Work-In-Progress: Janice Vaine’s Embroidery & Patchwork Revisited

Inspiration is the beginning of the creative process. The creative process for my next book, Embroidery & Patchwork Revisited, began with an antique quilt and the stitches of a needle artist from the past.

Antique Crazy Quilt
I immediately fell in love with this antique quilt when I saw it in a shop called Quilts from Mulberry Lane.

I was intrigued with this quilt the first moment I saw it. Although it may be defined as a crazy quilt, I was drawn by its unique lack of ornate embellishment…no ribbon or lace or fancy velvets and silks. The cloth patchwork was simply complemented with basic embroidery stitches and crewel yarn. The simplicity of the quilt is its eloquence.

My quilting bucket list included a crazy quilt. I must admit up to this point a crazy quilt was intimidating.  There are numerous methods for making the crazy blocks, not to mention all the possibilities of stitches and ribbons and threads and beads and buttons to embellish the blocks. I seriously considered a crazy quilt might be the one item never checked off the list.

But the more I looked over this embroidered treasure, the more I was inspired by its creator to take on the project. Studying the quilt I found 12 basic stitches, a dozen or so repeated floral motifs and 8 thread colors. This seemed doable.

And so the process began…

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Pulled lots of fabric…
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Began working from the center out…


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Added touches of embroidery…
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with some help…


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Pieced and embroidered blocks…with lots of help from talented friends and family
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added more embroidery….


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Watched it grow…
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…and grow…
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And come together…
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Added the final touches of embroidery…


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the binding…
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the label…


And the final result…

Was it as hard as I thought? No! I planned a simple way to piece the patchwork blocks (as is shown in the book). The fans pieced together easily. Each block was worked as a mini quilt as we had fun doodling with thread and stitches to add the embroidery to the patchwork.

Should you decide one or two mini quilts are your limit, the book offers smaller projects such as this block case or tote.

This lovely project can be used to store and carry the blocks that you’re working on.
Embroidered Patchwork Tote Bag
This embroidered patchwork tote bag is great for carrying a larger project while you’re working on it…or as a weekend bag for a quick getaway vacation!

I hope our quilt and the projects in Embroidery & Patchwork Revisited offer inspiration for your creative process!

Do you enjoy handwork? What are you eager to learn about embroidery and “crazy quilts”?

    • E.B. Updegraff

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