Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quilts on Tuesday-Let's Go Crazy

Here is one more of the quilts that was found in my grandmother's cedar chest. I am not in possession of this one, which is a crazy quilt. My stepmother held onto it because it is her favorite. I have always been fond of crazy quilts myself. I did take a picture of it though so I could share with you all and so I could ask my mom what she knew about it. Mom seems to think the crazy quilt was more related to my grandfather than my grandmother. She believes it was either given to him by his grandmother or possibly by his mother-in-law. I'm going to have to do a bit more investigation into that because my stepmother had it appraised many years ago and the appraiser seemed to think this quilt was produced in the 1940s, at which point I believe Pop-pop's grandmother was already dead.

In any event, let me give you a little information on crazy quilts in general. From what I have read, crazy quilting was a Victorian fad that generally combined fine fabrics such as silks, velvets, and brocades in asymmetrical, seemingly random patchwork patterns. The patches were sewn to a base fabric then embellished with ribbons, lace, buttons, or embroidered motifs. The borders of each patch were also stitched decoratively. No insulating batting layer was used between the front and back. On one quilt there could be several different patterns of these joining stitches. Early crazy quilts were often intended to be a decorative showpiece of the quilter's needle skills more than to be a functional bed covering providing warmth.

However, the one our family has is not a Victorian quilt. Later, it was more common to find rayon crazy quilts made with a batting and the quilts were tied through each patch. This allowed for warmth, and greater durability so the quilt could function as a useful bed covering. On our quilt there is still the haphazard patch placement and the decorative border stitches. There are also multiple thread colors in the border stitches but only one pattern used throughout the quilt. There is heft to our quilt and you can feel that there is a layer of batting that feels like either an old blanket or possibly a threadbare older quilt. Ours is less fancy and more utilitarian than the Victorian crazy quilts but I still love its wild splash of colors. I don't suppose that comes as a shock to any of you though.

22 comments:

citizen of the world said...

Crazy quilts are some of my favorites - what freedom!

snowelf said...

Whoo! Crazy Quilting! Those prim and proper Victorian ladies knew how to have a good time. ;)

In all seriousness-I love the stitching--I love the unique style of the quilt as well. Thanks for sharing this one, Lime--what a treasure. :)

--snow

Cocotte said...

"........Let's get nuts" - was that a Prince reference?

Love the craziness of those quilts.

lime said...

citizen, yes, i just love how they seem to defy the rules of order.

snowelf, lol, now i have images of buttoned up ladies busting loose

cocotte, good catch on the prince reference ;)

S said...

Now were talking! Thats my favorite kind o quilt, but then you are not at all surprised about that are you?


:)

S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moannie said...

Do I have time for one more hobby? I used to draw and paint and write, now all I do is read and comment and occasionally post something, but if I did find time it would be to learn how to make these fabulous works of art.

Thankyou for showing us your collecton.

Craver Vii said...

You know what they say, "If the quilt fits..."

Phyllis Renée said...

Crazy quilts are my absolute favorite! My Grandma had one that I think, from your descrption, was a Victorian quilt. She gave it to my oldest brother (probably as a wedding gift) and sadly he let his dog have her puppies on it. That was well over 25 years ago, so I'm sure the quilt is now lost forever.

Mona said...

that bright fabric is so Indian! At first i thought that it was macrame stitch that held the patches, but I realized it was actually herringbone Stitch!

That is really labor intensive!

Thanks for sharing!

Suldog said...

I had a crazy quilt of the second When I was a kid (maybe 5 or 6, until teen years) I had a crazy quilt of the second kind you describe. I loved it. Maybe I was an easily amused child, but I could just look at the different fabrics and such for an hour and not get bored. I wish I had that quilt now...

AndyT13 said...

Go KRA-ZEE! One time!
Hey hon! Happy New Year!

lime said...

s, i am not surprised in the least ;)

moannie, i am glad you're enjoying the quilts

craver, i think it fits very well thanks ;)

phyllis, oh ouch! i am reeling thinking of a dog giving birth on a cherished quilt

mona, and the victorian ones were even more labor intensive.

suldog, i guess i am easily amused too because i could still get lost looking at the fabrics

andy, are we gonna let this elevator take us down? oh no! happy new year to you too :)

mssolitaire said...

I love this quilt!!! I thin kthe crazy quilt s are my absolute favorite! The messiness brings out such beauty! :D

Yay!

Gledwood said...

Hi Lime!
How's it going.??
I lurve patchworks... someone once showed me how to machine 'em and was surprised I could run 'em off in a straight line with no experience (well I'm not STOOPID~!!)
Take care over there in the US~of~A
hope you're not freezing to death
;->...

barman said...

I do not know much about quilts so I had no idea about crazy quilts but I have to believe these would be among my favorite.

G-Man said...

You so Crazy.....:-)

Leon Basin said...

That is great! Thanks for sharing.

DianeCA said...

I too love the splashy colors, but most of all I love the memories these quilts give to you and your family

misticblu said...

Beautiful! reminds me of one that was made by dad's mom that was nothing but his fathers suits. It was in the crazy fashiom with the show-off stitching. As a child I used to need help getting out from under this quilt because I think it was in the neighborhood of 96 oz material. It was cool with all the bland man colors set apart with bright stitching. I think mom has it put up.......

lime said...

mssolitaire, i quite agree :)

gledwood, straight seams are pretty easy, glad you were inspired. temps have dipped, many layers are being worn.

barman, it's all a matter of personal taste

gman, don't you know it!

leon, glad you enjoyed

diane, the memories are really the most special part

misticblu, what a wonderful idea for a crazy quilt. i can just imagine it. i'm glad your mom has saved it.

Jocelyn said...

It is my greatest compliment to say that a crazy quilt suits you.