Thursday, July 10, 2008

Crazy Quilting Today

Did you know that Crazy Quilts and heavily embellished garments were once a mark of affluence? Women used them to declare – ever so subtly – that they had time for elaborate hand sewing while their domestic staff toiled over the household chores. Few of us live the lifestyle of the ‘landed gentry’ these days, but what we do have is a wealth of time-saving products and techniques available to us. There are many clever ways to accomplish wonderful embellishments with the investment of very small amounts of time!

Embellishment includes everything from complex beading to sewing with basic thread. In Crazy Quilting, the philosophy is this: if it shows, highlight it! In today’s busy world, we have to grab sewing time whenever it presents itself, so be prepared at a moment’s notice to have something to sew. Red work is usually my favorite, but I don’t limit myself to basic red work. I’ll embroider tea towels, pillow cases and make quilt blocks, stitching with floss, pearl cotton, and, my favorite, thick thread made for the sewing machine. Any time you manage to have fabric in your hand, relish the moment and let your creativity flow!

When embellishing with thread, which includes everything from embroidering to quilting, use pretty much anything that appeals to you. Crazy Quilting is definitely the time to show off your thread collection! You can really add your own special touch to any project by putting a decorative stitch over the seams, couching over one or more cords or ribbons and adding beads or buttons for texture. Or make duplicate rows of stitching, highlight them with an entirely different stitch or use thread to work a specific design onto your fabric.

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