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crazy for crazy quilts....

I have to admit that although I have absolutely no desire to make a crazy quilt—I really do love them. 

In fact I love the unholy mess of them.  There’s a charm in the odd mix of whacky fabrics in different weights, shapes and sizes.  Few of these fabrics are what I’d call “pretty” on their own, but somehow the collage of all that old repurposed garment fabric sewn together in a haphazard sort of way and then top stitched with fanciful embroidery, gives them a personality all their own. 

I’ve seen some wonderful examples of crazy quilts in quilt shows and museums, but it wasn’t until just recently that I had a chance to spend some significant quality time with one. 

Allison brought in a crazy quilt top (pictured right) to be finished.  She told me that her father found this in his mother’s attic.  Since he doesn’t remember his mom making quilts, they think that it was probably the work of his grandmother--her great-grandmother! 

The crazy quilt craze really took off in the late 19th century during the Victorian era but we can date this quilt top to the 1920s because of the fabrics used in it.  We can also tell that this was a collaborative effort, probably made in a quilting bee by multiple ladies because the size of the embroidery stitches varies across the top. 

A close up shot of the top reveals the elegant embroidery stitching done by different hands. 

You can also see how the fabric has worn well in most places.  But sadly, time is not kind to fabric like the red satin.  Eventually it will fade and disintegrate with light and age.  But I don’t worry about “fixing” this sort of thing because I consider it to be the “patina” of an old vintage piece.  What antique doesn't have some sort of nick or ding?  It's sort of like us with our laugh lines!  Better to enjoy the piece for what it is, than to make it over into something it isn’t.  And this is a wonderful old crazy quilt! 

Cheers!

Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 12:54PM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment | References9 References

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