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
March 2005
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Scrambled Eggs for Breaksfast, Lunch or Tea March 30th, 2005

In 1999 I was curator for a National Trust ‘Craft in Trust’ Exhibition…One of the Exhibits was a collection of hundreds of painted eggs…They had been painted/dyed by the family and friends over the last 30 years, as on Easter Sunday every year the family got together with a table of dyes, paints and pens, and 2 blown eggs per person, the first one painted goes into the collection the second one can be taken home….As Curator I was invited out to see the collection so that i knew what I would need to display them and to join the family in painting them that year, the middle egg above is the one I brought home….And I was so captivated and enchanted by the collection that I came home, blew some eggs and got the kids and one of their friends painting them that night….I love that the babies hand prints and toddlers splodges look perfect next to the works of art, that some are abstract, some are patterns and others have represent real themes and things…

Painted Eggs 1999

It was a few years before I managed to organize doing it again but in 2003 I got the nieces and nephews over, we had a lovely day and the photo below is the eggs we painted….

Painted Eggs 2003

Here are our 2004 painted eggs….Mine is the red with white spotted Mushroom, I can’t remember why I chose to paint a mushroom but 6 months later while in England I was thrilled to see real red with white spotted mushrooms…My niece Lauren painted the trout because she had been fishing and caught one that morning…My sister did the portrait of Lauren wearing my plastic tiara, which she pops on her head every time she visits…each egg is signed and dated and I can see them becoming a sauce of family memories.

Painted Eggs 2004

A few tips for anyone wanting to paint eggs…

….Use good quality, thick shelled eggs, even then some breakages happen, when it is only a crack PVA white woodworking glue can be dribbled in through one of the holes and rolled around inside to reinforce the cracked area.

….To blow the eggs you need a tiny hole the end you blow into and a slightly larger hole in the end the egg comes out, I use a jewlers drill to do the holes but you can use a needle or drill bit twisted with your fingers. Make sure that you have broken the inner skin of the egg at both ends…..after blowing I wash the inside of the egss with warm soapy water and rinse them well.

After a few years of practice I have learnt that it is best to prepare the eggs ahead of time and I now use a spray undercoat to give a nice working surface.

…I like to keep the organizing as simple as possible and only supply acrylic paints (the kind sold in tubes for students) and permanent ink markers…Should you want to do more variety of decorations Sharon has been surfing around and posting links to sites with decorated eggs….Use Skewers to hold the eggs while painting and a piece of polystyrene foam is handy to stick the skewers in while the eggs are drying.

…Plan on having scrambled eggs for one of your meals on the day, When I have the eggs prepared prior to the day I still blow the eggs on the day which gives me a start on shells for the following year…Enjoy

Our 2005 Eggs

Painted Eggs 2005

LaurenThis is a detail of the handbag that Lauren painted…when she was making the handle it looked awfully wide, I was a bit puzzled as she is good with scale so I questioned her did she really want it that wide?…simple answer “yes, it’s the new fashion” and sure enough her new handbag that I had not seen when she came in, had a huge wide handle……..


And mine is A Globe of the world, chosen for 2 reasons.

Firstly that since last Easter I have been lucky enough to travel to the other side of the world.

The other reason is for you dear girls and guys that read my Blog and visit my website, before putting a statcounter onto my Blog and website (explained by Sharon on Saturday March 05 2005), I had assumed that my readers would all have been from English speaking countries…How wrong I was, nor can they all read English, the statcounter indicating when a translator has been used and I have had links from French, German and Russian crazy quilting groups….as I saw how many countries I was getting hits from I started making a list and in 8 weeks I have had hits from 80 different countries…I am quite awed and humbled by that statistic…and it fills me with hope for World Peace because ever day when we turn on our TVs, switch on the radio or read the newspaper the news is telling us that this country is fighting with that country and this other country is going to war with that other country But now I can look at my computer screen and list and see all those countries side by side, part of a united, world wide community and I can think/hope that maybe, just maybe one day crazy quilters will take over the world and we will have World Peace…well maybe I am dreaming a bit but I do believe that crazy quilters are gentle, caring, sharing, peace loving folk and the more of us in the world the better………..

