Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ABC Wednesday--V

A Quilter's ABC--V is for Victorian Crazy Quilts in Vintage Fabrics

I did include a Crazy Quilt at C is for... It was one we saw in a small town museum this summer.

Here is a bit more about Crazy Quilts and my own Victorian Crazy Quilt made by someone in my family--though I can't say who. I inherited this from my mother, and I don't think she knew who had made it either. Most of the quilts in the family were made by my paternal grandmother, but she was not the only quilter in our past, and this is definitely not typical of her work.

We look at Crazy Quilts and know that the name looks appropriate. In fact, it is so apropos that when I showed quilts to first graders in the library, I described the designs. Nine patch--has nine squares. Trip around the World--the kids understood when I pointed out the the design going around and around a central square. When I said, "Now this one is called a Crazy Quilt. Can you figure out why?" the immediate response was, "It's crazy!"

This article about Crazy Quilts and their inspiration and popularity in Victorian times and design disputes the idea that they are put together in a haphazard arrangement, but that they were carefully planned and arranged.

My Crazy Quilt seems to me to be a poor woman's quilt or a practice piece. Because of its size, perhaps it was made for a doll's bed. The Crazy Quilt fad of the late 1800s was very popular among ladies of means. They used pieces of the fine fabrics from their best gowns. There are included lots of silks, satins, and rich velvets. Once the pieces were put together, they were embellished with elaborate embroidered designs.

Though there are velveteens in my Crazy Quilt, the embroidery is limited to the edging stitches--only one kind of stitch. The velveteens are worn. Some of the patch fabrics are "shattered" --this is something that can happen to silks over time, so these few patches may be silk.
This quilt was made by stitching the pieces onto a backing fabric--you can see the blue peeking through the shattered threads. It is a vintage calico typical of the era. The quilt is finished very differently from the quilting that I showed in Q is for Quilting. It is tied from the back with the ties catching only that blue calico not entering the crazy design.

For other ABC-Vs check out the ABC Wednesday Anthology and visit blogs linked at the ABC Wednesday link site. Mrs. Nesbitt is our leader, stop by and visit her village, too.


Rocky Mtn. Girl said...

Gosh, you know SOOO much about quilting. If only I knew you a long time ago and we lived close by, you could have taught me this wonderful hobby!
A great post, really enjoyed it!

anthonynorth said...

Some handy craft work there.

Life with Kaishon said...

This is so interesting! My friend Vanessa just bought a huge lot of quilts from an estate sale. I should tell her to ask you if she has any question about them : ) since you are an expert!

kayleen said...

Lovely old quilt. I have one in this pattern that my mother and grandmother made when I was a little girl. I remember them crawling around on the living room floor as they put it together. I also remember being chided for trying to "help". Thanks for the memories.

babooshka said...

I tip my hat to you again for incorporating quilting in with the abc. I'm also learning along the way.

Leslie: said...

I'm always impressed by how you have so many different types of quilting designs. Nicely done! :D

shutterhappyjenn said...

That's the one thing I want to learn.. quilting!

My V entries are here and here. Please drop by if you have time. Thanks.

kikamz said...

i love your quilts katney! they are so colorful.. i should give quilting a try too. maybe one of these days.

mine is here: http://seasons.pinoyvibes.net/2008/12/17/v-is-for-vow/

happy wednesday!

Aileni said...

Carry on Quilting... :)

RuneE said...

It does live up to the name!

Sandi McBride said...

I love your crazy quilt...I used to love to quilt...working with my grandmother and the aunts....wonderous times long ago...but the memory is as vivid as the quilts we made.
Lovely post, thank you

Mary said...

Crazy quilts are favorites of mine! I saw one recently that was so lovely and in perfect shape. I posted it in my main blog one day and I hope the woman will sell it to me...she wants to sell it. I'm working on a crazy quilt stocking right now for my great-niece. I love doing crazy quilt stuff and wish I had more time to do it.

Rose said...

Quilts provide such a rich piece of history--these crazy quilts are fascinating! I can't imagine using velvet or silk in a quilt, though; these "ladies of means" must never have washed their quilts:) I'm still puzzled how they stay together, though, if the ties don't go through the quilt top.

Jay said...

I love old quilts - especially when they were made of favourite pieces of clothing!

I didn't know they were called 'crazy quilts'.

PERBS said...

I could never put together a crazy quilt. I could do the embroidery tho.