Annies Crazy World

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    This is Annie Whitsed's Crazy World a world where I stitch the joys and chaos of life into beautifull crazy quilts. email
February 2005
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Website Update February 11th, 2005

As a start to updating my website (one of my UFOs), I have redesigned the Lessons section so that it should be easier to navigate…tomorrow when I have better light for the photography I will add more of the stitch combinations from my box top.

Another Box Emptied February 10th, 2005

threads from Sharon

People have asked how do I have time to Blog?…Some days it is hard because what can take me hours to do can be told about in a single line but I make the time to blog because I enjoy it and it IS keeping at the clean up.

Swaps is not the only thing that I document and the box I tackled today had plenty to be documented, it was a box of things that I have been given…these ones are done into my visual Journal and below is one of the pages I have done today.

Visual Journal Page

February 9th, 2005

Tuesday, 08 February 2005


Part of being a Crazy Quilter in the cyber world is swapping, within the crazy quilt email lists there are frequent organized swaps, some are based on colour, many are based on themes such as garden, ocean, Victoriana, fantasy to name but a few…each swap has a formula as to how much fabric, threads, lace, beads, buttons and doodads to put in each Baggie and the idea is that each participant makes up a number of baggies that are basically the same, sends them to the swap hostess, who swaps them around, and you get back the same number of baggies that you sent in but they are all Different…putting the baggies together is a lot of fun and receiving the swaps back is very exciting….

…But when you have been in a few swaps you end up with a lot of little bits, many swappers tip them straight out on the table to fondle and enjoy and then put them away in whatever fashion they keep their stash but some of the bits are real tiny treasures and I like to know who has given them to me and as there is no way that I am going to remember who gave me any of it if I don’t record it in some way, I open each bag one at a time and record what is in each before I let it into the stash….I mention this because I have spent the afternoon documenting and sorting the contents of baggies from a swap last year…

When setting up my system to record the swaps I decided that if it was going to be done it had to be a simple no fuss method or it wouldn’t get done. I decided to go with a loose leaf binder with a page for each swapper…and NO fancy page layout, just glued on however they fit…For each baggie I keep the swappers name addy etc and I cut a snippet from each of the fabrics, threads and laces and what I can’t cut a snippet from I photograph…having a digital camera has made this easy as I can put it straight up on the computer and print it out which I do on plain printer paper to keep costs down…There is no way that I could ever match every fabric, thread and bead back to the original swapper but recording it his way does enable me to keep track of my favourite pieces as well it gives me a place to keep all the notes, postcards (I put these in cellophane or plastic bags so as not to damage the cards), maps, recipes etc that come in the baggies…and with all the lovely fabric snippets it is nice to look through…Below is a few of the pages from the folder.

Visual Jpurnal documenting swaps

And with that little job done I will show you what is on my table tonight.

Studio Table

With all the sorting boxes there is not a lot of Table to be seen but it does look surprisingly neat…Blogging as well as helping to keep me at the sorting is also helping me to work neater, although I do wander how long I will be able to keep it up as I have not normally been a tidy worker lol.

The Black apron in the front left corner is my son’s new work apron, he wants me to stitch a pocket on it so that he has a smaller one for his cork screw, a job for tomorrow, for tonight it is well past time for me to be asleep.

Finding Bundles of Treasure February 8th, 2005

Todays project was to clean out this great little Storage unit. Purchased from the Hardware shop, it has casters for easy moving to where you want to work. It has a clear flip up top with divided compartments, 2 shallow draws and 2 deep draws.

Storage unit in my studio

I have left the machine embroidery threads in the top draw and the laces waiting for a dying day in the bottom draw. The rest is clear ready for me to put sewing tools in the top and use for works in progress

The draws that I emptied were full of bottles and packets of doodads that have accumulated there in the last few years. Below is a photo of the type of bundles of treasure that I was finding and what it contained. A fun part of cleaning up is the things you find. This bundle was from my mum who picks up bits from the op shop and gives them to me when she sees me.

A bundle from mum

Most of it is jewelry, some of it I wont be able to use but most of it I will pull apart and use the bits to embellish crazy quilts.

Contents of my bundle from mum

half a metre knitted February 7th, 2005

I also did another 100 rows of knitting, ½ way to being done.

Half a knitted metre

Quite Sunday February 6th, 2005

Today has been very much a rest day and I have done little so I will leave you with another couple of stitches from my box top.

Detached Chain

Detached chain stitches with a bead.

Half button hole wheel fans

Blanket stitch half circles with a bead and detached chain to make it look like a fan and straight stitches to add extra colour.

Sorting February 5th, 2005

When I am doing a Big clean up I do it in a few stages.

