Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Allie Aller's Crazy Quilting

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 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...)


Judy S. said...

You're in Allie's book! Wow, after reading your post, now I know this book needs to be on my shelf. Thanks! (And I also need to read about your doll....!)

Emerald Window said...

A stunning art. I can't wait to read the book!

Carol said...

I just added this book to a list of books to buy. I love her style. Its rather contemporary and I love that. Now that you gave me a peek and I found the Queen of Flowers, I'll move it up to the top of the list.

Great post Susan.

Momma Bear said...

I have just gotten my copy and have been pouring over it and falling asleep to it!
I too have been a devotee of Miss Allies lovely work.
I have also been following your blog as seriously ( you and Allie being my CQ hero's!) and it comes to my mind, you have a thing or two to teach the rest of us too.
you have an eclectic style that covers many genres and knits them together very nicely.
when are you going to bless us with a book of your own?
no pressure,
just lighting a little fire.
anyone want to add kindling?

coral-seas said...

OMG! How did you keep that quiet for so long. No wonder you were howling at the moon.

Allie is in deed a tallented and inspirational artist but so are you, my friend. If I could write a book, I'd definitely want you as a guest writer (and photographer).

I'm off to polish my tiara. I can't wait to meet her majesty.

shawkl said...

Allie's book is at the top of my HAVE to HAVE list! I'm trying to talk my daughter into getting it for me...but don't think I can hold off much longer. Especially after your colorful post!

Lisa said...

Allie's book arrived at my house earlier in the week! I've read it through from cover to cover at least 3 times. Your review of it is wonderful! And so delightful to see the work of so many talented people in it! I too was so glad to see so many helpful hints, especially some of the finishing ones as that is always where I struggle.

I agree with MommaBear that you also should think about doing a book! You have such a terrific way of putting things together as well as writing about them and your photographs of your projects are amazing!

Allison Ann Aller said...

Susan, I've been telling you the same thing, haven't I? You have so much to offer in so many ways...we would all love a book out of you!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart...

Createology said...

Congratulations Susan. How exciting to be published. I have visited Allie's blog and really enjoy her work. Happy stitching...

Chris Daly said...

Oh Susan, that's so exciting. I just found this book on the internet yesterday and added it to my birthday wish list. I can't wait to see all of her beautiful work and it makes it so much sweeter to know that your work is inside too.

The Blissful Banter of a Creative Crafter said...

Thank you for This piece about Allie's book. Lovely book!

Ingrid Mida said...

Congratulations on having your doll included in the book.
It sounds like the book for me too. Although I seem to be buying lots of books and not quite being fearless enough to actually make any of it!

Queen Bee's Musings said...

I just received my book this week! I noticed and loved the dolls. Now more excited to connect it you! Loved the book also and allies work. Very happy for you.

Rachel said...

How exciting to be included in Allie's book!

Gerry Krueger said...

There's not enough praise we can heap on Allie and so glad to see her in April... My copy has arrived and is first on my list now that Cathy as abandoned me... See you soon.... Gerry K.
and do write a book in your spare time!!!!

Nicki Lee said...

Ok ... you've convinced me! I have been patiently waiting to buy a copy of Allie's book at the CQ Adventure but now after reading all about it here I have to buy it NOW - I can't wait any longer! CVongratulaitons to you both.

BTW - I will be one of the first in line when it comes time for you to write your book - soon I hope!

Elizabeth said...

Well Allies book is at the top of my list bt now even more so that I know you are in it with your work!!! WHOOO HOOOOOOOO!!! When we meet at the Bead Store I ahd better have a copy of it for you to sign!!!!!! You are such an amazingly gifted and giving person Susan- I am so thrilled to call you my good friend!! Big Hugs!!

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