Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crazy Piecing

A no reply-comment yesterday asked
The cover on the right, pseudo log cabin, is gorgeous. Have you made a quilt using this motif?


She was referring to the crazy pieced block on the quilted journal cover on this post.  Here is my answer.


Crazy piecing: something I have been doing since the early 1970’s.  It didn’t get any respect made with cotton fabrics until it got renamed ‘wonky’ and ‘liberated’.  I would try to share my passion for it with others in the 1970's and 1980's but the reaction was that…….well……I was crazy, just like my crazy piecing.  It was depressing to think I had to hide all of my crazy piecing and only show my ‘regular’ stuff.  During the early 1990’s when it seemed the art quilt movement was gaining speed, it was accepted more as a free way of working and was adopted by the newly inspired, previously non-sewers as more fun than traditional blocks. 

Even though some of these date back to 1974, I still own several of them so I was able to take digital photos of them.  Some of them are more recent, one is still a top waiting to be quilted.  If you want to see larger photos of any of them they are in the crazy piecing 'page' at the top of my right side bar.

41 comments:

Linda said...

You were a bit ahead of your time, I guess! Love your work. It is always amazing to see your past items. Thanks! They should be called 'wanda' blocks instead of 'wonky'!

Jackie said...

They are all beautiful!! I agree with you about the technique gaining respect. I think the only version that was somewhat respected was the traditional crazy quilting with the silks, velvets, and embellishments.

Gene Black said...

I have to agree that crazy piecing is more fun than traditional blocks, but I do both.

Eva said...

So you are a pioneer on the quilting scene! I wouldn't have thought that the majority of quilters are or were so conservative. Within art history, abstract experiments date back to 100 years ago. I think your "wonky" piece balances rhythm/order and dynamic motion in a very attractive way!

jovaliquilts said...

It's people like you who helped make more things possible -- thank you!

Cedar Ridge Studio said...

Crazy quilting is great fun. I have only been quilting 3 years but by the second year I was attracted to crazy quilting.
Looking at your examples has given me more ideas.
Mary Ann

Eileen said...

You were ahead of your time! A quilting pioneer...beautiful work...love the blue quilt.

patty a. said...

You found your way early in your quilting world! I never thought about breaking the rules and expressing myself until the last 15years. Quilting now is a lot more fun than it use to be.

Carol G said...

I love the background fabric you chose for the top crazy quilt. It is always so OK to do what you love rather than try to please everyone else! That way, you end up with quilts you are really happy with.

hetty said...

You're a woman ahead of your time. You are a pioneer. Quilting has evolved over the years thanks to creative folks like you. I love your wonky cabin blocks. And I love that first quilt. I think it has inspired on what to do with my wonky blocks.

HollyM said...

I do love them. The first one is especially pretty. I'd like to try it but I think I'd have a difficult time to figure out how to fit it all together.

momto2wasd said...

Gorgeous!! Sometimes, it seems a shame there are trends and popular ways of creating because it can stifle some amazing work. This is the first time I've been to your blog, and I'll have to follow it now...just the header picture was enough to see that it's worth following!

Thanks!
Cathy

Needled Mom said...

They are absolutely beautiful. I am glad that you still have some of them.

Dora, the Quilter said...

I admire your gift for moving between traditional and more modern designs. I confess that after years of too much chaos in my life, tradition helps me impose a sense of order. So, I admire those who are innovative, but cling to tradition for a sense of security.
That said, I remember well how snobbish some quilters were in the 70's and 80's thinking their was was the only way. I hope people are more open-minded today--although, since I quilt in isolation, I probably won't know about it.

Bonnie H said...

The crazy ones are so cool...I really like the style...maybe even more than the traditional...

sally in st. paul said...

It almost sounds like you had to be "in the closet" for awhile, and not share your wonderful use of color. And now your work is admired by all of us-failure to appreciate something wonderful has happened to others. I think VanGogh only sold 2 paintings during his lifetime.
sally in st. paul- where we are celebrating 20 degrees F.

Quiltdivajulie said...

