Friday, November 25, 2011

Cleaning Out the Clutter

Since the fire I have cleaning out the clutter so to speak.  If I don't need it or can't use it I am either throwing it away or giving it to St. Vincent De Paul.  Being a quilter I am a pack rat.  The majority of the human race are pack rats.  Some are extreme about it and some are not.  It goes back to our dark past when we use to roam through the continents and kill our own food.

For what ever reason I have started to clean out my nooks and crannies.  It is feeling good to do this.  This morning I got into my dresser to two drawers of clothes that I have not worn in heaven knows when and threw them into a plastic garbage bag bound for the charity shop.  I did not even look at the clothes just threw them in the bag.  Making room for the clothes that I am actually wearing.  The next stop is my closet.  Not today though.  I am doing this in little bursts of "this has got to go!"

As I am cleaning out my clutter physically I noticed that mentally I am feeling better and better.  I am not sure what is going on but I am enjoying a clutter free life.  I also think that the old man is also.

Feeling a little more free.

The Lion

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wishing To All

As I sit here thinking that I really need to get up and make the greenbean casserole to go over to my grandmothers house I am looking around and thinking of all the things that I am thankful for.  This year especially the people of Bastrop have so much to be thankful for.  As for me getting right down to the point of I am just thankful we all have our lives!  This Thanksgiving we still have our home and the others around me who lost their homes in the fire?  They get to rebuild.  It will be rough going but they get to do it together.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?  What do you get to do today?

The Lion

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crazy Quilt Journal Project

I would like to talk to my followers about a great project that is going to take place after the first of the year.  It is the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2012.  Some of the particulars are:

  • Participants will complete one crazy quilt block each month.  Size and shape can vary but it should be at least equivalent to 6" square.
  • Participants who want their blocks published can submit their photos to the committee email to:
  • Complete rules and registration information about the CQJP2012 is at the website
I would also like to announce that the CQJP2012 is honored to have JM Michler, author of The Magic of Crazy Quilting as our Honorary Chairperson this year!  How awesome is that?

I would like to encourage all to participate in this project!  I will!

The Lion

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Lion's Stocking Swap

Let's talk about the swap.  Is it still happening you ask?  Why yes it is!  All who follow my blog know that we have had a little excitement in these parts.  We are recovering quite nicely.  The pine woods will never be the same but they will recover in the way only nature can.

I am pushing all of our dates for the swap back two weeks for all the slow pokes and those of us who have something unexpected come up.  I cannot wait to see what everyone has come up with!  Please email me privately so that I can send you my snail mail address.

The Lion

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Some Thoughts

As the recovery here in Bastrop, Texas continues we are all wrestling with our demons that were unleashed from the fire.  Some of us have had our homes taken from us in a matter of minuets and some of us are lucky enough to still have our homes.

We are witnesses to the best that human nature is and we are witness to the worst that human nature is.  Believe it or not there really was people going into the fire evacuation area through the hot spots and stealing from the people who have lost everything.  Believe it or not, there are really people giving their homes that they have thought of selling, and moving closer to family in another part of the state or country, to people who have lost their homes to the fire.  We are also seeing everything else you can imagine in between these two extremes.

As my family and I recover from the physical affects of the stress of having been evacuated, I have thought allot of my next post to my blog.  I do want to stress yes my home was still standing when we came back but we still have been through allot of "what ifs".  You know the kind the biggest is: What if the house is gone?  there are allot of families around us that are dealing right now with that "what if" right now.

Here is kind of a description of what we all went through here when we were told to evacuate:

First they were cutting the power off ahead of the fire so your power was cut.  Then the Sheriff or State Troopers came through your neighborhood telling you to get out, get out NOW.  Okay, do you have time to grab anything?  What do you grab? Clothes? Your dog/cat?  Photo albums? What about the hand prints from Kindergarten that you got for Mothersday/Fathersday from you children?  Their christening gowns?  Your grandmothers quilt?  Your jewelry?

What stays to be fire fuel what do you get to save for the future?

What if the fire was on you so fast, you did not get the warning from the law enforcement officers.  What if the only thing you could get out of your home with is just the clothes on your back?  What if you get to the end of your street and the fire has already beat you there and you just in the nick of time turn down the road to safety?  What if you did not beat the fire out?

