I bought these dated May 1887 unfinished crazy
quilt blocks from a local California woman who was cleaning out her attic —
lucky me! They are in the pre-embroidery stage, meaning they are completely free
of any stitching but the basting. Some of the pieces are flapping free. I hope
you find them as fun to see in this stage as I do.
1887 is in the phase of crazy quilting that
contains the most embroidery and decoration of all kinds, the high crazy era.
This is from approximately 1880 - 1890.
Click on pictures to
Block 1- notice the dog face made of silk
and the fan. Fans are common on crazy quilts, included to reference to the
Japanese culture so popular at this time in furnishings for the American
home. The Japanese are known for “crazing’ their pottery with a special
glaze that gave it a crackled appearance. This method began before the Crazy
Quilt fad in the U.S., but the pottery was shown to American’s in the states
for the first time at the 1876 Centennial Fair.
Block 2- note the paper label with instructions for what to embroider on the
block. This block is dated May 1887. They used a sparkling red thread to
hand embroider it onto velvet.
Block 3- a silk
ribbon with a happy New Year greeting on it is the center focus of this
block. Note the pre-quilted piece of pink fabric on the right.
Block 3- a
close-up of the ribbon
Block 3- close up
of the metal lace and the machine embroidered ribbons below it.
Block 4 – Another
fan- the third one.
Block 4- close-up
of the painted silk ribbon with ducks in a pond.
Block 4- close-up
of a 3-dimensional purple velvet daisey.
The basting stitches are visible on the cotton 1880s striped dress
This is Jan Thomas, curator of a recent
crazy quilt exhibit at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Golden, Colorado. It
was a stunning exhibit and my humble little blocks were a part of it!
This is a poster from a crazy quilt
exhibit at The American Museum in Bath Britain. The 1983 exhibit was titled
"Crazy for Quilts - 200 years of American Quilts" The quilts were
from their collection which was considered to be the finest outside of the
United States. The quilts dated from the late 18th century to the late 20th
century from as far apart as New England and Hawaii, the poster states.
Intriguing to say the least, late 18th century crazy quilt?! Kevin McCloud
designed the exhibit.
Click to enlarge either one.
I won this poster, actually several of them, in the silent auction at AQSG's
annual conference this month, Oct. 6-8, 2006. It's a nice addition to my
scrapbook of quilt ephemera."
A website called Crazy Quilt
several photos showing the great diversity in crazy quilt styles over
the years. Be sure to click on “view the next antique crazy quilt” to see
them all. This may require you to scroll down a little from the photo.
Did you know there is an online magazine for Crazy Quilters? CQMagOnline by
Crazy Quilters a quarterly publication with new issues in late January,
April, July and October.