Wednesday, August 6, 2008

ABC Wednesday--A Quilters ABC--C

We've come to the letter C and in this Quilter's Alphabet I could not pass by Crazy Quilt. We found this one from the 1890s in the museum at Fall River Mills, Califonia.
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Crazy Quilting is characterized by no particular fixed pattern in the piecing. Pieces of odd sizes and shapes are added as they can. Seams are decorated and reinforced by fancy embroidery stitches, and patches may also have motifs embroidered on them.
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When I showed some quilts to a kindergarten class in the library a couple of years ago, I told them about the patterns and pattern names and why they were called what they were. When I came to the Crazy Quilt I asked them why they thought it was called that. Hands went up. "Because it's really crazy!"
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Very popular in Victorian times, Crazy Quilts were often made by upper class women, who had more time for the embellishment involved. The fabrics were not the cottons used more commonly in other quilts, but velvets and silks from the making of fancier dresses. Because of the heavier fabrics, Crazy Quilts do not normally have batting between the outer layers. And many Crazy Quilts that survive have bare spots where the silks have disintegrated over time.


A Charm Quilt is rather interesting. Among young girls preparing their hope chests in the late 1800s and earliest years of the 1900s, one tradition was to collect one thousand charms--different fabrics. A quilt made of these charms might be made of simple squares or another simple shape, such as the Thousand Pyramids shown below. The thousandth piece of fabric was to be cut from the shirt of the man she would marry.
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This Thousand Pyramids quilt is not a charm quilt, but a utility quilt made mostly of woolens. Oddly enough, there are quite a few spots where damage has been repaired with triangles cut from men's ties. This quilt came from the other side of the family--possibly made by my aunt.

And finally a charming block from modern times. I made this Carpenter's Square or Carpenter's Star as part of a quilt of stars. (Aunt Eliza's Star in the A post was also from this quilt.)

Mrs. Nesbitt started ABC Wednesday which is now in its third round and has its own blog now here.

13 comments:

Ackworth Born said...

The coding to open in a new window worked perfectly - blogging like quilting is an art to be learnt.

Aileni said...

Attractive and interesting.

Nydia said...

I love quilts. My husband's grandma has made one for us - atually is in our bed right now. I'll take a photo of it to show you, it's cute.

Great choice for the C post!

Kisses from Nydia.

Liz said...

Quilting has such beautiful stories running through it. I recently read ... I can't remember the title! but it was good and was about a group of women whose main link was to meet for quilting.

Bear Naked said...

Thank you for the quilt lesson.
Very informative and interesting.

Bear((( )))

Daryl said...

beautiful ...

:-Daryl

Susan said...

Thanks for sharing the pics. Lots of us today do our crazy quilting on the natural fabrics of cotton, silk and linen instead. We hope they last longer. =)

Miss_Yves said...

The usual word for "Quilting " isn'it "patchwork "?
Nice patterns and interesting post!
Miss Yves

ellen b. said...

What great quilts. I like them all...Great info along with the quilts too...

Blue said...

Running late commenting this week.

As I said before I'm finding your quilters ABC fascinating, you may get me back doing patchwork as we Brits call it, this Winter.

And, TY for your comment on my post 'the perils of living alone'.
I am a very solitary sole, apart from my blogging.

becky voyles said...

I love crazy quilts. I don't know how to make the real kind. I make them on paper instead. It is a whole lot easier. LOL

Paulie said...

Am enjoying your many kinds of quilts and I knew you were a quilter when I first met you since you also came here to find more material for your beauties.

I don't know if you will see these comments so far back but will leave them anyway.

Mary said...

These are so wonderful! You have a lot of nice old quilts! Crazy quilts are my favorite and I have several crazy quilt projects in my head to do. I love seeing all of these. How great that you show them to kids and teach about them.