Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Newly Acquired Crazy Quilt

Did you know when I first starting quilting I could not stand Crazy Quilts. They are an acquired taste...totally not the normal quilt. After all, many were created with fabrics other than cottons which is what most traditional quilters construct their quilts from. They are rarely even quilted! How can it be called a quilt!

It was not until I endeavored to make one, did I truly appreciate what does into these fantastic pieces. You do not only need to have basic quilting and sewing skills. If you want to create a piece that will oooh and ahhh, you will need to master embroidery stitches, hand painting, applique, and more. You need to be able to be free with your design.

My first piece I made using a Crazy Quilt technique was actually a vest. It won third place in the apparel class in a local quilt show. My second piece was a miniature Crazy Quilt which I donated to the guild that I belong to, for their Quilt Show Mini Raffle. I would like to add, my wonderful friend, Betty, won my quilt, so I know it will be cherished and loved, and I can visit it anytime I'd like to. I am working on another vest in a different color scheme. As Crazy as Crazy Quilting can be...I stay within a certain criteria: block size, number of fabrics/pieces, and the colors involved are limited.

Might I add, my first real antique quilt purchase was a Crazy Quilt. A stunning one in excellent condition, and with provenance. I still have that quilt and cherish it. I go to it for inspiration, sometimes talking to the quilter when no one is watching.

I just added another Crazy Quilt to my collection. It is dated 1889-1890. In very good condition for it's age...I hope I look this good at 115 years old! Only 7 fabrics are showing wear. What is so amazing about this quilt is the amount of hand painting. Many floral motifs, some, crossing over fabric seams to other fabrics. I have never seen so much hand painting, and well done painting, in a quilt before. She even has some dimensional appliqued pansies, and she inked the veins in petals! It is a beauty.

I'll be smiling for the rest of the week because of this quilt. Unfortunately, I do not know who the quiltmaker is on this piece. It really is so important to label our quilts appropriately. Wouldn't you want the person you give a smile to a hundred years from now to know WHO you were, not just what you made?

My best,
Material Pleasures

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