no plan, and I learned a lot along the way
A close up:

When I was done with the patchwork, I added some embellishments, lace, ribbons, buttons. All of these were from my stash as well, with the exception of the anchor shaped pendant. I bought this, and incorporated it, in memory of one of our camp members who died suddenly, and tragically, last spring.
When I was done with all the elements of the front, I put in the hanging loops and sewed on the backing (of which, I’m sorry to say, I did not get a picture). Here is the finished quilt:

The wall hanging was a great success at the fund raiser. In fact one of my friends, who wanted and didn’t get the hanging, has asked, and is getting a different one, commissioned by her father. I am going to start that one this weekend. I’m loving the crazy quilts.

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