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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crazy Quilting For Newbies - Reference Material

I've been asked by several of my followers to write some articles on how to get started with Crazy Quilting.  I guess it can be overwhelming when you think about the process of creating a crazy quilt block. 

The Moonlit Peacock

Just thinking about techniques, gathering supplies and choosing colors is enough to drive even a sane person crazy!  I of course, would not be one of those sane people!  LOL!!!!  There really is a lot to choose from when it comes to this beautiful art form.

I decided to break it down into manageable sections to keep us all from being overwhelmed.  I'll start with reference materials.

There are gobs and gobs of books on sane quilting.  How-to's, patterns, computer software and so on.  But when it comes to crazy quilting, the reference material is limited.  There just isn't the demand for it.  The following books are my recommendations for newbie crazy quilters:

The Crazy Quilt Handbook by Judith Montano

This, in my opinion, is the Queen Mother of Crazy Quilt reference books!

Running a close 2nd, The Magic Of Crazy quilting by J. Marsha Michler

If you have these 2 books, you've got everything you need from piecing, stitches, embellishing, SRE and color theory.

This is another book by Judith Montano that I highly recommend, Elegant Stitches:

Being that I am in no way a minimalist when it comes to my creative endeavors, another must have by Judith Montano is her Floral Stitches

This book covers the how to's of recreating in thread & ribbon, every flower you can think of!

For seam treatments, I have several recommendations..  For my seam treatments, I use a combination of techniques.  The first is a book by Carol Samples called Treasury Of Crazy Quilt Stitches:

Carol teaches how to create an unlimited variety of stitches and stitch variations.  I think you can see by the cover that this one will not disappoint!

Carol also offers a set of marking templates called, Dream A Seam Templates. I have these templates, I use these templates and I love them!  Unfortunately, I've spent the past 15 minutes searching for an online purchasing source but so far, I've had no luck.  I will send an email or two out and see if I can locate an online shop that carries them.  I'll update this post as soon as I find one.

The other technique I use to create my seam embroidery is my own technique devised in my days of designing charted counted cross stitch patterns.  It uses Waste Canvas aka Tear Away to create perfectly sized & spaced stitches.  I wrote a book on the technique called, Elegant Crazy Quilt Seam Treatments:

Elegant Crazy Quilt Seam Treatments

A complete guide to working Crazy Quilt Seam Treatments with Waste Canvas. Create perfectly spaced and sized stitches every time!

This book covers the how-to's of working with waste canvas on crazy quilt seams, what size threads to use, how to calculate, helpful hints and more.

Included are 72 charted border designs and 9 Bonus Feather Stitch designs.

This is an E-Book and is available as a  PDF file.  It will be sent your email address which I have to do manually.  The book is $17.00 US.  Payment via PayPal can be sent to my email address.

So those are the books that I recommend to start with.  And if you're into history, like me, here are few good ones:

Crazy Quilts - History, Techniques, Embroidery Motifs by Cindy Brick

This is a must have book for CQ history.  Well researched, well written and loads of photos!  Worth every penny!

And this, is the Holy Grail of Crazy Quilt history books, Crazy Quilts by Penny McMorris:

This book is long out of print so be fore-warned, if you want it, prepare to pay for it.  I bought my copy on Ebay for $50.00.  To me it was worth it as I collect every book on CQ that I can find but if you need to watch your money, like most of us do these days, the book by Cindy Brick is just as good if not better.

Finally, this little book is just cute & fun!  Quilting News Of Yesteryear: Crazy As A Bed Quilt

This book contains over 200 newspaper articles dating from 1880 to 1945.  All referring to crazy quilts.  It's just a sweet little book to have and can be rather amusing to read.

There are also a few good online sources for crazy quilting reference material.  First, is Sharon Boggon's Pin Tangle blog.  Sharon offers stitches diagrams and motif ideas with loads of links and photos.  Sharon updates her blog almost daily so I suggest bookmarking her site and visiting regularly.

