Sunday, February 28, 2010

new girl

Hi all, I am new to this blog, so let's introduce myself. My name is Ati, I live in Norway but I am originally from the Netherlands. I am a quilter for more than 20 years but the last 6 years I do a lot of crazy quilting. Last year I started with a quilt from old wool clothes. Two blouses, two skirts and a dress. Those clothes were from the late '70 early '80. I have sewn naked blocks from it. This is the centre block which is 16 inch square. I have blocks 8x16"and 8x8 ".
Most of the seams I figure out by myself and sometimes I have a look in Carol Samples' book.
Thanks to Kaaren who let me join this group. I hope when I see all your nice work that it is a stimulus for me to embroider all my naked block this year and make a nice lap-quilt of it.
I have a blog:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Introduction with some questions!

Hi! My name is Tarrah Miller from and I finally ordered and received this great book! I live in Pa, and yes we still are getting snow! Anyway, I am so excited to start, but yet hesitating because I do have quite a few questions....I will get to those in a minute. Let me first say that all of you are a great inspiration and all of these pictures of your blocks look fantastic! Thank you Brenda for putting together this great blog and allowing us to freely chat about our progress and ask for ideas and help when needed! :)
I have read every post and I still have a few beginning me, I will have sooooo many more when I truely get started, but in the meantime, here it goes: ok, I know JoAnn suggests using valdani variegated pearl cotton size 8 for the stitching...where do I find this, and do you all really recommend buying this? I have never used it before and I wasn't sure if this was the next best thing to chocolate or what?! LOL!!! :) Also when you lay your wool out onto your blocks, how are most of you attaching them to each other, hand sewing or machine, or are you just fusing them down and they are then held down by your nice crazy stitches? I need to get all my materials and supplies, so I won't start yet, but I need to understand it all first and then hope to really get moving on it.
Thanks in advance for all your help!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2 new blocks

Here are my first 2 blocks, I did 12"x24" blocks to start with and then I will do a 24"x24" so the top row will have 1 24"x24" block and 2 12"x24" blocks, and the bottom row will be the opposite with the 2 12" blocks going 1st and the 24" block going last. The horse that is on the block isn't the one that is going on there, that one is leather, just a sample, then I plan on putting a fence, a little barn, etc. on that one. The Pins take away from the 2nd block so try to look past them. OPINIONS???????

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Start

Hello Everyone!!
I was finally able to start Block 1 :)
I am finding that working with the wool and crazy patch layout is far more fun than I expected!
And then there is the applique, that has always has been a love of mine.
As I mentioned in a previous post I will be making my quilt into a stitched journal of my life, block 1 being my first 20 we have a baby carriage and a birth date so far.

I also wanted to share a little tip...instead of using pins or basting to hold down the edges of the wool pieces and keep them in place. I used a fusible tape (sewable weight) underneath the edge of the wool. I did use steam in order to get the fusing agent to melt, being careful not to scorch the may want to use a pressing cloth over the wool when pressing if you use the fusible tape.

So far I haven't had any problems sewing through the fused edge and believe it will work just fine for my quilt.

Happy Stitching everyone!!
Tammy, in it's snowing again PA

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Beginning!

Hi Everyone -

I have jumped into the wool pile - and here is my foundation block.

I like the primitive, rustic-y look so have chosen dark colors so my applique will stand out. I've just pinned it together so far - next need to stitch the seams. My foundation - I used batting, muslin and wool on the top - seems to be a bit bunchy - any suggestions? I am so excited to finally achieved "lift off!" Happy sewing to all the wool-ites!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

wool crazy

Well ladies here is my start, I love all the work everyone is doing. Better pictures next time I hope. I had to start with the crow, I love them!

I'm still adding to his block! I hoping to do some sewing after finishing the housework? What is housework! LOL

First for Nat from Australia

Woo hoo! My first block was born! I'm so excited to finally put together my first Woo Crazy block. I love how it looks so far even though I don't have as many colors as I would like. My block is only 22" square because my foundation fabric was only 22" wide. My quilt is going to be smaller than the one in the book. I am happy with that.

