I recently completed my crazy quilt project Crazy for Crazy, and now want to write its history.
Block number 12 can be seen in the middle of the bottom row, it's green and orange.
Like so many of the other blocks, there is a piece of plush in the middle. You might remember the story about my mother's plan to redress an armchair and the collection of upholstery plush she had collected. I hope these swatches of plush are happy to be used even if they never made it to the comfy chair.
This piece of green plush is flanked by two pieces of the same silk chirimen. Once upon a time this was a luncheon mat, very fancy with its gradation dye and machine embroidery. Then there was an accident with soy sauce and the stained place mat was no longer so fancy. Out came the scissors and the slashed pieces ended up here. The greyer and plain piece is on the left, the piece in a greener tone and with embroidered chrysanthemum flowers is at the top, but there is a piece of 'silk' ribbon (from a bouquet of flowers ) next to the plush. To the right is a piece of plain green silk, for kimono lining, actually. The piece at the bottom is a fancy dress brocade given to me from a friend in the UK.
At the top of the block there are two pieces. The one in yellowish green either came to me with the brocade, or is a piece of a ballroom frock from Ms I's dressmaking studio, I can't remember!
Nor can I recall where I got the piece of Japanese silk. The pattern is often found in Sachiko embroidery. It is called Asanoha or Hemp Leaf Pattern in English. The pattern has a long and important history. Hemp or flax leaf patterns can often be seen in Buddhist art and represent rays of light, or the inner light of the soul. I have read somewhere that newborn babies were swaddled in fabric with this design, woven or embroidered. The child would then be blessed and protected from evil. For anyone who is into quilt making this is a good pattern for paper piecing.
I mentioned the green silk ribbon, and you can see the orange chenille thread over it. There is also a thin line of orange knitted ribbon, that I couched down with Cretan Stitch. Over one seam I looped a metallic knitted thread, and covered another seam with Fly Stitch Filling which is Sunday Stitch School stitch #104.
To balance the machine embroidered chrysanthemums I placed two ribbon flowers at a stem of Coral Stitch. The beads come from a broken toy necklace, found in an Oxfam shop, as do the small stars. Then there is a covered button (learn how to make one from KDD&Co), with a tail of odd ends of thread. Recycle, recycle is my mantra.
I made this block in less than a month, namely between 12th June and 10th July, 2019.
I want to extend my gratitude to: Mother, Kaoru, Midori, Frances, Helen, (Mrs I's Dressmaking Studio), Sylvia, Oxfam, KDD&Co, a florist somewhere in Tokyo, and of course all of you readers who have patiently read my ramblings to the end.