~Crazy quilting is my addiction. I find it hard to go through a day without stitching or thinking of a new project. Since I must stitch to exist, I make useful items such as purses, eyeglass cases, and jewelry using the art of crazy quilting. Let's face it, you can only hang so many things on your walls, so why not wear the things you create? The themes and color combinations for my purses are only limited by my imagination, which allows a purse for every outfit or mood. Making these purses gives me total freedom to express myself, and most importantly, there is no set pattern to follow, no rules, and no hurry to finish one. I love vinatge images and most always choose one to set my theme and color for each purse. I think my style is a mix of Romance and whimsy. The images I use are purchased from copyright free CD's, Dover books, and from my private ephemera collection. I transfer them using the heat tool method (direction found on art-e-zine ), which is 100% washable and will not bleed or fade. My purses may look delicate, but I assure you, they are very wearable. I always have a few projects in the works and enjoy working on each and every one. Each item I make starts from a piece of muslin and grows from there. Embellishing is the icing on the cake however I do love every step of the process including choosing the fabrics. "Fancy" fabrics such as hand dyed silk velvet, silk Dupioni, Brocade, Moire and many others are used in the purses for more texture and eye appeal. Cottons have come a long way from the plain calico of yesteryear, and sometimes I include a few as well. Embellishments that find their way into my work include, hand dyed silk ribbon, vintage lace, vintage glass and mother of pearl buttons, charms, silk and metallic Kreinik threads, beads, found objects, and broken jewelry. The more the merrier!
I enjoy the art of crazy quilting for many reasons. The freedom of design, the beautiful fabrics, threads, and embellishments used, and the versatility of projects make this art exciting and never dull.
I have covered wooden beads, wooden bangle bracelets, cigar boxes, tin candy containers etc, with crazy quilting. My favorite project of crazy quilting is making purses.
I usually start by choosing a fabric image to set the theme, color, and style of a purse. I make my own patterns keeping them pretty basic. Once fabrics and embellishments are gathered, I work on a purse for 12 to 20 hours. I love detail, and many of my elements such as beaded bees or Russian punch needle topiaries are time consuming. Lace of some sort is always incorporated into my projects. I try to use vintage laces when I can because they are so beautiful and delicate which adds grace and a gentleness I feel.
The felted purses are made using the same cq method of starting with a center image and working clockwise felting fabrics such as Silk Dupioni, Velvet, Moiré, and adding fibers and wool roving with a felting machine to bind the fabrics together. I then use a hand felting tool to add additional lace, fibers, and wool.
I think everyone should carry a fun handmade purse once in a while to express yourself. However, I have learned not to carry one when I am in a hurry because they do draw interest and you will find yourself in a crowd of strangers wanting to know where to get one for themselves. Pat Winter 0209
more cq from Pat on art-e-zine