Sunday, March 29, 2009

Crazy Quilt Heaven

If there a crazy quilt heaven, then I must be living there.

For those of you who don’t know crazy quilting ; we’re not crazy. (Well, for some that might be arguable, but hey…it’s a lot more fun than being a sane quilter.) Crazy quilting is an art form developed during in the late 1800’s during the reign of Queen Victoria by the rich ladies of leisure. They used silk and satin scraps, laid them on a piece of fabric in a crazy (irregular) pattern and then embroidered along the edges of the patches to attach the fabrics together.

The ladies included many interesting items in their crazy quilts. They painted pictures on fabric, used political campaign ribbons, tobacco silks (tiny pictures printed on silk fabric which were included in cigarette packages to entice the ladies to encourage their gentlemen to smoke more so they could own more silks) and they also embroidered all sorts of important information on their crazy quilts such as births and deaths, marriages … anything of interest for the person creating the piece. One lady even attached a stuffed chipmunk to her quilt. Little did she know it would make her quilt one of the most famous crazy quilts of all time.

(You can see what a modern version of a crazy quilt is by visiting my board. (Http://

And so, you ask …what about this crazy quilt heaven I'm in? Since learning to love crazy quilting, I’ve developed a magpie’s obsession with glitter and glitz. We crazy quilters hoard GOOD stuff. We call it our stash. Beads, buttons, charms, laces, broken bits of jewelry which can be easily attached to fabric, small pictures printed on fabrics (i.e. today’s’ modern tobacco silks) ribbons, tons and tons of fabric, embroidery threads and even a bit of “magic” to hold it all together.

Misplacing my CQ stash is easy here in the creative chaos I call my sewing room. There have been times I’ve had to warn my husband … Enter at your own risk. I don’t want to read about you in the tabloids. Man Killed by Wife’s Creative Clutter.

Anyway, in the past two weeks, I’ve found so many wonderful items that went on “walkabout”; it sounds better than “losing it.” My mother’s prize buttons from the 1950’s. Three huge gorgeous mother of pearl buttons that cost $3.00 each in a time when you could buy ten nice buttons on a card for twenty-five cents. Four missing antique tobacco silks surfaced for air finally. My angel beads (beads shaped like angels) miraculously appeared before my eyes when I stirred in a drawer full of stuff. The large baggie of charms I’d gently tucked away for safe keeping 2 years ago finally saw the light of day and I finally found that partridge in a pear tree. (Oh wait, that’s another story all together.)

But the real reason I believe I’m living in CQ heaven is because of a roll of grosgrain ribbon and nine CQ blocks. I needed enough ribbon to border those nine blocks. Didn’t know if I had an adequate amount, but when I got to the last block, I had 1/16th of an inch more than I needed. If that ain’t heaven, I don’t know what is.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Who am I to deny the spiritual existance of a candy bar?

The other day at lunch, I heard a candy bar calling me from the vending machine down the hall from the cafeteria. I begged my friend, Drew, to help me ignore that sweet siren call. His intriguing reply was … “Kate, remember. The candy bar is but an illusion. It doesn’t exist in your current reality.”
I replied, “I don’t know about you, but it’s a pretty darned strong illusion right now.”
“Okay, then go out the other door and maybe you won’t hear it.”
“Is that what you call avoidance behavior?”
“Whatever works.”
Afterwards, it occurred to me … what if a candy bar has feelings and I broke its sweet little heart by ignoring it? I’ve heard of a study that said plants have feelings. They thrive if you talk to them nicely, but wither if you speak hatefully. Who am I to deny the existence of feelings in a supposedly inanimate object once composed of living matter?
Well, the guilt I felt from ignoring that poor Milky Way made me invite his lowly cousin, the Snickers bar who lived in a different vending machine, to come make my acquaintance.
Later that day I explained my theory about the spiritual existence of a candy bar to Drew. He wagged his finger at me. “That’s your lower self speaking to you, Kate.
“Yeah, but my lower self is smacking its lips right now.”
He just smiled, shook his head and walked away.