I think this block is going to be a garden block with flowers, birds, and yes, hearts. I have to have hearts in all the blocks. I love hearts and maybe star or two.

I only managed to embellish one bit of it so far. I just love working with wool. I love the feel of the wool and I can be free stitching the motives down without too much accuracy.

A close-up of the stitching. I used my hand-dyed pearl threads for embroidery. The instruction called for fusible web applique, but I found that wool being quite thick it didn't work very well, so I will not used fusible web again. I am going to just use small pins to keep the pieces down while stitching.

Enjoy and I hope to see you on my blog


Friday, February 19, 2010


Hi girls,
I am sooo impressed with your quilt progress,  that you are putting together, that I just HAVE to order this book, to start my version of th is.  My wonderful blogger friend Paulette has put be in touch with this fabulous blog.  Thank you so much for sharing your progress, it is very inspirational.  I cant wait to get started as soon as the book arrives.I

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Slowly but Surely

Don't know why I have had so much trouble understanding the order of wool, foundation, batting.
I have always said my brother got the brains(Phd.), my sister got the creativity(Linda Brannock) and I think I got a good touch of ADHD. The way people say things is not the way I hear them .

Ok I think I have it right tho and am beginning to put on some wool. Everyone is way ahead of me but I can't wait to get to some stitching.
Is that looking right?   Of course I have much more wool to add to the foundation.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Check In

I haven't made too much progress since last week but a little.
I took a quilt class this past week and the teacher asked if we'd bring in a little show and tell on Friday. I brought my crazy quilt and and Jean Wells, the owner of the Stitchin' Post in Sisters, borrowed my copy so she would be sure to order some in! I'm so happy word is getting around about this lovely fun quilt.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm Nat from Australia

Hi everyone. I'm Nat from Melbourne Australia. Thanks for letting me play with you and the wool. I have a pile of wool and the Wool Crazy book and now I'm ready to play! My book came quickly. I was so delighted, thank you. I have been working with crazy quilt (CQ) for ages, but this is going to be my first wool crazy. I just love the look of Wool CQ. I'm really looking forward to it.

Here are some of the felted wool that I made myself from woolen fabrics. I have been collecting 100% woolen clothing such pleated skirts, shirts and anything else I can find. After I trim off all the bands and cuffs I put them in the washing machine with the temperature setting of 194'F or 90'C. I add a small amount of wool wash liquid in with the wool fabric. I set my machine on the longest cycle with cold rinse. After the wash is finished you will get yourself beautiful felted wool.

I even got my hand dyed thread ready to be used. I love using my hand dyed thread. Some of them are silk threads. The purple blue on the right and pink and green are silk threads. Do any of you dye your own fabrics or threads?

I hope to see you on my blog sometimes at: notjustnat


Progress Block #1

Well, I got to work on my block today. Yea! So far I am not liking the contrast of the threads I used. I also feel that I could use some lighter colors of wool for some of the applique. But, so far so good, all of the background pieces are sewed down to the muslin. It has been a little hard for me to handle, maybe I need to use a hoop to help me hold it. Let me know if there are any tips for how to handle the bulk of the block while doing the embroidery. It has been years since I have done this type of stitching. On my next block I might do the applique & embroidery first and then sew the pieces to the foundation.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Roll Out Those...Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Winter..

Yes, I’m still plugging away on the Wool Crazy Quilt with five blocks done!


I added this Christmas stocking…and on the stars I put my daughters’ initials…I know it’s hard to see..I should try taking these pictures outside.


But you get the idea..


Three little chicks…P1060379

…and their mama. P1060381 Each block seems to take forever…but it is good, crazy, fun thing to do in the trailer or while sitting in the lawn chairs…YES THE SUN IS SHINING!! There’s nothing like the smell of wool mixed with sunscreen!! Ahhhh….


