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.
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.
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!"
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.
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.