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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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I’m Not a Crazy Quilter, The Sequel

 

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I am fascinated by the beauty, ingenuity, and creativity reflected in the works of the great Crazy Quilters of our day! Take Allison Aller, for example – she is one of those crazy quilters with a fantastic websites full of gorgeous photos that attest to her skill and artistry in embellishing crazy quilts. And there are more – heaps more – people out there who do fantastic things with Crazy Quilts! And it is all most inspiring!… But….

I reiterate that I am not a crazy quilter.

I had one of those moments this morning. One of those life-shaping moments. After attacking (oh, I do mean that literally!) my first crazy quilt square last night, I achieved nothing short of non-success. I used beautiful silk ribbon – periwinkle, white, gold, and green Gloriana silk ribbon – some very nice stranded silks in greens, and some gold and green and blue beads, and I achieved… nothing. It was so ugly.

Now, you would think that I would post a picture of it. But let me tell you what I did first. I stitched from about 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm. I’m not “dumb” when it comes to stitching, but last night, I felt dumb. Nothing looked right – I didn’t like any of it. And I make a pretty darned good ribbon rose, if I do say myself. But oh GOLLY. It was not grabbing me.

I figured it was the hour, and the fact that it was a long week. So I quit and went to bed. This morning, I looked at it and thought “It’s not sooo bad. It’s actually kind of good.” And Jo in NZ had left a comment on my original post about this square which encouraged me to try it again. And so, with housework done, and all quiet on the homefront …. I did.

And that’s when I had one of those life-shaping moments. After 45 minutes of plodding, I realized I was doing something with my needle that I was not enjoying, and it was really a first in my life.

I’ll have to explore later exactly what I didn’t enjoy about the whole thing. Maybe it’s just a mood. Maybe it’s the fact that I wasn’t pleased with the square in the first place. Maybe it’s simply not my thing. I haven’t bothered to think much about it, yet. But I will later.

One of the most satisfying things about the experience was taking the square off the frame, putting all my little tacks neatly back in the jar, folding the square into a nice little, tiny, unrecognizable lump… and turfing it.

I did. I pitched it.

Berate me if you wish. I enjoyed the experience!

Will I try it again? Perhaps. And when I do, you all will be the first to know!

 
 

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(11) Comments

  1. Good for you!! I’ve pitched things too, the stitching police aren’t going to come around and give you grief. Now you can get back to what makes you happy.

    I haven’t been satisfied with my attmepts at crazy quilting either. I felt overwhelmed by the infinite possibilites and my efforts looked forced somehow.

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  2. Well, good on ya, is all I can say. You have to be true to yourself. I have taken armloads of attempts (esp at “art quilting”) out to the burnpile and felt so liberated to see them go up in smoke!
    I thank you for putting me in such good company as Sharon and Jo…that is quite an honor.
    Meanwhile, you lead the way in what you do best…the rest of us are so much the richer for it!

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  3. good for you! although i would have liked to see it – I bet it wasnt as bad as you thought. I always thought I liked crazy quilting – until I started blogging and saw everybodies crazy quilting. I really love the look of the work that Jo , Allie etal do – but doing it is another matter. my crazy quilts are not like this. they are random shapes, not based around a central square and I do very simple seam treatments, and no lace/ ribbons etc. when i try to emulate the current CQ style it looks a mess (rather the way I imagine you felt about yours)- Like you i havent analysed what the problem is for me…I think that my brain is too orderly – when i try to do something ‘over the top’ (for me) it goes wrong and it looks a mess. each to her own…I am content to admire CQ from afar at the moment.

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  4. Oh Mary….At least you gave it a go, and now you know. I would of liked to have seen a picture too, but hey, life is too short to do things we don’t enjoy. I think CQ and the beautiful embroidery you do are very different, although both use the same tools. I love the work you do, but KNOW I would never sit and actually do it, not well anyway.
    Good on you for making the choice you did. No judgement here. I was afraid you’d be better than me anyways, so I’m happy…LOL

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  5. This might me my second comment-the first didnt seem to work.
    Good on you! although it would have been good to see it before you chucked it – i bet it wasnt as bad as you thought! I always thought of myself as a crazy quilter – although what i do is very different to the current CQers. I think the work Jo, Allison etc do is lovely -but when I do it it looks a mess, and like you Im not sure why. My CQ is more random, not around a central piece, and i do rather plain seams, no ribbons and lace – when I add embellishment it just looks messy to me. I think my brain prefers to do something more ordered. at this stage I am happy to admire CQ from afar…. and I think there are rules for CQ, no matter what they say…

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  6. I am sorry that you didn’t enjoy it. I will say that I love it because there is almost no measuring or rules. The only thing I would have done different though is I would have given the block to me. LOL I would have loved to try and figure out something for those beautiful blue fabrics. Hopefully you have more fun with it if you do try it again. In the meantime, there is so much more to life than Crazy Quilting and I am glad that you enjoy it in all it has to offer.
    Wendy

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  7. Do you think you could salvage the block and send it to someone to work on? Jo perhaps :)), then you may be inspired by what she has done to your pieced block.

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  8. Bravo! Congratulations on at least trying it! Some stitchers get so worried that something’s not going to work, so they never branch out and try other techniques. You’re living my motto (and blog name!). It’s just string. If it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world! (And you can always try it again another day – or not!)

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  9. Hi, everyone! Thanks for your comments – they made me laugh!

    I really SHOULD have sent the block to someone who could’ve done something magnificent with it! I didn’t think of that – though it may have been rather an imposition… “Why is this crazy gal sending me her rejects??!!”

    Well – stay tuned. One never knows if the bug will bite again!

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  10. LOL This is exactly why I choose to ADMIRE and not to do in the Crazy Quilt thing. No enough time left in the 300 years I plan to live and stitch to get good at it. However – I have tossed a few needlepoint pieces that have many many hours invested in either painting or stitching – it hurts really bad.

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