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
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The “how” of assembling a crazy quilt – part 1 February 4th, 2006

Blocks for group quilts are inevitably different sizes and this one is no exception…the different sized blocks are more of a problem with traditional patchwork blocks, which have points that may need to be cut off, than what it is with CQ blocks and actually this lot or pretty good with only small variations in size of the embellished area, together with 1/2 inch seam allowances to play with my job easy.

In Their blogs today Linda described me as “(Genius and Goddess of Quilting)” and Sharon described me as “an expert assembler – with a passion for getting such things just right”…what they mean is that I will measure everything to the nth degree and that my corners will meet perfectly, even though they will be covered by the buttons that will hold the quilt layers together, other people would describe me as anal retentive LOL but when you know “how” it is really not difficult to get such things just right…

Note: I use a rotary cutter and board, if you don’t have this equipment you can follow along using your table where my board is and mark your fabric with a ruler and pencil, then use scissors to cut along the marked line.

Before starting

I marked a 9 inch square on my cutting board with black arrows. this can be done with a piece of masking tape if you don’t want to draw on your cutting board.

I made a plastic window template with the 8 inch finished size cut out and the 1/2 inch seam allowance lines marked onto it.

I pinned the block information to the pin board so that I could work with the blocks, you can see the contents of this one on Vivienne’s blog

window template
Vivienne\'s block info

Preparing Blocks

The First thing that I did with each block was to put the window template over it…

I could see at a glance wether the block was under or over size.

window template 03
window template 01

I could see where the maker intended the edge of the finished block to be.

window template 02

And I could see any stitching that would need removeing from the finished size of the block.

stitching to unpick

The next thing that I did was to remove any stitching that would be visible on the finished size…

…and yes that does leave holes in the fabric, it marks some fabrics more than others and is easier to get out of some than what it is others…hint longer stitch lengths leave less marks (and are easier to pull out) and hand basting is much easier to remove and leaves far fewer marks on the fabric…

A gentle massage with your thumbnail or between your fingers will remove the holes from most fabrics.

remove with thumb massage

For the more stuborn holes I used a damp cotton bud….hint do a test in the seam allowance to make sure that the water is not going to mark the fabric.

remove with damp cotton bud

Most blocks had enough extra seam allowance that I could eyeball the first cut but some blocks, whilst their foundation was full size the patches only had 1/4 inch seams so there was no room for error, on those blocks small holes in the template, at the corners of the cutting lines, allowed me to mark the corners to make the first cut.

pencil hole

Blogging this is taking me longer than it is to make the quilt lol and it is again time for me to get some sleep…so watch this space dear friends for Part 2 How to trim blocks to size.

7 Responses to “The “how” of assembling a crazy quilt – part 1”

  1. Chloe @ Linda Says:

    Eeeeek – I’m not square! Almost, but not quite. Thanks Annie, this is fascinating.

  2. sharonb Says:

    Annie this is a great post and heaps of newbies will be pleased to see how you assemble a crazy quilt –

  3. inaminuteago - the blog » Take a look Says:

    […] Part 1- The “How of assembling a crazy quilt […]

  4. Linda S. Says:

    Annie, this is wonderful. I am a newbie, having only done the Bags of Fun and started one crazy quilt square that I am continually working on. This is wonderfully informative and I don’t feel such a clutz knowing that someone as talented as Linda can have a “not so square” square…grin Thank you so much for all the extra work required to blog all of this process..

  5. emmy Says:

    Annie thank you for letting us see al of this it is so wonderful,
    I have learned a lot of you thank you so much you have done a great job
    Warm regards Emmy

  6. Barbara Hager-Paulsen Says:

    Greetings from California. I am a newbie and am in the process of
    construction of my first memory, crazy quilt made from my family’s old
    clothes. Great to see how you have constructed the squares. Trying to
    decide if I want it all one piece, crazy design or individual blocks.
    Thanks for taking the time to post this. Do appreciate.
    Barbara as crazy as her quilt!

  7. Quilting Queen Says:

    This is great for me to. Especially the pictures that show exactly how to do this. I think my hang up is I don’t want to cut any more than I have to but sometimes you have to cut more than you want to get the blocks square.