Monday, June 6, 2011

Crazy Quilt Construction

The Crazy Quilt Craze started in the 1880's and these quilts were embellished with embroidery and applique. A Crazy Quilt is not traditionally "quilted", and really is more like a coverlet. Traditionally Crazy Quilts were made with silk, brocades and other fancy fabrics. Note the crazy quilt pillow sham in my header. This pillow sham was made by my great-great grandmother in 1896. As far as I know it is the only piece of "quilt" work that came from my mother's side of the family.
Usually crazy quilts are constructed with blocks as illustrated below. The maker cut desired size squares of some fabric, usually muslin, and then began attaching random fabric pieces by using a variety of embroidery stitches. Then the blocks were attached together much like a traditional pieced quilt. Sometimes batting was used and of course backing fabric, but these were bound together by tying from the back side and only going through the backing, batting and foundation of the blocks.

I'm constructing this one a little different because I wanted a big quilt without the block look,(much like the one pictured below). I first embroidered designs on lots and lots (over 100) wool scraps (some were old suit coats, skirt and slacks and others were fat quarters from our local rug/yarn shop). Then I pinned the "blocks" onto a large piece of muslin and put it in the frame. I'm featherstitching the blocks together and to the foundation muslin. It has been challenging keeping out puckers etc and I've had to adjust placements as I've gone along, but it has been fun to do, but not sure I would make another! LOL The quilt is about 90" X 90". I plan on using a thin needle punched all cotton batting to help hold the ties together and give some substance for the heavier wool fabrics. I'm using #3 cotton perle to do all the featherstitching because it is sturdier and doesn't "catch".


Blessings and Happy Quilting!!!!


Janet O. said...

Thanks for the explanation of the crazy quilt process. That helps me understand the photo from your previous post. It will be beautiful.
I think I'd have that pillow sham matted and framed and hang it on my wall. It is a gorgeous work of art!

Anne Ida said...

Oh thank you for the explanation! I went back and had a look at your wool quilt on the frame - and it looks so beautiful, but must be a lot of work!

Dawn said...

Beautifil! My quilt study group just did a session on Crazy Quilts - good to see you carry it on.
Thank you for sharing. Love the photo in your header.

Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch said...

Beautiful quilt on a lovely bed!! Looks very Ralph Lauren. Your question about leaving comments... I have had the same issue. A reader told me to make sure the box that says "stay logged in" is not checked. That fixed it for me.

I am following you, and thank you for the follow. I wish I could bring our lassie out there. She would love herding. (She is a rough coat collie (like the real Lassie).

Karen said...

I can see an embroidered horse in one of the crazy quilt sections. I like crazy quilts that have recognizable things embroidered on the fabrics.

Crazy Quilter said...

Doniene - I'm hoping you can help me out or we can help each other. I'm am designing my new web site/pamphlet etc for my new store and retreat. It is called Crazy Quilter - partly because I love crazy quilts, I'm crazy about quilting and I'm a bit crazy too. Since I don't have my own crazy quilt done yet I need a picture of one for marketing purposes. I love the one you have on your site and was wondering if you would consider trading a high resolution picture of it for a gift certificate to my quilting store? I can be reached at (I'm also a midwife & lactation consultant) or 509-677-5177. Thanks for your consideration. PJ