A Crazy Year in Texas

Barbara Blankenship © 2012

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I am delighted to introduce my crazy quilt block of the month design in this issue of CQMagOnline. This is something Iíve dreamed of doing but always remained doubtful of my abilities to accomplish such a daunting task.

Iíve chosen ďA Crazy Year in TexasĒ as a name for my crazy quilt, as it is a calendar design depicting the seasons, celebrations and holidays of Texas. Each issue of CQMagOnline will feature one of the remaining blocks.

I am very fortunate to have sixteen crazy quilters testing my patterns and working at their own pace. Itís been such a wonderful experience seeing how they interpret a design in their favorite fabrics, threads, ribbon, etc. I will be sharing photos of their work as well in the upcoming issues.

By: Barbara Blankenship, designer


  • Texas seasons, celebrations, and holidays
  • Spider web & spider in Swarovski crystal (birthstone of the month)
  • Flower of the month

The focal point in this January block is the fiber tree. Iíve used the Diva Custom Cordmaker by Fibergoddess and approximately 18 various fibers to form the trunk and branches. The majority of the fibers are Kreinik 1/8Ē ribbon, 1/16Ē ribbon and #16 braid in various shades and colors. For the wispy look I've added several matching eyelash yarns.

The leaves are burnished Hanah silk ribbon and the icicles are a treasured gift from Terry Albright with My Glass Garden:

If you look on the left side of the tree you will find a Cretan Stitched pinecone nest with a red cardinal.

In the photos below you will see various other techniques used by my group to form the tree, including twisting and couching as well as needle felting. In the above photo the tree is made with Hanah silk ribbon, twisted and shaped. Maureen Graham has used antique bugle beads for icicles, and they swing loosely with the movement of the block.

The snowman is made with large buttons, and his hat is crocheted in a freeform design. Pictured here is Julieís motif.

There are both beaded and stitched snowflakes. The beaded pattern I used on my block is featured in Bead Creative Art Quilts written by Nancy Eha.

Pictured here are several additional designs the ladies have chosen to use. Claudette has stitched this first motif and the second one, which includes a pinecone branch, is stitched by Julie.

I enjoy using the Dream-A-Seam templates created by Carole Samples. For example, the gold pyramids are made using the 04C template. This template is one of my favorites and Iíve used it to create some of the stitched snowflakes as well.

In the upper right corner are three leaves drawn using Miss Caroleís 21B template. Iíve used a Cretan Stitch and 4mm silk ribbon on this motif, and the branches are made with a beaded feather stitch. This photo is taken from Lynnisí block.

A Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches written by Carole Samples is a wonderful resource and companion piece to the Dream-A-Seam Templates. It is out of print and difficult to find, but a great book should you ever have the opportunity to purchase one.

I absolutely love using Kreinik Threads and they are a must in every block I make. I used the #8 metallic fine braid to form the spokes of my spider web and Bijoux thread for the finer web.

Pictured here is the bird nest Lois added to her tree. 

Among the branches of her tree, Jan has added a tiny red cardinal.

Julie has added a beautiful motif of carnations, the flower for January.

Before beginning my blocks I jotted down a list of over one hundred various stitches. With each block I have introduced a number of these stitches and plan to use everyone with the completion of the quilt. In this January block I have used the following stitches: Fly, Stem, Colonial Knot, Chevron, Straight, Beaded Feather.

The following photos are the work of ten very talented crazy quilters who are following along and testing each of my patterns. Their work is amazing, and itís such an honor to have them work with my block designs.

by: Jan Campbell

By: Julie Yonge

By: Lynnis Burt

By: Claudette Dirznowski

By: Lois Calvert

By: Melanie Hollenshead

By: Karen Dorris

By: Teresa Agler

By: Teresa Duncan

By: Connie Chi

By: Chris Strickland.


Fibergoddess http://www.fibergoddess.net 

My Glass Garden: http://www.myglassgarden.com/ 

Bijoux thread: https://www.stitchingbitsandbobs.com/cgi-bin/Store/pageread.cgi?Bijoux 

Hanah Silk http://www.artemisinc.com 

Kreinik Thread http://www.kreinik.com 

Dream-A-Seam Templates by Carole Samples: Currently unavailable through the winter and early spring. Please check mail order activities after May 15, 2012

Note: Photo content cannot be copied, reproduced or used without the specific permission of the artist

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