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Thread: Crazy Quilts questions

  1. #1
    Super Member Quilty-Louise's Avatar
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    Crazy Quilts questions

    Sorry if this topic has been hashed to death, I tried to
    do a search for Crazy Quilts and came up with 118 topics
    but none of them seem to answer my questions.

    What I would like to know has any every made one using
    brocades, oriental silks, velvets etc fabric?

    Would a foundation fabric be needed when using these
    kinds of fabrics?

    Are they machine washable? or would it be best to dry clean
    only?

    What would be a good size to make?

    I have been collecting fabrics like this for a few years and
    someday I HOPE to make one, but I am scared of ruining
    my fabrics.

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
    Louise - Ya-ya to Zachary April 13 2015. I collect mugs from the U.S. and around the world. Also collect handmade pincushions, sewing/quilting themed fabrics, and fabric in general.

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Crazy quilts are often made with the fabrics you mention. A foundation is usually used. Laces, beads, embroidery, etc. are often added. Made from these fabrics they cannot usually be washed by machine. Size is entirely up to you and would depend on what you want to do with the quilt.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    As to the washing/cleaning question, it depends on each of the fabrics that you use. If they are all machine washable, and you construct the quilt with this in mind you should be fine.
    Stretchy fabrics should probably be backed with interfacing, the same with thinner fabrics or those that easily fray.

    Where you may run into issues is if you use washable fabrics, and your embellishments (buttons, other adornments...) hang up on the stitching, or the finish comes off of them. You may want to choose these items carefully. Also, check to see if they are dry cleanable too, if you choose to go that route

    You may also want to shorten your stitch length or use a very small, narrow zig zag stitch (this stitch will allow the seams to give a bit more without breaking). These quilts tend to be heavy, and the agitation in a machine may stress the seam lines.
    I would also make sure the decorative stitching will hold up to stress too, maybe sew them onto a scrap of fabric and then tug pretty good on the fabric and see if they hold up
    “The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.” Sam Levenson

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    you can use all of those fabrics-and more if you want to- they will make a beautiful crazy quilt. as for laundering/care---if you can wash the fabrics individually you can wash them later---gently- most crazy quilts are actually just vacuumed if they become dusty- it would depend on the use- you could have it dry cleaned- but would really want to know the cleaners---items like this have mysteriously disappeared from cleaners---or been ruined- mine i used all of the fabrics you mentioned along with suedes, satins, vietnamese silks...wools- and used alot of silk embroidery flosses- and ribbons- beads and buttons- i washed everything before i used it- anything that did not live through that-did not make it into the quilt- it has been gently washed in cool water a couple times in its life- the back is a satin brocade.
    as for the foundation- it sure makes the piecing/embellishing easier when you have a foundation- the foundation keeps everything stable-keeps fraying of edges under control= but it is a choice-not a requirement- i embellished mine in blocks- then joined the blocks- and embellished more-the joining seams- using a muslin foundation- i could just cut a piece of muslin the size i wanted= then start sewing fabric pieces to it- along with antique laces- and trims- and (play) work on that block until i was ready to move on to a different one...some were rectangular- long and narrow- some were square- as i finished each block i would add it to the design wall- some of them hung out for months- sometimes i would spend an hour or more just moving them around- perhaps creating a hole that i would need to fill- giving me the size/shape of the next block- i would send pictures- but gave the quilt to my youngest brother for a wedding gift 12 years ago---the pictures have been gone for a long time---2 or 3 computer's ago==
    anyway- don't be afraid of it- once you make that first block- even if you decide to wait until it's a quilt to embellish you will find the process so---enjoyable! i even used stablizer and machine embroidered flowers on some of the silks-they are FABULOUS!!!
    maybe you should use some scraps of regular cottons and make a couple (practice blocks) one with foundation- one with out---and see which technique you like better- i will tell you---it is easier to use different shapes (sharp points-odd shapes) with a foundation.
    as for what is a good size???that depends on what you want it for- my brother and his wife had just purchased this wonderful overstuffed leather furniture and i decided one to fit over the back of the sofa would be wonderful! and it is!!! i don't think i would have wanted to make it bigger- by then i was quite tired of working on it and ready to move on-but i've made a wool crazy quilt that is queen sized- that one also is extensively embellished- felted wools- no foundations- the felted wool was stable enough on it s own-and i was not mixing fabrics other than adding laces/trims.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
    Super Member Quilty-Louise's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the replies this information is going to help me.
    Louise - Ya-ya to Zachary April 13 2015. I collect mugs from the U.S. and around the world. Also collect handmade pincushions, sewing/quilting themed fabrics, and fabric in general.