Home found for little quilt March 25th, 2005

Have you ever made something and then wondered why and what are you going to do with it……well I do know why I made this little one, some friends wanted to know how to do Rail Fence quilts so I made this to show them, the fabrics were the first 3 that came to hand that I had enough of and whilst they are OK and I do like the maze look of the layout the quilt is baby sized but I could never see the colours as baby colours and so did not know what to do with the quilt…tonight I found an a appreciative owner…When Canberra turned cold tonight my visitors little dog Lucky needed a cover and This little quilt is the perfect size and Lucky doesn’t care what colour it is….Lucky snuggled under the quilt immediately and I am happy as it is one less thing for me to store.

Lucky dog loves his new quilt Lucky

Happy Easter March 24th, 2005

Mr Beaded BearFairy bearA few nights ago I showed you my Raiders Bear…The original pattern was for a bride and groom, this little guy is the groom according to the directions, I think that he is quite a dapper little guy .

I removed the veil and added wings to make the bride into a Fairy Bear .

And now I am thinking that I can reshape the ears into Bunny Ears and make an Easter Bunny…He will be pale blue with a white chest because when I was in High School I made one of my little Brothers a pale Blue Rabbit and I have a little pale blue plastic Rabbit that came with an Easter egg when the kids were little…..I may even be able to make a carat for him to nibble on or maybe I can find a tiny egg shaped bead…

…not tonight though I have spent the last couple of days, cleaning, washing, polishing, vacuuming, dusting …and now I have a clean House, my visitors have arrived and gone to bed and that is where I am headed…Goodnight and Happy Easter everyone.

A Punchneedle Class March 20th, 2005

This fabric book page was to record a Punchneedle class with Judith Baker Montano in 1989…..The Flower top left is the sample that we did in class and it was only natural to use it in a piece of crazy quilting….because these were to be quickly pieced projects the seams are machine embroidered, I have combined a pink with a white thread and sampled the limited number of fansy stitches that my machine had, not very interesting but they served their purpose…

After a Judith Montano Workshop

This is the last one of these that I will get finished for a while…I have friends coming for Easter and must turn my mind and activities to getting the house cleaned…I have started by clearing the top of the table, this time before clearing it I took a photo from which you will see that whilst I have good storage systems I am a messy worker, fortunately it is quick enough to clear up because the bits all have a place to be put…

My Studio table on 20 march 05

Go the Raiders March 19th, 2005

That is the Canberra Raiders Rugby League Team…of whom I am a Fan by default…Jessica my daughter is the Fan and I support her…Ahhh the things we do for love….They played there first game of the season today, an opportune time to share with you my Raiders inspired works.

In 2002 I agreed to decorate Jessica’s bedroom in the Raiders colours….White walls (I don’t like white walls), Black curtain and Furniture (I like black but this is a small room, a bit of a worry that it would overpower the room), Lime greenTrim (Yuck) with blue accessories ( I was taught that blue and green should never be seen)…..I can tell you it was a labour of Love, well at least it started as a labour of love but it is amazing what you learn about yourself when you work outside your comfort zone…she moved into another room and for a month I washed walls and painted, I then spent another month making a black Roman Blind, building a bedside table and a Unit for her TV/DVD player (building the furniture was made possible when I found out that if I took exact measurements to the hardware store they would cut the wood to size so that I just had to glue and screw) and painting it and other furniture black with lime green trims…..As her room came together it was with amazement that I found myself standing at the door shaking my heard and thinking “it looks good, its lime green but it looks good, it even looks great…it needs a Raiders dooner cover”….

…Well the dooner cover also turned out better than I ever would have expected….So good that it turned into a quilt…I had decided that the dooner cover was a good item to trial an idea that had been in my head for many years to do what I call Maxi Crazy….My original idea had been to replicate embroidery with machine stitching but when I got it pieced and decided to make it into a quilt I thought through the different ways that I could hold the layers together I decided to leave the seams unembellished to keep the simple uncluttered look and add interest with the Machine Quilting….

