Wednesday, February 8, 2012

1896 Crazy Quilt

During our guild meeting, Darlene Reid brought a Crazy Quilt made in 1896 that had recently been given to her.
You read that right.
Can you imagine? Someone gave her this amazing antique quilt.

Darlene works as a volunteer at the Gilbert Museum each week, where a group gathers together to hand quilt tops that have been brought in by the public.
One day a lady came in to the museum, and said this Crazy Quilt had been made by her grandmother, and that no in her family was interested in keeping it.
She wanted the treasure to go to a quilter who would appreciate the workmanship.
With all the hours Darlene has volunteered in behalf of the quilting world, the gift could not go to a more deserving person.

The 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition had a big impact on quilt designs. The Japanese Exhibit displayed samples of ceramics made with asymmetrical art work.
Women adapted the abstract arrangements into quilt designs, adding embroidered motifs with a wide variety of stitching styles.

Crazy Quilts were quite the rage from the 1880's until around 1910.

Women documented family histories or special events in their lives with additions of ribbons, cigar bands and souvenirs.

Crazy Quilts are really not quilts in the traditional sense.
Most do not have batting, and are sewn together with tacks, rather than quilted together

In the 1800's Crazy Quilts became a Status Symbol, and were treasured objects.
The making required a large amount of leisure time. If a man was a good provider, he made enough money for hired help, allowing his wife long hours to work on her quilts.
He would often invite friends and family into his home to view his wife's Crazy Quilt, symbolic of their wealth.

Crazy Quilts were generally not intended to be used as quilts, but as piano scarves or parlor throws.

1896 was an interesting period in the history of the United States.
Think back.

It was in 1896 that Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for an invention he labeled The Telephone

Colorado became the 38th State.
The Indian Wars raged on, with Battle of Big Horn taking place in June.

Heinz tomato Ketchup was introduced.

136 years later we still have much in common.
Telephones are in every pocket, and Heinz ketchup sits in my refrigerator.

And most of all, through the distance of time, women are drawn together in our appreciation for all things beautiful.

7 comments:

Stephanie said...

Crazy quilts are amazing -- I love all of the details and hand stitching. This is a real treasure.

Doniene said...

Absolutely stunning quilt!!! I have a crazy quilt pillow sham made by my great great grandmother about 1896. I also recently finished a queen size wool crazy quilt for my daughter and her husband, so I truly appreciate the workmanship!! Thanks for sharing!!

karenfae said...

can you imagine not wanting to keep that within your family :( how sad, good though to go to a quilter that appreciates it.
Karen

fiberchick said...

I'm glad this beauty is going to a good home. It deserves it!

Me and My Stitches said...

I will never understand how these amazing treasures are unwanted by family members. But oh how great for the new owner! An amazing quilt.

quiltmom said...

Its a gorgeous quilt and it is so wonderful that it is going a new owner that will love it and treasure it for its beauty. Thanks for sharing the wonderful quilt and its story.
Regards,
Anna

Gina E. said...

How wonderful that the original owner was astute enough to realise that the best place to take her quilt would be the local museum where it would find an appreciative home. I guess you heard about the crazy Quilt that was sold here in Australia for A$70,000? I hope Darlene has insured hers!