Friday, January 13, 2012

The Deconstructed Crazy Quilt...

If you love how fabrics combine and play off each other, then a project like this one may appeal to you as much as it did me! It's called a "deconstructed Crazy Quilt" according to our book study of "Fabric Embellishing- The Basics and Beyond" by Ruth Chandler, et. al.  The authors have videos and support materials on their own book study site also. This method is easier than a traditional Crazy Quilt (which also merited a chapter of the book, and will have its own blog post here later) in that shapes are cut from fabrics already backed with fusible web. Then they are juxtaposed on a foundation fabric or batting as your muse directs, and can be overlapped as needed. There is no need to make shapes fit the space or to trim to fit as in the traditional method.

The thing I like best about this design approach is the opportunity to use a lot of decorator fabrics, sheers, and other glitzy fabrics. Because they're stabilized by the fusible product, they're very easy to handle. The biggest precaution is to use a pressing cloth because some of these fabrics can melt, curl or otherwise become distorted from the heat of the iron. And the heat is needed in order to activate the adhesive of the fusible. The pressing cloth solves those concerns. The piece shown above still needs to be stitched using various machine decorative stitches.  

Of course I couldn't stop with just one, and I had a bin full of bright fabrics with fusible web already adehered. So I decided to slice and dice them to make a couple of post cards. The one shown above is done in a complementary color scheme, using orange and blue- opposites on the color wheel. These postcards are great small projects to create as color studies of warm and cool colors, and to try out various color harmonies. And they're great for practicing free-motion machine skills.

I did this post card in an analagous color scheme- a range of colors next to each other on the color wheel. In this case, fuchsia, purples, to blues. The surface stitching is done in a variegated metallic and rayon thread. According to color theory, complementary color schemes are vibrant and energized due to the high contrast, while analagous ones are restful and serene. My little post cards seem to bear that out.

As I worked on these pieces, it reminded me of the technique used in the class project in Carol Taylor's Arc-I-Texture class. The background was constructed in a similar way, but the pieces were fitted together more carefully, and all of the edges were couched. You can see it in this post.

At our meeting of the book study group, Kay had this fun piece to share. It makes use of a tie-dye look satin and a vibrant flannel fabric. Don't you love how she couched the seams and then knotted the trims for even more surface interest. What a creative idea. And how about those feathers!! The envy of many birds. She stitched them right into the seams.

3 comments:

Donna, Doni, Lady D said...

Very creative indeed, Nancy. I had not heard of this type of quilting in my day. Love the look of the first quilt with it's play on colour and post cards are a wonderful idea - I may try some. The last quilt made by Kay is so much fun. Feathers! YEAH! All fabulous, Nancy. Enjoyed your post so much. xoDonna

Nancy said...

Now how neat is this....I love how simple the technique is and how fast the process would be....

You are always finding such neat things to share with us so I always look forward to coming for a visit to see what new idea you have tackled....

I love these block that you have done....Another one of your ideas I must try....

KarenQuilt said...

What a great idea! I have got to try this!

Karen at Quilt History Reports