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.
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:
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
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.
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.