What would you do?

The recovery here continues.

The Lion

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Special Alert

For my followers in the Bastrop area I just recieved this email from one of the local ladies.  I don't know if it is true or not but if it is true then we are in real trouble here.  Let's stay alert I think that we have lost enough!

For those of you who have people in the field, or at home, or on the roads, please pass this on to them:

If you are not aware there is an arsonist in the area. He or they (not sure how many individuals we are looking for) are setting fires in this area but we are not sure they are limited to this area. Attempts have been made three times on Watterson Road and once on Goertz Road and I’m sure there are more. My sister who runs the mail route in Red Rock just spoke to a DPS Officer and he asked her to keep an eye out for a white Ford Explorer, license plate number BLK-155. The vehicle was sold and never re-registered hence the reason they don’t know who the culprit is. If you see this vehicle or any suspicious activity in the area please call Robert Thorp (DPS Officer) at 979-716-0526. Mr. Thorp is currently camped out in Red Rock.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bastrop, Texas Stash Replacement Efforts

As many of you ladies know by now I call Bastrop, Texas my home.  From my previous post everyone who follows my blog knows we have had a devastating fire.  There are lots of quilters and ladies who do the needle arts have not only lost their Stash but their homes also.

This first picture is of my friend Debbie H's home.  Debbie not only lost her home but her stash she is a sane quilter and a crazy quilter.  She also lost all of her Christmas ornaments, Christmas stockings, her award winning quilts.............All her memories.

This picture is of my friend Mary Nelle's home.  Mary Nelle is a sane quilter.  Mary Nelle lost her quilting stash along with her home.  She has lost Christmas Ornaments, Christmas Stockings, her award winning quilts...........All of her memories.

These are only two of the quilters here in the Bastrop area who lost everything.  A friend of mine in Colorado has taken over relief efforts for all of Bastrop County quilters who have lost their stash in this huge fire. The following is written by Kathy Shaw:

My friend Shari Jensen, in Colorado is organizing a needle-art donation effort for ladies in Bastrop, TX that have lost their homes (and therefore their stash of needle-art supplies). We are only concentrating on helping to replenish their sewing rooms...not their home. This is being done through Shari's Yahoo Group...StitchMAP. I personally vouch for Shari and know that these things will go to the ladies in Bastrop.

Shari's husband will drive a huge trailer down to Texas once the donations are all in. She and a couple of other members will be going along...and meeting up with the Texas members of our group that are available. All donations will be organized at a local spot (coordinating with the local churches and Chamber of Commerce to obtain a suitable location...large enough, and free of course!). Once the known members that lost their homes are helped...the other donations will go to any other stitcher in the area. Coordination with local guilds, needle-art shops, and the Chamber are underway to identify these folks. After this group has selected items from the donations...the remainder will be given to area charities to be distributed through their venues.

We hope to make this a huge effort!

Please contact Shari at: .
As I know more about our area quilters I will post.  Thank you for all the support that my blog followers have given to me and the Bastrop County quilters.
The Lion

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bastrop, Texas

I know that many of you have heard about the Bastrop fires.  I am about to tell you the story from my point of view.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dave and I woke up like we always do.  We had our big Sunday breakfast and talked about going to WalMart.  We did a few things and went to WalMart to get a few things about 10:00am.  Came back home Dave took a nap and I cleaned my kitchen.  You know one of those really good scrubbing cleans.  The things that women do when we can't stand it anymore.  Dave woke up and went to the store to get a soda and cigarettes.  When he got back he said I think that there is a fire.  Really?  Wow I hope that they get it under control.  I did not think more my daughter came in and said that her and Christina her friend were going swimming in the river to cool off and that she would be back later.

Thirty minuets later she is calling me stating that Thitian Village is being evacuated.  The fire is on its way to Thitian and her and Christina are coming here with Christina's dogs.  I go outside to something that looks like this over in the area of the Thitian sub division.

Only the smoke was closer as Thitian is only five miles from my home.  Lora gets here with Christina and they are really upset.  Dave and I try to calm them down.

