Sometimes, as the fox advises the Little Prince, “what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
I am reminded of that with every state fair project, because when all is said and done, the only thing that remains are the pieces that worked.
What is invisible are all of the pieces that were made and then set aside or frogged because they somehow didn’t fit, be it size, shape, or aesthetic.
But truth be told, each of those pieces that didn’t work is essential to creating the pieces that do — which is where I found myself this weekend.
There are some common shapes in a crazy quilt, and triangles of various and sundry sizes are one of those shapes.
They are perfect for filling in the odd spaces that are created when you are fitting together things that were not necessarily made to fit together perfectly. The triangles bridge gaps and smooth things over, and so coming up with one that can be made to fit any errant space is an important component of crochet crazy quilting.
I was having mixed success with my efforts, and at some point yesterday, I decided that this was a problem that needed solving. Hook in hand and stash at my side, I was determined to crochet triangles until I got something that worked well and could be reliably reproduced.
Here is the problem I sought to remedy:
The finished triangle was lumpy in one corner, and while I could no doubt mask it with embroidery once it was in place, it wasn’t as elegant on its own as I wanted it to be.
So I spent a good chunk of my Saturday working on “the perfect triangle.”
I tried any number of ways of decreasing and turning in a effort to get the smooth edge and regular pointed corners of the ideal Platonic triangle that was in my head, but each one came up short in some way. There was a gap in the stitches or the edges were bumpy or some ineffable something just wasn’t right.
Then, this morning, having finally exhausted all the ways of doing it wrong that I could conceive of, I finally got it right:
Perhaps this triangle does not look as perfect to others as it does to me, but I finally had a triangle worthy of being next to the brick house crazy quilt motif I had started:
or filling in a space next to this orange vase of purple flowers:
Crazy quilt crochet, as it turns out, is not an efficient method to quickly turn out a project, but it is (either despite or because of of the challenges) an enormously fulfilling endeavor.