It was in December that I learned through a friend of the Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) and the Take A Stitch Tuesday (TAST) Challenges. With my love of needlework and quilting, the two just seemed to go together.
The CQJP challenge is to create one crazy quilt block each month for 12 months. This is really a challenge for me as I sometimes have difficulty with any creation that needs to appear random. (I tend to “like all my ducks lined up in a row”). Cutting and placing the patches randomly will be quite a test for me.
The TAST challenge presents a new embroidery embellishment stitch every Tuesday, with the challenge to master the stitch and create a design.
For the CQJP, I decided on one 12” block per month, with each block based on that calendar month, symbolizing events I wanted to remember. With a new stitch presented weekly, each block will include the 4 stitches of the month.
January’s block is entitled “Starry, Starry Night”. I’ve always loved the song, “Vincent” by Don McLean. A portion of the lyrics reads
Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey,……
Catch the breeze and the winter chills,
In colors on the snowy linen land.
I now spend my winters in Yuma, AZ, where there is no snow, but having spent most of my life in Indiana, USA, I love a starlit winter night, when the light of the stars and moon cast shades of blue over the snow banks. My block attempts to convey that beauty.
This week’s work on the block was on the upper left corner. I embroidered the letters “CQPJ”. I also incorporated the fly stitch from the first week of TAST.
The sample on the stitch instructional site that resembled a fern inspired me to create ocotillos from the stitch. We spend our winters in the southwestern desert area of the U.S. The ocotillo looks like a group of dry sticks until after a late winter rain, then it quickly sprouts green leaves, and has a beautiful red bloom on each “branch”.
I tried to illustrate the ocotillo of the desert in the first square of a sampler that will grow throughout this year with each week’s stitch. The tiny block is on 22 ct hardanger, hence is only about 1 1/4” tall.
For the quilt block, I used the stitch between two patches, but the same stitch also created the stars and the snowflakes in the plain blue patch. Remember, this will be only 1/4 of the completed block.