I continue with my day.  I am making enchilada casserole for my son who wanted it for his birthday.  Our friends Juan and Michele call.  They are being evacuated.  Dave told them that they can come here that we are in a safe area.  They have to leave their subdivision and drive up 21 to 290 go to Elgin then come down 95 to get to our house.  We have dinner when Michele and their daughter Sugar get here.  This was one of the longest nights that we have ever spent in our lives.

Out over the trees where the fire is we watch the glow of the fire and listen as the propane tanks explode.  The explosions just keep getting closer.

All of us adults sit up until 2am worrying if the fire is going to get here and about all of our friends who may or may not be homeless at this time.

The next morning arrives and Juan goes into town to get money from the bank so he can go to Bryan to get his travel trailer from his moms house.  They are going to hole up here until it is over.  I am cooking breakfast for all.  Juan gets back from town and he comes saying that the fire has kicked back up and the fire is headed this way.  The electricity goes out. (The power company was turning out the electricity ahead of the fire.)

The word comes that we need to evacuate our home.  David and I grab everything that we can that means anything to us and clothes, bedding, the cat and her kittens and our three dogs.  We head to mom's house.  We are headed down 21 to San Marcus to her house in Dale and we pass through smoke.  Thick smoke.  Okay we are about 12 miles from the Bastrop fire now why is the smoke so thick?

There is another fire.  The Union Chapel Fire.  This one threatens to run us out of my moms house.  Where will we go after that?  Dads?  Houston with my sister?  As the sun goes down on Monday with us not able to get back into our house at least until noon on Tuesday.  Is our house still there even?  There are many Bastropians who are still going through the thoughts and emotions that my husband and I were going throught Monday night.


David gets back into our subdivision at noon on Tuesday and calls me..................Our home is still there, there is no power, but it is still there!  We will take no power!

The house smells like smoke and we happily lived until Thursday at 10:30pm with out power.  We were lucky.

So many homes gone.  Allot of my friends homeless.  Allot of quilters have not only lost their homes but their stash.  I have talked to quite a few of them.  They are happy that they have their lives.  There is so much destroyed here.  I know that we have not lost as much as some of the flooding up north.  You have to think just like them we have lost part of our town.

The people of Bastrop have been on an emotional roller coaster since Sunday, September the 4th.  We are watching the Texas government and the National government play "pass the buck" with our lives and emotions.


The world has to know that Bastrop is still here.  We will rebuild!  Any day that you are standing on this side of the ground you are doing okay!

I would like to share more pictures with my readers:

If any quilter out there wants to donate to help the Bastrop quilters rebuild their stash please stay tuned to my blog.  I will set up with our local quilt shop a donation station.  I will give more details in a later post.  If you want to contact me please email me at .

I would like to thank, Holly B. photography and all the others who took the above pictures.


The Lion

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A UFO Finished

Today I worked on a quilt that I started for my darling daughter about 5 years ago.  I think that it is about time that I finished it since she is now 16 yo!  I have to let you know something about this daughter she loves Halloween.  She thinks that Halloween is the best holiday of the year.  My youngest has always had a sense of adventure.  I remember when she was six and seven years old we would sit and watch bad B sci-fi movies.  You remember them.  Who can forget Them or Tarantula or how about Abbott and Costello Meet the Wolf man.  One of her favorites is The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.  You can't beat Don Knotts!

Here is her quilt:

Done in all Halloween fabric.  She loves it!

Now I have one less UFO sitting around my house!

The Lion

The Lion's Stocking Inspiration

I have had a request for some stocking inspiration.  I have dug up some pictures of stockings from past swaps for your inspirational pleasure!

Well was that inspirational or what?  I can not wait to see what everyone in this swap comes up with this year!  I know that I am working on mine!

The Lion

Sneak Peak

I am working on an extra special project that is WAY over due.  I decided to give a sneak peak picture of it to prove that I really am working on it.

Just wait until I get it finished.  Not too long now I am adding silk ribbon flowers and beads then it gets put together.

I do have a news flash!  We got some rain here in Bastrop, Tx!  It was not much but we will take all we can get at this point!

