Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wool Crazy Quilt

About six years ago I made a wool crazy quilt top. First I purchased wool coats and jackets at thrift stores in shades of grays and blues. Then I washed them, felting them in the process. I pieced 30 quilt squares of 11" each. Rather than using the flip-n-sew method to join the pieces to the muslin backing, I just butted them up against one another and sewed them together with the stitch I was using to decorate the seam.

I chose to stick to bright colors for the seams, and simple stitches. No motifs were planned, although I did incorporate embroidery that was featured on one wool coat, cutting it up to make use of it in most of the 30 squares. The original intent was to make this into a queen sized throw for a guest bed. However, as it turned out, when Bruce and I married and bought our house, we got rid of the extra queen sized bed and got a day bed for the guest room. And the color blue is rarely welcomed in my decorating schemes these days, so it sits as a nearly-finished top.

The sashing is a 100% wool hand-woven piece that I bought at an estate sale. It still had the Scottish tag on it and they had the 2-yard piece priced for $5. Who could resist? I had to piece the sashing in places to make it work, but it fit. The blocks are set 5 x 6. However, I was not smart enough to stabilize or interface it first, so there's a great weight contrast between the sashing and the squares. It's set straight, but the you can see how the different weights distort it.

I'm thinking that I will remove the sashing altogether and just piece the 30 squares together and back it with flannel (a black and blue buffalo check I've already purchased) and tie it. It is so heavy and warm as it is, that it seems ridiculous to put the batting between the front and the backing. But it might need it for stabilizing; I'll just have to see.

So, here are some (poor) pictures. The above picture (in fact most of them) are draped over a chair.... I don't have anyone to hold up the quilt for me, and there's no place big enough in my house to spread it out to show the entire thing. These pictures, then, are just a sampling of some of the blocks.....After the staid blues and grays, it was really fun to work with bright-colored threads!

One thing I really like about piecing with wool is that you can cut your pieces in any shape you want and just butt one up next to it and stitch. I played with some curves, as you can see in the square below. If I did one now, however, I think I'd REALLY try to go for some really unusual curves and shapes and pieces!

It was a good learning experience for me at the time, but I'm beginning to get the itch to try another one. I know my piecing would be better, and I'd pick colors that appeal to me more. Hmmmm..... I think I could use a good wool lap quilt since winter is coming.......


Jo in NZ said...

Cat, I buy my interfacing on the roll, why not just interface the whole back of the quilt, then back it. I agree, I don't think you will need batting of any sort!!

Ati. Norway. said...

Cathy I LOVE the wool quilt !! It looks so warm and simple. Like the old quilts. It will be so nice when you finish it!
I am making a wool quilt too as a wisp project between my other things.

kathyinozarks said...

Bice-thanks for refering me to your blog-you do beautiful work

kathyinozarks said...

Thanks Cathy for refering me to your blog-I love your work-love this wool crazy quilt