Another good online source for Crazy Quilting is CQMagOnline.  This is an online magazine written for crazy quilters by crazy quilters.  It's published quarterly and well worth the time to visit.  Be sure to read the archives.  Of course, you'll be reading for hours and hours but the eye candy and tutorials are well worth the time.

Little Brown Bird Purse 2

So that's the list of reference material that I recommend.  I hope you find this post helpful.  In my next article on Crazy Quilting For Newbies, I'll discuss supplies.  What to purchase and where to find it.


Connie Eyberg Originals said...

One can never have too many reference books! Those look great. I have a couple of Judith Baker Montano books, including the Elegant Stitches one you listed. It's so nice of you to share your knowledge with us newbies. Have a great day! Connie

MosaicMagpie said...

I am so thankful for this post. As you have said there are many Traditional Quilt shops but few sources for Crazy Quilt supplies and instruction. I read this post with great interest as I am new to Crazy Quilting and I am so inspired by your blog.
Thank you again,

Anonymous said...

Very good Pam these are excellent resources, you have covered things wonderfully look forward to your next installment. As always Hugs Linda

Gina E. said...

What an excellent start, Pam. I have most of those books in my collection, and spend hours drooling over the photos and stitches diagrams. You were the person who first inspired me to try crazy patchwork, when I saw all your fabulous work on your blog! I'd never done any kind of patchwork or quilting before, but CQ is such a great combination of embroidery and patchwork, I was dying to have a go at it.

Cathy K said...

Hi Pam - The Dream-a-Seam Templates have been carried in the past by Val Bothell at the Pink Bunny.
She gets the in batches from Miss Carole. I would suggest that interested parties contact Val to see when she’ll get the next shipment. They sell out rather quickly! And they are wonderful! Hugs, Cathy

Carol said...

Great post. Books to Drool By!!

Lisa Leggett said...

Hi Pam,
What a great article, thank you for taking the time to reference all this material. I'm new to crazy quilting brought to it by my love of embroidery(still working on my first piece) but am really enjoying it. It was however a challenge to find books on the subject when I started out, so this list is helpful! I think I'll definitely be tracking down a copy of the Treasure of Crazy Quilt Stitches! It looks great, and that's the part I struggle the most with, making every seam unique...
Anyway, thanks a bunch! I can't wait to see your next article :o)

Sheila said...

Thanks so much, I'm going to look for some of the books. can't wait to see what else.

ARLENE said...

Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I have some of the books you've mentioned and have been "going it alone" except for an online BOM club I just finished since there are no CQ classes in my area. I'm left-handed, which makes me wary of taking an online class unless it is lefty friendly. I look forward to your subsequent posts.

agypsyangel said...

Thank you so much for posting these. I couldnt find a book at the library and you always wonder what book is worth purchasing. I know you would know which books are good since you do such wonderful work. I have only begun my first crazy quilt piece. I look forward to the continued information. Hugs, Kim

Lynn Stevens said...

Well you have gotten my attention, I'll be checking on some of these books soon, after I hear more of what you have to share with us!

She Uses Her Words said...

You are such a dear soul for putting all this together for us newbies. I can't wait to learn about supplies and where to get them. It is definitely overwhelming!
Thanks so much, Karen

Pink Bunny said...

I will be hosting both Judith Baker Montano and Carole Samples in November at my Victorian Stitchery Retreat. Both Carole and Judith are wonderful teachers! This will be the 5th time Carole has come and the 3rd time Judith has come! Other teachers will be J. Marsha Michler and Candace Kling, author of The Artful Ribbon. I usually have Dream-A-Seam Templates on my website, but I am out of them right now!

Talk to you later!

Val Bothell

Lorraine @ creativedaily said...

Thank you SO much for sharing this info Pam! Very helpful. I'm looking forward to your next post re supplies.

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