Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Crazier all the time

I dabble in crazy quilts (well, blocks, anyway) from time to time and a Craftsy class (Heirloom Lace Edgings) stirred my interest in hand-knit and crocheted lace edgings to include in my crazy quilting. 

To begin, I looked back at few of my past and ongoing crazies.  I don't know if it's true of real crazy quilters, but I seem to never quite be finished with a crazy block--there are so many blocks in progress that I should feel guilty about even thinking about starting a new one.  But that's quilting, right?  I've learned to put aside that guilt and move on. ;-)

One of my favorite pieces is a small quilt that sits on the fireplace mantle in my den.  I think it looks pretty complete and doesn't really need any additional lace edgings.  I don't look too long, though, or I might find a little corner that teases me, wanting just a little piece of stitching or tiny button.  No, Karen, just move on....

There just isn't room on the itty-bitty crazy, so there's no question of adding lace.

My first crazy quilt, stitched years ago, now looks VERY unfinished to me now, but there really aren't any seams to edge with lace--they have stitches which need more embellishment, and I want to add some button clusters, motifs, etc., but I'm not seeing a place for lace edging.

 I might crochet or knit a lace motif around which I can embroider and embellish to my heart's content but not edging.

A Christmas block has been in the works, off and on, for 3 or 4 years and it could use some more but I'm not sure a lace edging is going to work anywhere; maybe a very delicate one along the edge of the green with the red button cluster....maybe....

Tone-on-tone is a favorite look in crazy quilting for me and a pieced, but un-embellished block has been on the design wall for awhile.  It seemed like a good time to take it down and think about some embellishing with lace edging, as it's basically a blank canvas.

The smallest knitting needles I had at the time I started this knitted edging thing was a 2.  Using a size 10 crochet thread the lace looked a little larger than I was looking for. (Though, it is a more appropriate size than with alrger needles and yarn.

So, I ordered some 0 - 000 needles and, while it didn't change the size appreciably, it did make the work look more tidy.

The edging looks OK on the block (and I also added an Irish Lace rose that I crocheted a few months ago) and I can make it work with lots of beads and embellishment but I really would like some even smaller laces.

 The 5/0, 6/0 and 8/0 needles arrived yesterday.  (Just look at the size of those 8/0s; have you ever seen anything so darn cute?)

The 5/0 needles have been put to work, this time with size 20 crochet thread and the lace is getting smaller. (Compared to size 6 needles, even with laceweight yarn, they look downright diminuitive!)

It would be easier if there were a greater contrast between the color of the thread and the color of the needles, and good light is a necessity but smaller needles aren't as big a challenge as I feared.

 Of course, I haven't tried to 8/0 yet but it won't be long.   They're so fine that it looks a bit as if I'll be knitting with insect pins and sewing thread but what's the fun of crazy quilting if you don't try some crazy things?

Some lace edgings will be in upcoming posts--after a bit of practice.  :-)  I like this wave edging (shown here with size 000) and it will be my target edging for the 5/0, and perhaps the 8/0, needles.  Stay tuned. (Keep me honest!)