  6. #6
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    Sounds like you got great advice above! I also love to crazy quilt, and have lots of wonderful books on the subject...most of them I ordered from Amazon, as they have great prices on them! Here are some links to some that I think are really great:
    http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Quilting...2879124&sr=8-4
    http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-C...879208&sr=8-15
    http://www.amazon.com/Motifs-Crazy-Q...879254&sr=8-18
    There are some really great websites, too:
    http://cqmagonline.com/
    http://www.pintangle.com/journal/month/october-2011
    http://www.jdr-be.com/
    Good luck to you, and the only other thing I can say is it can be a very addicting hobby, too..
    Kif
    Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest~Mark Twain

  7. #7
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    Thank you for all the book info, i just ordered 4 books... i have fallen in love with crazy quilts and can not wait to get started. I am currently in a cast after having hand surgery. but Iam getting all kinds of lace,thread colors and fabric ect. together for when I am able to start block..the books you suggested seem to be full of beautiful ideas...
    Thanks again,
    Rita

  8. #8
    Super Member Wunder-Mar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    Crazy quilts are often made with the fabrics you mention. A foundation is usually used. Laces, beads, embroidery, etc. are often added. Made from these fabrics they cannot usually be washed by machine. Size is entirely up to you and would depend on what you want to do with the quilt.
    My thoughts exactly - but I'll be looking at the other responses as well. My rule is that if one of the fabrics must be dry cleaned, then the whole she-bang needs to be dry cleaned.

  9. #9
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wunder-Mar View Post
    My thoughts exactly - but I'll be looking at the other responses as well. My rule is that if one of the fabrics must be dry cleaned, then the whole she-bang needs to be dry cleaned.
    A lot of trims can't be machine washed so you have to watch them too. I personally wouldn't wash a crazy quilt. Since they're not generally used as bed quilts they don't get really dirty.

  10. #10
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    In the old days they used anything they could find and often it was this type of fabric. My opinion I would always use a backing to sew it to. If there are any dry cleanable fabrics in the quilt that is dry clean only I would dry clean it, otherwise you can wash it, but gently. Any size is a good size, I made mine more of a lap quilt size tho. I always wanted to get on to the next one.lol How would you ruin your fabrics? I would dry clean with the list of fabrics you have. Have fun, this is a project using say a 14x14 square or whatever you want and you can make them as you have time, don't have to do it all at once unless you want too. So you could have it sitting in a basket by your chair or couch and watch tv and stitch the fancy stitches on it.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  11. #11
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I have used all these fabrics. I washed everything 1st. Used only for display so may not be hand washed in my lifetime!

  12. #12
    Super Member Quilty-Louise's Avatar
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    I really appreciate all the info you have given me on
    crazy quilts.

    I am saving all this info and going to print it out and
    put it in the bins with my fabrics so I can have it when
    I need it.
    Louise - Ya-ya to Zachary April 13 2015. I collect mugs from the U.S. and around the world. Also collect handmade pincushions, sewing/quilting themed fabrics, and fabric in general.

  13. #13
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    I've owned several antique crazy quilts from the late 1800s, including a set of blocks that was started and never finished. In all of them, the blocks were pieced on a foundation. The makers used every kind of luxurious fabric they coulds lay hands to, including silk cigar wrappers and campaign ribbons. Everything was embellished with embroidery and lace. I'd love to make one but doubt I could do fine embroidery now. Good luck.
    Vic Tori Ann Work Shop

  14. #14
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    That was some odf the best directions I have ever seen for a crazy quilt. I'm sure a lot of us really appreciated you taking time to write this. Just wish I could see that quit!!

  15. #15
    Junior Member Karenowc's Avatar
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    I've made many cq pieces. I didn't read all the replies, so sorry if anything is duplicated. I wouldn't wash them - too delicate. I would back a lot of the fabrics with a thin iron on pellon type fabric (the brand name escapes me right now) - but it's very thin. It really helps with the stretchy fabrics and dupioni silks (my favorites). My avatar is a wall hanging that I made and here is one other:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Karenowc; 12-05-2011 at 11:58 PM.
    Karen in CA
    Babylock Ellisimo, Babylock Enlighten Serger, Janome 6600, Janome 760 for travel

  16. #16
    Member Weeser1's Avatar
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    Great answers everybody. I Love the way the quilts look.
    Loving Life

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