When I began blogging and first discovered Exuberant Color, I fell in love with your crazy piecing and your use of such glorious colors.

Never fear that you brighten our days!

QDO said...

Crazy quilting is very, very beautiful!

Jeannette said...

Just tell that art...for example, crazy quilting, is cheaper than therapy which is what critics of other's playfulness and art often need!

Anonymous said...

No matter if you do crazy or traditional quilting ... Your fabric choices always show your exuberance.

J~MT

Diane (Wi) said...

When I first saw what is known today as the 'wonky" style of block, I hearkened back to when I did crazy patch some years ago. I framed a piece of crazy patch, and someone who visited said it was a piece of art, which at the time sort of amused me. Do you think it would be as popular today if we called it by its original name rather than 'wonky"? I really like the blue quilt by the way.

Theresa said...

Maybe you started the "freedom quilting" movement, Wanda. Making it and showing it inspired someone else to "loosen up"! When I started quilting (in my 20s) everything had to be just perfect... and that kept me from doing much of it. I felt so inadequate - so imperfect. I lost hope for alot of years, until QNM said "Just do it". You can't be perfect, and certainly not on the first projects. Practice. Now I'm still practicing - just like my Doctor.
I love the one that looks like roses, but they are all gorgeous! You are an inspiration!
Terri

Free Source Codes said...
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Miki Willa said...

When I first started quilting in the 70's, traditional quilting was what was accepted. I stopped quilting for 35 years. Now, I am back to quilting and love doing it all. Your quilts are beautiful and inspirational, especially to this old quilter.

Muddling Through said...

Wanda, I think you're just a whole lot better at letting your creativity loose than most people. And you have the courage to do it!

*karendianne. said...

I didn't even know about the feelings related to this sort of piecing so once again, my brain expands thru you. And gosh Wanda, you've been quilting for a long time. You've seen so much. I'm even more appreciative of all you ARE WILLING TO SHARE WITH US!

Vicky F said...

Hi Wanda,
love to see your "crazy" stuff.
I had no idea that art-type free form quilting was frowned upon in the 70's and 80's. The quilt police had their beginnings somewhere! Wonder what they thought about the Victorian crazy quilts? No rules in some of those beauties!
Vicky F

Linda said...

All I've got to say is... thank goodness you didn't cave to the 'traditional' and stayed true to yourself. I LOVE your crazy piecing!

Eat, Sleep, Quilt said...

I love those crazy pieced blocks, Wanda! To have to keep them hidden is just ... well ... "crazy." You've got a great eye for color combos.

Today's secret word is "stabakha" - "What on earth is he chewing?" "It stabakha"

Linda

Sheila said...

Your crazy quilts are colorful, beautiful pieces of art. Thank you for sharing pictures of them. You inspire us to be be creative.

O'Quilts said...

Me too!! Oh, so nice to meet a fellow traveler. This kind of quilting has been going on forever. It is delightful, however to see it back. Your work is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of wonky crazy piecing. Too much fun!

Joann said...

Really beautiful color transitions in the quilt on the bottom row. Looks much like a water color painting. Your work is very artful.

KaarQuilter said...

Wanda, I just love your take on quilts. It was great to see you appear on FB today........more to enjoy, and you truly inspire me.......Kaaren

Anonymous said...

I am so very glad that you were inovative. It is my favorite way of quilting.

PJ

Tatiline said...

You are completely insane and I love it. I feel completely unstable on my feet when I look at your work.
I'm glad you were so determined to continue fighting for what you beleived.

Linda said...

I adore all your quilts. They sing to me and you have inspired me to try and see what I can do. Thanks

flamingoquilter said...

I am so glad I found you via Facebook...love your rainbow and a blue paper-pieced.

also your journal covers....

liked it so much I had to back off not signing onto blogging!!! Thank you, I thing LOL

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love crazy quilts. Keep them coming!

Sandra said...

I love your quilts. I hope to learn to step out of my box someday. I love crazy quilts and the beautiful bright colors.

kk4141 said...

These are the most beautiful quilts I have seen in a long time. Do you like Ricky Tims and Kaffe Fassett?
Thank you for posting