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.