The Lion

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Am All Set

I took this week off from work to recharge.  I have been doing allot of that this year.  The most frustrating part of this year is my inability to find my happy medium.  Which brings up the question of why can't I?  Am I looking too hard for it?  Am I not trying hard enough?  All I know is it feels like I am starving for something and I can't find it.  That just brings  on a depression.

So I took this week off as a Birthday gift to myself.  Yes, my birthday was Sunday I am another year older.  I cleaned the house from the top to the bottom.  Cursing the old man the whole way.  He took two weeks vacation the later part of July and all he did was just mess the place up.  That probably added to my depression.  Between him and my youngest daughter I almost gave everything to them and moved.  I still might do that since they both want to work my nerves.  It is hard to be positive when you live with two negatives.  I digress.

Today I am to call my friend Shari then start on my quilting.  I tried to call her yesterday but she did not answer.  She was probably out buying more stash.  I hope to do that Friday as well as mail some coffee to Connie.  Mail some things to Shari and mail out a gift to Angela.  I digress again!

Becky, I received your Birthday Card.  Thank you!  I love it!  It gave me some inspiration and I have got out "Seanes" and am going to work on it!

I am also working on my stocking lesson.  For all of y'all in the Central Texas area I will be teaching it at our local quilt shop.  I am done with breakfast and ready for my day!  Shari are you home?

The Lion

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The 2011 Lion's Stocking Swap

It is time to announce the annual Lion's Christmas Stocking Swap!  I am all excited about this years swap as I have picked a theme that I think everyone will enjoy.  This years theme is...................................Birds!

I remember the Christmas crafts that my mother did one year with the bird theme.  It just seemed to make the holiday so much more magical and sparkleing.  Sometimes I wish I could frame my memories of that time and hang them on the wall for everyone to see.  My mother does not have the time for crafts and needle work these days.  She works for the University of Texas and is busy with her duties as the High Priestess of the Ben Hera Temple.  I hope that she will find some time during her retirement to do some.  She is a very talented lady!

Now on to the guidelines!

Height: Stockings should be no taller then 11 inches high and no shorter than 8 inches high.

Width: Stockings should be no wider then 8 inches wide and no narrower then 4 and 1/2 inches wide.

Attention: Please, line the stockings in case your swap partner would like to use them for more than decorations!

You can send up to 4 stockings, stockings are to be hand embellished.(please no glue)

This swap will be a centralized swap. Stockings are to be mailed to me no later than October 15, 2011.  I will mail them back to you on November 1, 2011.  Sign up will be from now until September 1, 2011.  Please do not forget the return postage, Swapers from other countries can send a bribe goodie and I will pay your return postage.

You can email me privetly for my address at

Please, remember to swap onto others!

The Lion

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Let's Talk

Today I had one of the best phone calls that I have had in a long time.  One of the best friends that I will ever have (and I have never met her in person) gave me a solution to a couple of long standing projects that have been stagnating.  She completely took them off of my hands.  This is one of the biggest reliefs that I have had in a long time.  After our conversation I sat down and cried for ten minuets.  That is how big of a relief this is.

I have been having some problems in my life that have prevented me from doing what I would like to be doing.  Slowing me down so to speak.  This lady has been one of my biggest supporters and not judging.  I don't trust easy and it is easy to judge someone when you don't get to meet them face to face.  She has the same problem and it is amazing that we have become such good friends.  I wish that everyone could know her in the way I get to know her.  I have a feeling that if we do meet in person that we would create so much havoc that our husbands would divorce us.  I think that someone knew what they were doing by placeing us so far away from each other!

We in the stitching community know each other by our postings and emails and by pictures of our work.  Most of us get to know each other pretty well even though we live on the other side of the world from each other.  It is that communication thing even though it is through email.  We also have to remember that by not ever seeing a person face to face we can also damage that person through the email.

I remember one year I participated in a swap.  It was one of the best swaps that I had ever been in.  It was awesome and it almost did not finish.  One of the more respected members of the stitching community that we have on line put out on some of the Yahoo lists that this person was not trust worthy.  It was a mistaken identity so to speak.  It crushed this nice lady who live life through the Internet due to health issues.  Six of us stayed in the swap.  Due to health reasons she did not mail off the swap like she had wanted.  She had been in the hospital when the mail out date came around.  I did have to wait to receive my swap.  I did get it and I am still using stash from that swap.  Beautiful trims and lace.