Jessie Loves the Raiders

We called the quilt “Jessica Loves the Raiders”…..Her name, the heart and the football are machine applique, I used bubble jet set to print her photo and season pass and I cut Victor the Viking Logo from a flag….The rainbow in the quilting is in memory of the only game that I ever went to with her, it was a rainy day and had been a wet game but as the game finished the sun came out and a bright full rainbow appeared over the playing field…

When I find all the photos and the original design I will put it all in the Gallery of my website together with a photo of the replacement dooner which also turned into a quilt when I quilted it onto the dooner because I had used polyester fabric and the dooner kept slipping around inside it…

And last year for her Birthday I made her a Raiders Bear…

Beaded Raiders BearBeaded Raiders Bear Magnified

He is adapted from a pattern for Teddies on page 40 Issue 54 of Jill Oxton’s Cross Stitch and Beading Magazine

And I will leave you with the news that The Raiders won their game tonight.

Calico and Lace March 18th, 2005

Malcolm Harrison WorkshopsThis Journal page records 2 workshops with Malcolm Harrison, a New Zealand quilter. The first Calico and Lace in 1987 (calico is Muslin in the USA)…when I first started collecting tutors signatures I put a few of them into my first crazy quilt but realized that there would be to many of them and that they would dominate the quilt and cut them out of it and when I did the second workshop with Malcolm in 1989 I knew what to do with them, the second workshop with Malcolm was Fabric Books…

I have represented the Calico and Lace workshop by doing a miniature of the project (another UFO) that I started at the workshop. The Fabric book is represented by a dedication as you might find in a book, thanking Malcolm for introducing me to fabric books….The camel is in memory of the camel hat that Malcom had at the retreat….In keeping with the Theme I have made this one up to A4 size by adding a wide lace to one side and across the top.

Australian Wildflowers March 16th, 2005

This Journal page is a sampler of appliqued Australian Wildflowers, made to record what I had learnt in Diane Johnston workshop in 1988.

what I learnt in a Diane Johnston workshop

One thing leads to another March 15th, 2005

I have converted another fabric book page to Journal quilt. This one was to record workshops that I did with Katie Pasquini when she visited OZ in 1987…It has a Photo from the workshop (the actual photo is stitched on), her signature (I have signatures on fabric from most of the tutors that I have done workshops with) and I made a miniature of the colour wheel from the workshop. This Page was wide enough so rather than border it I added a bar of fabrics from the workshop across the top to make it up to size.

 journal page for Katie Pasquini workshop

For the colour workshop we each took along 2 squares each (2 1/2 inch squares) of 50 fabrics, we kept one pile and put the other in the centre of the table, then Katie opened a suitcase and tipped out a mountain of fabric squares with which we happily played all day….At the end of the day katie said that it was her last colour workshop in OZ and that she wasn’t paying excess baggage to take all the squares back to the USA, so could we go through them and pick out the basic colour wheel colours so that she would have enough to start again and could we put the rest, which would be all the drabber colours, in the garbage bin….We did put them in the garbage bin and then we looked in the bin, looked at each other and we took them out of the bin again…

I took home a plastic shopping bag of squares and as I sorted them some were drab even ugly, some were not quilting fabrics and some were cut very off grain, so some ended up going straight back in the bin….Of the rest my sister in law took enough to make a double bed quilt…This detail from my Hearts and Flowers Quilt shows how I used some for crazy quilting….

detail from 1sr crazyquilt

Those little squares of Fabric are also responsible for another of my UFOs….I picked out the pinks and blues and sorted them into lights and darks and used them to make a medallion centre (36″ x 42″) for a quilt….