YIKES!! What a mess! Yes this is the back of my Wool Crazy Quilt!! Some of the other Wool Crazy bloggers ‘out there’ wanted us to share the underside! You can see that most of my stitches go right through the batting- so I am really quilting my quilt as I go! It’s a good thing that this mess will get covered when I am finished! Now I don’t want to scar you for life, so let me leave you with visions of the front rather than the back! ;o)


There you have it! My little quilt is S-L-O-W-L-Y taking shape…. Till next time…

Have a super Saturday and Happy Quilting!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Show and Tell...

Ok, so I know the back of your block is not the most glamorous part but would someone who is already working on their block post a picture of what the back is supposed to look like???
I have read the instructions over and over, and I don't get how this is supposed to work. Do your stitches go through ALL three layers?
Please do show us how yours looks, for those of us who are trailing so far behind that you can't see us...pretty please...=)

Hey Ladies


Thanks for inviting me, this will be FUN, maybe I will get in the mood to sew again. BEEN A LONG WINTER HERE. So where did everyone get their book, I haven't been able to find it anywhere yet.

thank you

Thank you for the welcome to your group.
I am a wool lover from Warsaw, Missouri and I work at Saltbox Primitive Woolens a wool store here.
Probably one of the largest  in Missouri.
I will be using my stash of recycled wool tho.  Before we had a shop we used to buy lots of wool cloths and than  spend a week at the camp ground in our campers dismanteling wool.  Good times, good memories, now we are all to busy.
I have just started putting my block together so I will have pictures soon.
Today is hooking day at the Saltbox so I am off to finish binding a rug.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hello, My name is Tammy

I have decided to come out of lurkdom (is that a word?) and say "hello"!
I also wanted to share what I am up to with the Wool Crazy project. (sorry no pics yet)

I just received my book and have been gathering and ordering wool.
This will be my first real wool project :) and I am very excited about it!
I have also ordered some Valdani pearl cotton and am not so patiently waiting for the package to arrive. I would love to start stitching especially with a big snow storm on the way tonight.

I have been giving this project quite a bit of thought and have decided that I will like to make my Wool Crazy quilt as a journal of my life.
The first block being the first 20 years of my life, the second block the second 20, the third block of what is going on in my life now and then the last block all that I hope and dream for in the future.
Four seasons of nature, four seasons of life :)

I would like to thank Kaaren for being blog hostess and for all of you who have shared your quilts thus far and inspired me.

Until next time,
Best wishes and stitches!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Update

Here’s what I have so far this Monday. My stitches need a little work, but overall I think it’s coming along OK. I think mine will be a bit more prim then the original, but that’s what will make it mine. I’m hoping to see my stitches improve. I’ve had to remove and resew a few times. Later in the week I’ll be able to get some more thread to work with and that may help too.

Is everybody else getting a good start?

I updated the photo since it didn't seem like you could see much. I wasn't using my regular computer when I posted this earlier.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Let's Get Serious..

Quilting Sue thinks that my Raggedy Andy is looking for his Raggedy Ann…what ‘ROMANCE’ happening on MY quilt? I kind of like the idea…sick as it may be…. But I got to watch that Quilting Sue!! She is a bad influence!!

So what have I been up to? Quilting/sewing is not as easy as it sounds in a small 5th Wheel…So last night I got organized…

I pulled out ALL my wool…which isn’t that much as most of it is at home! I organized it into colours and put it into pile. I traced 6 or 7 of my favourite appliqué projects onto heat and bond (I use it like freezer paper), ironed it onto the wrong side of my wool pieces and put each block into it’s own little bag.

P1060256 I took the cat appliqué pattern and cut off the head and drew my own Molly dog head. I have to wait to do a Rylie dog as I have no black and white wool. See how easy it is to make this quilt your own..!

P1060258 Now I am ready to do some serious stitching…AND no Raggedy Ann is not in one of those bags…yet..!

Have a super Sunday and Happy Stitching!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Block One...Done!!

Block one is ALMOST done…just a few more little pink roses around the top and I get to pick my next appliqué design! So exciting!!

I spent the last two evening whip stitching all the edges of the crazy blocks…it makes it so much easier as now I don’t have to worry about fraying.


I am using #8 perle cotton and I LOVE it!! No fraying, tangling or breaking! I will NEVER use embroidery floss again!!