After the swap this lady being crushed and her reputation ruined in the on-line stitching community she started losing passion for her Crazy Quilting.  She dropped off the lists.  We had become friends and I kept up with her through email.  She passed away last year.  I got to enjoy a friendship by just sticking it out with her and reaching out to her.  I think that I am richer for it.

During my time of having problems my friend has stuck by me often finding solutions to the immediate problems.  Others have not.  They have been quick to judge.  Sending terse emails.  Claiming that they are leaders.  But are judgements and terse emails what leaders do?

My question to you is:  Did you throw your nose in the air and judge?  Did you say things that were not very nice?  Is this what makes a leader?


Did anyone ever think to contact me to ask what in the world is going on?  Do you care about others as a leader should or are you out for your own gain?  Your own fame and recognition?  Even if you are not a leader do you see something that is not right and judge or do you even think to reach out to see what is going on and ask if you can help?  Are you a doer and thinker or do you just want to follow gossip and judge others thinking that is your right?

In writing this post I am putting the past behind me and with the help of a friend am completing two long over due projects.  I am looking forward to the future and where my art will take me.

The Lion

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Do You Ever Think About Letters?

Do you ever think about letters in your embroidery??  How about just a monogram on your crazy quilt?  I know that I have many books that have been published by our favorite authors.  Like Judith Baker Montano and Marsha Michler.  There are many other authors that have great "alpha inspiration" but have you gone to a site or a blog that offers free vintage photos and other things and looked at their "alpha offerings" and just passed them up?  Have you ever looked at them really close and said this vintage alphabet would look great on my crazy quilt?  Can you see it embroidered with flowers and beads on your crazy patch?  I do.  I see these alphabets dressed up all kinds of ways.

I frequently spot really great vintage alphabets that come from other sites and are free for you to use for your inspiration.  One of my favorite spots is The Vintage Moth.  ( Here is the alphabet I found this morning:
This french alphabet is so elegant and feminine.  It is easy to see this one dressed up with embroidery flowers and beads. 

If you are looking for alphabets you can practically find them every where in antique shops, you library.  It is very easy to find the alphabets on the web.  I found these real quick this morning:

This one is from they have a beautiful site full of inspiration.

These amazing Victorian letters are from .  Can you just imagine what you can do with this alphabet?

This alphabet I found at .  I really like this one it is very artistic and elegant.  I really can see all kinds of ways all of these alphabets can be embroidered on our crazy patch blocks.

Now I pose this question to you: How do you see these alphabets on your crazy patch block?
Just take a minuet and think about it.  How would you embroider and alphabet on your block?

This is the challenge I make to you: Take one of these alphabets and embroider a monogram on your crazy patch block.

How will you embroider it?  With floss?  With perle cotton/silk? With silk ribbon?  With a combination of all?  Will you embroider flowers with the letters?  How about beads?

What possibilities!  Please take up my challenge!  Let me see what you can come up with.  Please come back and post a link to you creation.  I would love to see it!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

The Lion.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Let's Talk Stocking Swap

I have a new computer.  Yes, I broke down and got one while my PC is in the hospital for computer STD.  My darling son the apple of my eye decided to go on porn sites with my hub of the Crazy Quilting world.  So my poor computer is infected.  On the up swing of it all I decided that it was time to get my lap top that I had been thinking of getting.  Now I can carry everyone to work with me and "play" at lunch!  I am working on adding all of my printers and cameras onto this computer so that I can add up-to-date photos of all my work.  In the mean while................Let's talk about: The Lions Stocking Swap.

I promised myself that I would not take so long to announce it this year so that all my cyber friends from other countries can plan on being in on all the fun!  Now I am thinking on the theme this year.  HHHHUUUUuuuummmmmm............
The first year it was good old Santa Clause.  Last year it was Angels.  There are many, many more things that we think of when we think of Christmas.  What do you think of when you think Christmas?

I have been toying with several themes.  One of them is birds.  I remember one Christmas my mother made glass balls with birds on them.  She found paper Christmas napkins with birds on them.  She kind of rough tore the picture of the birds out and glued them to the Christmas balls.   Then she glued clear glitter on them and made them look frosty and snowy.  She also made center piece candles that way also.

