All That Jazz Katrina fundraiser crazy quilt blocks

Marie Alton

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hand embroidered crazy quilt block

Marie Alton: statement

I’ve never been New Orleans, but it is one place that I would liked to have visited at some point in time. The utter devastation that recently invaded the South has left such cruel ominous scars, not only to the landscape, but to all of the souls who called it "home". Those of us watching could only witness the unimaginable power of nature that warrants a rating of Category 5 Hurricane. My heart goes out to all of those who have lost so much, and I wanted to do "something" to help but a simple monetary donation just didn’t seem to be enough. With this project, the end result will be the same, but magnified substantially. The reward has been enhanced by the fact that I am now doing something with others who feel and want the do what we’re best at.... and to put our hearts into a stitch with love and hope that we want to share.

Thanks to Sharon B and friends for organizing this wonderful event and envisioning a creative medium that will allow us collectively to contribute more than we could alone. I am thrilled to be amongst such a talented roster of artists, many of whom I have long admired and been inspired by. I am entirely certain that the efforts of this group will produce one awesome well as wonderful smaller pieces composed from the other donated blocks....all of which will help the Katrina Relief effort.

Project Notes

When I began reading the project outline, my mind immediately began to envision a creation... and I love when that happens! It is so inspiring to see things....and then create them.

The jewel tones and bright colour accents enhance the they have long been my favourites to create with.

I wanted to add a lot of theme motifs......and began by considering what things New Orleans has long been famous Mardis Gras, the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, music and more.

The sun....was the first. I had a small piece of fabric with the sun printed on it. I simply enhanced the printed gold lines with gold thread, as well as black and red on the face, then gathered it over a padded plastic form.
Bullion rays were added after it was anchored down and the red rays to enhance.

The Bourbon St. sign.....created a la stump work.....the lettering was computer printed and the outlines of the letters worked over the paper onto the fabric with backstitching, the paper then removed and the lettering filled in with find metallic cord. This wee piece took nearly 10 hours to create.

The same transfer method was used to script the "Mardi Gras" and "French Quarter".

The wrought iron work on the top right is a combination of metallic thread and Jet Glass (from Victoria Adams Brown) was used for the finial ends. Once I created the fence.....I filled in around it with a garden of French Knot Roses.

The rambling musical notes......a tribute to the "jazz" thing! The lines were backstitched then whipstitched and the notes tacked on. I don’t read music....and have no idea how it would sound if these notes were
played....but am sure it’d sound jazzy!

The Mardis Gras influences......after a bit of searching and viewing video segments of the annual event....I selected a few things that are conducive to it. The mask is a combination of crochet and needle tatting with beads. The necklaces and coins are gifts that are thrown to the crowds from floats. The crown is another popular symbol; this one was crocheted from gold cable, and the jewels added when attached.

The cards are symbolic of the gambling that the area is known for...and gee....that would be a winning hand!

Last but not least.....the beaded magnolia.....picked up on this idea after seeing a recent newsletter article about beaded flowers....and it came out fabulous! Thanks to Maureen Greeson and Shirlee Fassell for the inspiration!

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©Marie Alton