January 13, 2015
Barbara's Crazy Quilt Blocks
I'm beginning the year piecing blocks for a slow cloth project, my Mexican Jenny crazy quilt. This quilt is a meditation on the story of Mexican Jenny, the woman who I wrote about in my book: a prostitute who killed her husband in a domestic violence altercation, and then made a crazy quilt while incarcerated in Colorado in the early 1900s.
I don't know about you, but when I piece blocks, it's a messy job. I haul out all kinds of supplies, many of which end up strewn across the floor.
I began by collecting images that are historically relevant. Some of these are images of women from vintage French postcards, others are from ads or other media.
I use transfer paper to make motifs that I iron onto linen. This is the kind of paper you can use to make transfers for decorating t-shirts. These motifs are the focal points of the blocks. I like using this medium because the images are crisp, but the downside is that you have to be careful not to iron them because they'll melt.
I've sewn up 10 blocks so far, and my goal is to finish the first round of 16 before I put away the supplies and start embellishing. The blocks and the center medallion are connected by the repeated use of some of the same fabrics.
Here's a peek a a few blocks.