AAAHHhhhh the memories!  Christmas is a magical time of the year.  I LOVE Christmas!

So what do you think??  Are there any suggestions on the theme this year?

The Lion

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Time Away

No, it was not work this time that has taken me away from my art.  To begin with my mother was in an accident in Dallas.  She went to stop at a red light and the guy behind her did not.  She thought that she was okay but started feeling faint.  She was transported to the hospital where we found out she has an enlarged heart.  She is home now but she is on a heart monitor because her heart rate keeps dropping below 50 beats per minuet.  She is fighting the prescribed treatment.  She of course wants a quick fix that will never happen.  Mothers gotta love them!

One other big thing that happened is I lost my best friend of 15 years.  He was blind and old and I knew that the day would come........  My cocker spaniel Minnie Me left for heaven and I just have not been right since.  Every time I think that I am better I break down and cry again.  I know that I will be okay but in the mean time I am going to pick myself up and get back into the game again.

My plans are to get pictures taken of my blocks that I have done for The Lost Pines Crazy Quilt Group and get them posted.  I will finish up a swap project and get it out next weekend.  I have a couple of other blocks that I need to get embellished and put into the mail.  OH!  Lets not forget the Lions Stocking Swap!  I will be announcing that within the next month.  Also if you live in Texas and in the Bastrop area, I will be planning a weekend block party.  It is going to be a retreat of sorts.  I will be making plans for that.

Here is the next thing that I am going to be doing.  I will be writing a couple of posts for K.N.A.S.S. the StitchMap blog.  You ought to take a peak at it.  You just might want to join Map!

The Lion

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Flavor Stitches

In the month of January The Lost Pines Crazy Quilters worked with "Flavor Stitches".  I know that most of you are asking what are flavor stitches???  Flavor stitches by The Lions definition are stitches that can be used with other stitches to build your seams and add interest.  These stitches are: Fly Stitches, French Knot, Lazy Daisy and Straight Stitch.

These are the only stitches that are used on the block for this month.  The next two pictures are of the example block that I did for the LPCQG.

Using many different combinations of just the Fly Stitch, Straight Stitch, Lazy Daisy and French Knot you can create a very beautiful block.  In working on this block I also learned some things.  The biggest one is that as an "encruster" I can encrust with nothing but stitches.  As you can see from my picture there is nothing but stitches, as a friend of mine says, my fabric can't breath.


Now here is where you learn what you are to use your composition books and map pencils for.  As you can see from my pictures I have a book not a composition book but a journal.  I have quite a few of these laying around the house that I use for notes on anything from crafts to designing a Crazy Quilt.  I pick up 4 or 5 at a time when I find them for a dollar a book.

I chose to use one of the nicer journals for the making my "Study of Stitches" book.  In this book I am taking the one stitch a month for the rest of the year and making notes on how to build my seams.  As you can see I have already started with the "Flavor Stitches".

As you can see from the pictures of the pages I mixed the colors to define the different stitches you will use for the seams.  Under the map color drawn "seam" you can see that I described the seam for future reference.

In the many books that we purchase there are the author's favorite seams that they use.  We might use them and we might not.  This is where this book of seams comes in handy.  This book is of the seams that YOU use or have used written down for future reference.  You might have a seam in it the you use only once but it is a seam that you have used.  You never know when you might use it again.

Feel free to explore all combinations of seam treatments.  Take notes on them.  Enjoy your crazy quilting!

The Lion

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Putting Together A Block

Let's talk about putting blocks together.  When I learned how to put together crazy patch blocks I was a young woman and my grandmother taught me.  To begin with she told me that they were very easy.  Which to find out they really are easy to put together.  She said start with a piece of fabric in the middle and go around and around until the block is filled.  A little vague right? I did figure out how to put them together a little better in my old age!  There are times that I put together a block just like she taught me.  Is it wrong?  I don't think so.  There are so many crazy quilts out there where the maker did not follow today's rules or even yesterdays rules, they just picked a piece of fabric and put it in the center of the block and just sewed around and around until the block is full.  Many antique crazy quilts follow a pattern that is not crazy patched, they are patched in some of the traditional quilt patterns of the day with some of the most wonderful stitching that has ever been seen.
  There are many ways to put crazy patch blocks together.  As many as there are teachers out there.  Even my rules and methods will differ from others.  Many teachers will get down to business with you and teach you right.  Others will tell you there are no rules.  Well there are a few rules that you will need to know in order to make your stitching easier.

