Sunday, August 21, 2016

Summer crazy quilted block

I have been working on a crazy quilted block for a swap on one of my groups.  After researching the cost of sending this one and getting one back in return I have decided not to participate in the swap.  It is the same place I was with the felted wool swap earlier this year.  So I have now learned the lesson but I still have most enjoyed the process of making it!!  I started by piecing some scraps onto a cotton substrate.  The finished square was to be 8" x 8" so we needed to allow at least 8.5" or 9" so that when it was sewn up it would finish at 8" square.  We were warned that stitching sometimes takes up some inches as well so I started with 9.5" to make sure mine would be large enough in the end.  I stitched on blue scraps at the top for the sky, green for a prairie horizon line, yellows for a canola field, a deeper blue on the lower right for creating a prairie lake and a gray on the very bottom for the road using my sewing machine to secure them in place.  Some were sewn to each other before stitching them down.  Others were stitched directly in place.  I started my hand stitching by stitching all of the stitch lines in a colour of thread as close to the fabric as possible.  Then I added stitching on the green horizon line to give the feeling of trees.  I did a variety of greens and then added some brown to simulate trunks and branches.  I added a white line of stem stitching to simulate a jet's vapour trail and added a little silver bead at the end to represent the plane.  After a bit I started feeling that I needed to add some machine stitching to keep the layers all
in place.  I realized that the process of adding sewing machine stitching would have been much easier before the addition of any hand stitching.  Lesson learned for next time around.   I added some beads to the tree line and eventually added a couched funky fiber to the bottom of the green to add texture and represent the shrubs that are often present there as well.
I added stitching to all of the open areas.

I added some stitched birds to the sky. I added a stitch bird to the prairie lake. I added beads to my rows of canola field and also to the water texture I added.  I have so much enjoyed travelling this province this summer.  The skies are so blue, the canola fields are so yellow and
the water reflects so perfectly the sky and the waterfowl are always swimming around and looking so at home on them.  I added a fence - brown fence posts and gray barbed wire between the bottom road and the rest of the piece.  This is what summer means to be now that I have moved back to my home province.  

So in the end no one will see my square but that is fine. I plan on making the other three squares in this Seasons series and combining them in a finished work once the year has come and gone.
I know that my square does not have the typical crazy quilt layout but I am happy with how it turned out and look forward to more stitching this year.