The term “crazy quilting” is often used to refer to the textile art of crazy patchwork and is sometimes used interchangeably with that term. Crazy quilting does not actually refer to a specific kind of quilting (the needlework which binds two or more layers of fabric together), but a specific kind of patchwork lacking repeating motifs. A crazy quilt rarely has the internal layer of batting that is part of what defines quilting as a textile technique.
Crazy quilting created a stir in the 1880’s when it became quite a fad in the United States with its asymmetrical art. Articles found in women’s publications either encouraged crazy quilting OR condemned it. Women could purchase packages of random fabrics, as well as already embellished pieces, to use in their own crazy quilts.
During the first several years of the crazy quilting fad, fine fabrics and heavy embellishment were the norm. As time passed quilters began to make simpler quilts in the crazy quilt style. Thrifty housewives used everyday fabrics like wool or cotton and little or no embellishment to create more serviceable quilts than the original fancy crazy quilts with the added benefit of using up small or odd-shaped scraps left over from making clothing for the family or other household sewing projects. [resource]
Here’s a few vintage crazy quilts I’ve collected over time…
Another view of my vintage crazy quilts.
The quilts have been ‘displayed’ in my shop – I thought they would make a nice back-drop for my booth at shows I’ve attended. But, now I’m thinking about offering them for sale to someone who may appreciate their individuality!
They’re actually quite large – I’m think’n easily full size bed – and heavy!! I’m particularly fond of this one and its muted colors. It’s the ‘oldest’ of the three and incorporates a lot of wool fabric ~ and is the most tattered [ie loved]! I was told it was used as a sleigh blanket when I acquired it several years ago.
They certainly color my world happy!!