This is what Allie looked like when I first met her. It was 2006.
I'll never forget it. Those curves!! What color! How she sparkled!
I had just just learned to crazy quilt and was busy absorbing everything I could find. I found this picture on Flickr and saved it to my favorites...and proceeded to track Allie down and was delighted to find she had a blog...Allie's in Stitches.
"How did you do that curved piecing?", I wrote. And she told me how she did it, God love her.
We became closer online friends as I watched her work through this quilt, Crazy for Flowers, which I also love and admire:
I have learned so much from Allie and her generous spirit throughout the years so I couldn't have been more thrilled when she told me she would be writing her first book!
Woohoo! All of her wisdom in one place...I couldn't wait.
So, yesterday, when the book arrived in the mail, I made a big cup of hot tea, sat down in my reading chair and opened Allie's book. And I was mesmerized for the next few hours.
I love love love all her ideas for piecing...curved piecing, freezer paper piecing, chunk piecing...it all gives flexibility to building CQ blocks. I often have small bits of beloved fabrics and Allie's ideas for piecing makes best use of those precious fabrics with minimal waste. Yay!
I loved the discussion of using different weights and types of threads and fabrics. And loved that the focus wasn't really on seam treatments (though the seam treatment eye candy on page 38 is pretty great)...
Allie was targeting the book to sane quilters who might want to try CQ. So, she gives many ideas for making quilts of your crazy work...But, for a non-quilter like me, I found the book even more useful.
I came to CQ as an embroiderer and not a quilter, so this book is a treasury of ideas for how to quilt, finish and bind my blocks into large projects. Something I am not so good at. Without a doubt, this book was written to be used and referred to again and again. There isn't another CQ book quite like it out there.
I think this book will now give me the confidence to try a full quilt.
My favorite tricks of all...are on pages 25, 30 and 99...I'll share them over the next few weeks as I try them in my own work.
There are 14 original crazy quilts in the gallery section many from folks that I have admired over the years. Honestly, these ladies are talented. They're each more lovely than the next.
The last part of Allie's book has six projects with step by step instructions to complete each one.
But it's this project...
This soft doll...The Dreaming Maiden...
That is nearest and dearest to my heart.
Over two years ago, Allie asked if I would be willing to make this doll and create my own version to be included in her book?
*Gulp* "Are you serious?" Wow. What an honor. To be honest, half of me was thrilled and howling at the moon; and the other was scared half to death.
Long story short. I decided to make Allie a Queen. It couldn't have been anything else.
A Queen for my friend Allie, the Queen of Flowers.
Thank you Allie for your book. And thank you for including so many of us in its pages.
Better clean yourselves up for tomorrow...the Queen is coming to Plays with Needles...
(Note: I wrote another post about Allie here...after she came to teach to our Guild...)