So lets take a look at piecing a block.

First I figure out how big I want to make the block.  Lets say I want to make a quilt out of blocks 8x8inches.  I will measure out a square block on "backing fabric" that is 9x9 inches. (Backing fabric by The Lions definition is the base fabric that you will crazy piece on.)  After I cut it out I will take my ruler and measure an inch into the block and then draw my "guideing lines".  To the Lion guide lines are lines that are put on the block so that I can stitch a little further out so that when the blocks are stitched together there are no gaps on the block that are bare of stitches.  (When we get further along in the year you will see what I am talking about when I start putting this quilt together.)  As you can see from the picture below I have already done this with my backing fabric

Now here is where the putting together the block gets more interesting.  You need to find a small piece of fabric to put in the center of the block.  It should be anywhere between 2 to 3 inches in diameter.  Now lets talk about the center piece.  I usually start with one that is the shape and color and texture that "tickels my fancy".  This goes back to my grandmother and her put a piece of fabric in the middle and sew around and around.  Some times this piece has four sides sometimes it has five sides.

Lets now talk about sides and today's standards.  Today and maybe even in my grandmothers day the standards say start out with a middle piece that has five sides.  As you can see from all my pictures I sometimes start out with a four sided piece.  That is my bad habit from my grandmother.  Is it wrong?  I am not going to debate that but for all purposes in today's CQ you will need to start out with a five sided piece.  One day when we do have CQ standards and guidelines for show quality quilts they more than likely say that your middle piece needs to have five sides.  So DO NOT get into my bad habit in picking up a piece of fabric with four sides.  Start out right and choose one with five sides.

After it is in the center of the block that is where you find another piece of fabric and sew it on the edge of your center fabric.  You can see here in the picture what I am talking about.

As you follow the pictures you can get the idea on how you should just keep sewing around the center piece.  Just like my grandmother said just get a piece of fabric and put it in the middle and sew around and around until you fill up the fabric.  She was so very right in that description even with todays standards.
Now let me get you to put out the idea that you have to search through your fabric pile or you have to cut "just the right piece" of fabric.  You can find the fabric in the next color and texture that you want and sew it on the next edge.  You can find a larger piece of fabric to sew on the block.  I actually prefer to find a larger piece of fabric to sew on.  It helps to keep "gaps" out of the fabric.  As you can see from the picture below where I did sew a larger piece of fabric then I found another piece and stitched it onto the block over the top of it.

Now here is the trick every beginner needs to know.........take you scissors and cut off the excess fabric at the seam.  You can see what I did from my picture below.

As you can see from the picture below the excess fabric has been cut off and the pink piece of fabric is ready to be pressed into place.  The orange piece takes on a whole new shape after this process.

The excess fabric needs to be cut off.  If you are asking why, the reason is you have the backing fabric and the top fabric to go through when you start your embroidery.  If you leave excess fabric you will have that layer to go through also.  This makes it rough when pulling your needle and floss through the block.  It also makes it harder to get your stitches the way you want them.  Another reason is some fabrics you can see straight through.  Like that orange piece that I cut off, you could have seen that straight through the pink piece.

You just continue in that manner until you block is full.  Then you have a crazy patched block that looks like the picture below.

Turn over your block and with a rotary cutter cut off the excess fabric from around your base block.  As you can see from the picture below my guide lines.  After you cut the excess fabric off you want to stitch those guide lines.  You can do it by hand or by machine.  I stitch them by machine.

After it is all done you have a perfect block for stitching.  As you can see there really are just a few rules in piecing a block.  They are there to make things easier on you and your stitching.

For my next post you are going to find out what you are going to do with the composition book and colored pencils!

Please if you have any questions on the post just ask.  I will be happy to answer them.  You can either post them here on the blog or email me privately.

The Lion