JoAnn was right…working on a flat surface and using a #2 Crewel needle does the trick!! It was a pleasure working on the rest of this block!


Flat surfaces are scarce in our 5th wheel so I used my computer lap table…worked like a charm!


How is your Crazy Quilt coming along?

Happy stitching to you!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

wool craziness

A little progress!  You can check out more pics, tips and info on my personal blog:   (I have included the source of the tea dye spray)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What a day!! What a SHOP! WHAT A QUILT!

The Country Loft in La Mesa, California is an INCREDIBLE quilt shop…EVERYONE needs to go there at least once. It’s like Disneyland for the quilter…a shop full of GOOD THINGS at every turn…sensory overload!

Before I share the Country Loft with you, I need to introduce you to JoAnn Mullaly, the autor of Wool Crazy! JoAnn’s sister is the owner of Country Loft and JoAnn teaches class there twice a week.


This is JoAnn and look what is hanging to her right!! The original Wool Crazy quilt!! Gorgeous is an understatement!! I’m sorry about the glare but the window was right above the quilt…and it is sunny California! You only see the top two squares of the quilt as a shelf is in front of the rest. JoAnn is as nice as her smile!! She was wonderful…talked about her quilt and gave us all kinds of tips…which I had better share today before I forget them!!


JoAnn used number 8 Valdani Perle Cotton to do her fancy seam stitches as she really wanted to have them pop…she really achieved her goal..Her beautiful stitches really make your jaw drop! Just lovely!!


And her embroidery work really brings her appliqué figures to life..Look at Santa holding the twig of babies breath…it’s these little touches that REALLY make this quilt.

P1050962 P1050963

Both these pictures are of the border…perfect!!

Tip Number ONE~ If you can, go with the batting behind your appliqué work!! It makes each little appliqué figure pop even more! I asked her if she had stuffed certain shapes and she said no it was the batting that gave that effect. Loved it!

Tip Number TWO~

When you are working on your stitching, work on a flat surface. Spread your block out and work that way..then it won’t be as bulky.

Tonight when I work on my block I am going to get my laptop computer board out and try working on that. I think it will help a lot!!


Tip Number THREE~ Use Crewel Number 2 Needles when doing your fancy stitches on your seams as they handle the bulk better. JoAnn said they work like a dream. These needles are even bigger than the Chenille #24 needles that Claire suggested. (I used the Chenille #24 last time I worked on my block and it was WAY easier so I can’t wait to try my new Crewel needles).


Here’s JoAnn’s little house…notice how it is slightly wonky…but that is what gives it charm. I think I need to remind myself that my appliqué pieces shouldn’t be perfect….also it’s the embroidery that gives it that whimsical, primitive look!


All in all, I learned a lot from my visit to the Country Loft!! JoAnn and her sister were wonderful. And very approachable…JoAnn said numerous times that if we have any questions she’s only a click away…

So ladies let’s get Crazy…Wool CRAZY!! But first I’m off to the Clubhouse for quilting!! Yikes, I don’t want to be late!

Tomorrow I will show you around my NUMBER ONE favourite quilting shop! Yes, Country Loft has now taken the title of being the BEST of THE BEST!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday and Happy Quilting!

Did anyone notice that JoAnn left a comment full of great tips? Dorothy you need to read the comments and it will give you a lot of the information you need. There are many resources online for wool. You won't need a lot of any one color.

I have to say that there is certainly a learning curve when it comes to stitching the appliques and seams. It is getting easier for me and I've found ways to hold the piece without bunching it all up, especially when I am working toward the center. I did put warm and natural on the back and I'm liking it a lot, just don't pick it up to take a few stitches while wearing black!!


Questions From An Aussie “Wool-ite”

I’ve taken the liberty to copy and paste this email here in order for you all to see and to offer suggestions to Dorothy’s questions.  Please take a moment to read it and for those of you who have started their journey, do you have any tips that you might want to share with Dorothy?

Thanks gals,

Kaaren ♥


My name is Dorothy and I live in Australia and have just bought the Crazy Quilt book.