Firstly I need to find everything that needs putting away and as I go through the boxes, which can be done one at a time, I do what I call a gross sort, I do this by having a box labeled with each major category of stuff that I will find…the gross sort boxes that I have for this sort are: Threads, ribbon/lace/braid, beads, buttons, charms, things for the visual journal, paperwork.

Once I have been through all the boxes, bags and draws where there are little packets of goodies lurking, I will take the sorting boxes one at a time, sort the contents by colour, type, size and put them away…..When I used to do a big sort every 6 months or so putting them away meant putting them away into an existing storage system but I have not done a big sort for 5 or more years and I have been in a lot of swaps in that time making this a BIG sort and I know that several of the current storage systems will overflow so I will also be introducing new storage systems.

AS I said the finding and sorting of boxes can be done one at a time and today I got started with the ones that were under the Visual Journal desk.

Under Visual Diary desk

And what was there? A bundle of paperwork , a lovely bag of ribbons and cords purchased 18 mths ago, and another UFO…

Knitted leaves

One year I will have enough of these little knotted leaf shapes to make a blanket…

…and OH dear they did cause me a distraction, thinking knitting I remembered that the other night I was told that the Wangaratta Woolen Mills are making an attempt at the Guiness Book of Records record for the longest piece of knitting and they want knitters with 8 ply wool or acrylic yarn and 4mm needles to knit garter stitch panels that are 66 stitches wide and a metre (39 ½ inches) long….the panels will be stitched together end to end for the record and then they will be separated again and stitched together as blankets for charity…and you guessed it I dug out knitting needles and some balls of acrylic yarn left over from my last knitting binge, cast on 66 stitches and knitted a few rows…I did then put it aside until I went to visit a friend this evening and took it with me…I got 50 rows knitted.

Knitting started

Inside and Out February 4th, 2005

Tonight I have 2 photos for you…one of my computer desk because that is where I have been sitting, working on photos and writing emails.

My Computer desk

The boxes under the desk are fabrics to be sorted.

The buildings on top of the shelf are one of my UFOs, they are made from cards that I bought in Amsterdam, each card is glued onto 1 litre milk carton and makes one building.

The second Photo is one that I took in my Garden today…After 3 years of draught and water restrictions the garden is not looking good and then I came home after 3 weeks of christmas holidays to find some of the plants I had been nurturing had died in the scortching mid summer heat….well they did look very dead but isn’t nature wonderful…we have a little rain and with it new growth…the photo is of the beautiful new green shoots at the base of my little hydrangea.


Today I shared My Table February 3rd, 2005

Today I have shared my table with my Son (age 22)…It is a long time since he has done any craft work but today he came down to my studio seeking heat (It is supposed to be mid summer down under, 2 days ago we were sweltering and today I was so cold I turned the heater on). As well as finding heat he found that my table was a clear space and decided to get out the box that he is making from match sticks.

Sam\'s match craft

Looking at the photo I solved something that puzzled me a few months ago…A crazy Quilt list was discussing how much craft stuff was in there kitchens…when I looked in my kitchen I found only 1 paintbrush on the windowsill…I did wonder why my kitchen was so vacant of craft stuff…I figure now that the reason is that in this house the migration goes the other way, I could give you a long list of the kitchen things that are in my studio.

At the other end of the Table I set up the overlocker (Serger)…a friend had asked if I had one and would I mind overlocking the bottom of some pants…not a problem says I…well the overlocker has not been on the table since I moved back to Canberra and that was 10 years ago and It may never be pulled out again as it was a problem….I did get the job done, took me 5 minutes but It nearly defeated me as I fiddled for an hour and a half with the instruction book and a lot of cussing to get it threaded…I remember now why I never enjoyed overlocker jobs…

my overlocker

And in response to a comment I will leave you tonight with a photo of my Visual Journal desk and a page from a few days ago…goodnight.

Visual Journal work area

A page of my visual journal

Making a crazy quilt top for a Box February 2nd, 2005

At the same time that I bought My Studio Table I bought this Box, a got to have at just $15. It had been a Glory Box, I have always used it as a quilt storage box, it is where those lost UFOs should have been.

The box that I am making a crazy quilt top for

A few years ago I decided to make a crazy quilted top for it and started collecting fabrics and embellishments, 2 years ago I did the crazy piecing.

The crazy quilt pieces to make box top

I divided the 42 inch by 16 inch area into 5 odd shaped sections so that I would not have obvious blocks, 2 of the sections are embroidered and joined…I also marked onto the backing the lines where I wanted to change colour so that I would get a cream oval surrounded by the medium colours with the dark ones on the ends.