Are you having fun yet? It really feels good! My Crazy Sheep quilt got accepted to be in the Road2CA show, and I had it appraised last week so I can ship it off worry-free. The fun part is finally being finished. I haven’t wanted to add anything to the quilt since it was appraised. From the time I photographed it for jurying into the show, I must admit, I was still adding some more details. This is new experience for me, since I don’t normally enter shows. I usually don’t have time to work on something as intricate as this quilt. Where did the time come from? The quilt was always calling to me to be working on it; I couldn’t put it down. If you have seen me at any of the shows we did this year, the quilt was with me and usually I was working on it or showing it or explaining it and how it grew from the Woolly Sheep pattern which I designed in 1998 to Crazy Sheep today. Passion has a lot to do with getting quilts finished. It sure beats the alternative: cleaning, doing dishes, or the all time fave, emptying cat boxes. Yes, there are some dust bunnies living at my house, but that is nothing compared to the month and a half we had a chipmunk living with us. Chipmunks can really run fast.
I started this quilt when I bought the woolen remnants at a Creativ Festival show in Toronto about 17 years ago. The fabrics stayed in a pile for many years, then I got the brainy thought: What would sheep look like in pinstripes? I started applique-ing all my sheep by fusing the sheep in pinstripes and solids onto background wools from my collection. The backgrounds were odd shapes so putting the sheep together in a crazy quilt was the only arrangement that made sense. Then I put the blocks away in a bag and they didn't come out until two years ago. I became interested in felting, a craft that uses wool roving pushed into a background fabric to make a design. It was a perfect technique for my sheep, except that I had satin stitched them, and raw edge stitching would have been easier for felting. Oh well, I muddled through the felting of the edges of the sheep okay. Then I learned that I could actually make portraits of the sheep for the cornerstones of the quilt. At the Quilters Unlimited show in Dulles, VA, I had bought some wool that was right off a sheep's back in Charlottesville VA. It was full of brambles and lanolin and had to be washed with dish washing detergent before I felted it onto the largest of my sheep appliques. then some of the curls ended up on the sheep's heads in the corners. I learned how to draw in wool. What an amazing discovery.