I have sewn two wool quilts from  Primitive Gatherings and smaller wool items too.

The biggest hurdle I have is getting wool. I have bought a lot online and have even dyed old wool coats and jackets because in a land of Merino sheep there is no wool in the shops.

I attained Sue Spargo's class last year in Melbourne and started her Magnolia quilt.

She brought all the wool with her. She is coming back in August and it would be great to see her again. The wool when we can get it is $24 a Fat1/4.

I came across your blog and it has already shown me that the wool looks lumpy

until it is sewn down. Your pictures of what you are doing are so encouraging, please keep on putting up your photos. 

Can I ask?  Are you putting cotton batting behind as stated in the book and how hard is it to sew through all thicknesses?

I don't have a blog, maybe I should start one though I seem to spend enough time online as it is.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

wool, applique, embroidery, craziness

Hey gals...
The wool craziness has started in my world.  Here's my link to my blog posting.
It's been a while since I've worked with wool as the base of the project.  Still loving it.
Also loving seeing all the other works in progress on all your sites.

Layout , Marj's block

I traced the things that I wanted to use from the book and decided where to put them. Next I will have to cut out all the little pieces.

Monday, February 1, 2010




This is what I have finished as of last night. I’ve had to change my thinking a little because of the thickness of the seams. I did two basic stitches with the seams basted and it wasn’t working for me. So I decided I would whipstitch the seams closed with matching thread and do the decorative stitches directly over the whipstitch. I have a few more appliqué shapes I’d like to get stitched down, then I’ll do a bit of embroidery.

Anybody else having a difficult time stitching with it being so thick?


Yesterday I started stitching my Crazy Wool quilt and I must admit I was wondering what I was doing wrong! I’m not new to working with wool…I have made about ten wool runners and table toppers and just recently made a wool quilt …and they were all a joy to make. So why was this so difficult?

This Crazy Quilt, although it is only 24 inches, felt big and bulky and the needle didn’t want to slip through the wool like it use to! YIKES!Remember I am stitching through wool, the muslin foundation and the batting. It felt a lot like machine quilting a big bulky know the part where you are trying to quilt the middle of the quilt…well that’s what this felt like. I think it was because I started on the middle block and with the bulk of the batting I couldn’t grab the quilt with my left hand like I use to… but once I got use to the struggle of working with the bulk of the batting it became easier. And I’m sure the other blocks will go much quicker and be less painful as the bulk will be less…or at least I hope so…


My friend, Claire suggested using a Chenille needle #24 and she was right~ it does go through the wool MUCH easier.

Chenille #24 needles have a larger eye to accommodate the perle cotton or wool thread. Because the needle is a lot thicker it makes a larger hole in the fabric which makes it easier for the thread to pass through the fibres. This is especially important if you are using the wool threads as they get worn very easily and the fibres rub off. I even found this with my table toppers.. I would often use shorter lengths of thread to avoid this from happening. Also Claire warned us that when our appliqué pieces are tiny, the chenille needle is too big to use for sewing them on. But it should be perfect for doing the stitching along the seams of the crazy quilt- Don’t worry…I will keep you posted!!

(You can get a package of Chenille needles #24 for $1.49 at Michael’s.) P1050940

So now you know…I live in a blue house, with a yellow/orange rose bush growing up the front arbour and a big tree off to one side…ahhhhh HOME…I think I’m getting homesick!!

Today I am off to downtown Palm Springs with two gals from home. We thought we would do a bit of ‘window shopping’, hang with the movie stars and have a bit of lunch…:o)

Oh, and tomorrow…we are off to San Diego…my husband will so some sightseeing…(yes…I will look at his pictures…ha ha). Where will I be you ask?? Why I will be killing time in the Country Loft Quilt Shop~ hopefully talking to JoAnn Mullaly author of “Wool Crazy” and doing a bit of shopping!! I will also be stopping off at The Fat Quarter Shop in Vista!!

Ahhh…retirement is grand!!

Have a marvellous Monday and Happy Quilting!!