from square to heart

And still there was more which got packed into a shoe box where they lived for 15 years…2002 my niece Lily, then aged 6, could sew on the hand wound toy sewing machine and had shown such patients using it that when I got sick of threading it I offered to let her sew on the Big sewing machine…To practice I gave her the shoe box of squares, they where perfect for her to practice with, they where small enough to handle and as they had already been thrown in the garbage bin once it didn’t matter if they went of the back of the machine and into the garbage bin again…..I showed her how to put the squares into pairs and put a guide mark on the machine and showed her how to use it…well she hadn’t done very many seams before she was doing a pretty good 1/4″ seam….and she hadn’t stitched very many more seams before she asked me if they could be a quilt….Talk about ambitious, I explained to her that it would take a lot of stitching but if she was prepared to do it then They could be a quilt…I straightened one side of each pair, pinned them into a 4 patch and showed her how to stitch the longer seams…..Her older sisters and brother assisted with the ironing and squaring up the 4 patches which lily stitched into pairs and then joined the pairs into squares and joined the squares until she had herself a quilt…we added a narrow pink borders and a dark binding….I did some straight line quilting on it and then Lily’s 14 year old sister Lauren added free machine quilted pictures….This quilt got its name ‘Lily love hear’ when the sewing machine started to play up and Lauren and I where looking with horror at the loopy stitches on the back of a heart that she had just quilted, Lily looked at it and said “there’s a Love heart on my quilt, that means I love my quilt” Those loopy stitches are still on the back of the quilt. Lily’s quilt won the childrens encouragement award at the Canberra Quiltes Exhibition that year…and it was another colour lesson for me because they really where a miss matched lot of fabrics and I would never have thought that they would look as good as they do….And if you think that I am proud of these kids, you would be right.

Lily loves her hearts

what is leftAnd this is all that remains of what must have been thousands of fabric squares.

Crazy Quilt Embellishment Sampler March 14th, 2005

I have started converting the old fabric book pages into A4 sized Journal Quilts…The first task was to unpick the couple that I had stitched back to back into pages, should have been a simple task but I had stitched them securely and double stitched them just to make sure.

The first Page that I have converted is a sampler I made to record the embellishments that I had designed or adapted for my crazy quilts……I stitched it in 1990 and coincidentally I have found another embellishment sampler that I stitched about 10 years later, I have put it onto the embellishment page of my website.

Fabric Journal page

The Button at centre top was a covered button that I stitched beads onto.

The Fan is a piece of wide satin bias binding for the edges of blankets….The first one happened when I picked a short piece of the binding up off the floor and started fiddling with it, realized that I had concentinaed it into a fan shape so a grabbed a needle and stitched it onto a Block….Wide Ribbons and braids and some laces also make up into lovely Fans.

Herrinbone BasketThe Basket on the left side of the sampler and this one are closed herringbone stitch with slightly longer stitches on the top to give the basket shape….I well remember the night I designed these baskets, it was the classic sit bolt upright in bed with the idea in my head, I hadn’t even been thinking about baskets….I had figured out that I could make little bows with 2 detached chains, a French knot and 2 straight stitches and I had gone to bed thinking of ways that I could use them, one of the thoughts was on the handle of a basket and with the thought I just knew how to embroider the basket, it had to be embroidery thread because silk ribbon was not available in 1987….I had to get up and find pencil and paper and draw it before I was able to go to sleep….

detached chaing and colonial knot bow

White Gloves March 10th, 2005

Washing of the white gloves

A finished UFO….for many years I have been roster coordinator for Canberra Quilters Annual Exhibition, for the first few years someone else took the white gloves home to wash but last year I brought them home…Eeeek what a job, washing them was easy but putting them back into pairs….104 white gloves, they may have been all white but had been purchased at different times and there where different styles and sizes and white is only white till you put it next to another white…when I had got them all paired I decided that I had to mark them in some way…I decided to stitch on pairs of beads and I got most of them done in my initial burst of enthusiasm but didn’t quite finish them till tonight when I did the last 6 pairs….Most of them have a matching bead or button, some have lace motives and just a few got embroidered flowers…

Embellished White Gloves