Monday, February 1, 2010


Yesterday I started stitching my Crazy Wool quilt and I must admit I was wondering what I was doing wrong!  I’m not new to working with wool…I have made about ten wool runners and table toppers and just recently made a wool quilt …and they were all a joy to make.  So why was this so difficult? 

This Crazy Quilt, although it is only 24 inches, felt big and bulky and the needle didn’t want to slip through the wool like it use to! YIKES!Remember I am stitching through wool, the muslin foundation and the batting.  It felt a lot like machine quilting a big bulky know the part where you are trying to quilt the middle of the quilt…well that’s what this felt like.  I think it was because I started on the middle block and  with the bulk of the batting I couldn’t grab the quilt with my left hand like I use to…  but once I got use to the struggle of working with the bulk of the batting it became easier.  And I’m sure the other blocks will go much quicker and be less painful as the bulk will be less…or at least I hope so…


My friend, Claire suggested using a Chenille needle #24 and she was right~ it does go through the wool MUCH easier. 

Chenille #24 needles have a larger eye to accommodate the perle cotton or wool thread. Because the needle is a lot thicker it makes a larger hole in the fabric which makes it easier for the thread to pass through the fibres. This is especially important if you are using the wool threads as they get worn very easily and the fibres rub off. I even found this with my table toppers.. I would often use shorter lengths of thread to avoid this from happening. Also Claire warned us that  when our appliqué pieces are tiny, the chenille needle is too big to use for sewing them on. But it should be perfect for doing the stitching along the seams of the crazy quilt- Don’t worry…I will keep you posted!!

(You can get a package of Chenille needles #24 for $1.49 at Michael’s.) P1050940

So now you know…I live in a blue house, with a yellow/orange rose bush growing up the front arbour and a big tree off to one side…ahhhhh HOME…I think I’m getting homesick!!

Today I am off to downtown Palm Springs with two gals from home.  We thought we would do a bit of ‘window shopping’, hang with the movie stars and have a bit of lunch…:o)

Oh, and tomorrow…we are off to San Diego…my husband will do some sightseeing…(yes…I will look at his pictures…ha ha).  Where will I be you ask??  Why I will be killing time in the Country Loft Quilt Shop~ hopefully talking to JoAnn Mullaly author of “Wool Crazy” and doing a bit of shopping!!  I will also be stopping off at The Fat Quarter Shop in Vista!! 

Ahhh…retirement is grand!!

Have a marvellous Monday and Happy Quilting!!


  1. It's looking fabulous. The chenille needle is perfect for this type of work - has a nice point to pierce all the layers.

    Enjoy your outings.

  2. I will see if I have that one, have tons of them and always struggling with it. You got me motivated to try one of my own, so I am working on a wool block for fun. I have the crazy quilt book and an old clarks booklet with embroidery stitches, not the easiest things to figure out, lol. I do not use batting, the wool layers and back are enough and then if I make it into a quilt, I will use a heavy backing, so no need for batting on wool quilts.


  3. Your block is coming along nicely. I am taking your advice and am not adding the batting before doing the stitching. That is also the directions from the extra instructions in the Primitive Gatherings BOM.
    Have fun on your travels.

  4. Retirement does sound grand and you're alway making the best of it! :)

  5. When we stopped in San Diego last year on our cruise, I ventured out to Rosie's Calico Cupboard. Check out her website, as they have monthly coupons. I really enjoyed visiting her quilt shop.

  6. That does sound tricky with all of those layers. I'm not sure if I will add the batting layer. It does make it more "quilted" with it on there I guess. I love your little house!

    Have fun at CL and FQ!!! So fun and yes, I'm jealous. That will be OK if you get some good pictures, though. ;-) Have fun hangin' with the movie stars, too.

  7. I've been catching up on you and your doings and as usual, now I need a cup of tea and a sit down! Your quilt sounds like hard work, but its going to be lovely. All those embroidery stitches will be a sinch...maybe? The quilts your fellows are working on are lovely, very jolly. The squiff ones are really funny although I was horrified at the first photo and thought the next would be entitled 'Swearing Quilter'! I might try it sometime, but my family would make endless rude remarks I daresay...Keep up the good work! Oh, and remember to pressurise your tyres if you have a too successful time Garage sale-ing...Could be a long way to push the 5th wheel home...and all uphill too...!!!!!!!

  8. Are you really doing embroidery through all 3 layers? Even the tiny blanket stitches? Yikes, indeed! That sounds really hard. Your little house/roses/tree are darling. This is going to be an incredible heirloom, Paulette.

  9. If you learn something every day you know you are travelling in the right direction. Looking forward to hearing about tomorrow.

  10. If you get this in time, there is another quilt shop in San Diego that is nice called Rosie's Calico Cupboard on El Cajon Blvd. It is a place I like to visit.

    Love your wool quilts... reminds me I have a wool quilt of my grandmother's I need to put back together. Enjoy yourself tomorrow!

  11. Oh my gosh that is so darling! Have fun tomorrow!

  12. It's a tough life, but someone's got to do it!

  13. Lordy me, how did I miss that yo finished that amazing quilt???
    It looks so so nice!
    Are you going to hand quilt it?

  14. It really sounds good to be retired!

  15. I have the supplies to start my Wool Crazy- in reading your post, I have a question-I thought I just did the stitching through the muslin and the wool, but you indicated that you also stitched through the batting- that makes sense- I just didn't realize i was supposed to do that -What kind of batting did you use?