Crazy quilt

Eleanor stitched this eclectic quilt on a horse farm in Tennessee for her cousin in 1871 – read the inscription on the back. An embroidered black horse anchors the design, while farm animals, flowers, fish and a butterfly are dotted about. Aside from providing warmth, parents might use it to tell stories to children at bedtime.


Collection Connections 

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    Crazy Quilt

    North America: Canada, Central Canada, Ontario, Simcoe County

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  • Crazy Quilt Block

    Crazy Quilt Block

    North America: Canada, Central Canada, Quebec

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  • Crazy Quilt Top

    Crazy Quilt Top

    North America: Canada, Central Canada, Ontario, Stouffville

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  • Crazy Quilt

    Crazy Quilt

    North America: Canada, Central Canada, Ontario

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Did making crazy quilts allow for more individual expression than other types of quilts – how and why?

responded: Mar 31, 2010

Posted by Janice Andreae

302
Recommend this Response
Crazy quilt making allows for more individual freedom of expression, especially during the process of making the sections that are eventually pieced together. As the name implies, crazy quilts are innovative, inventive, or disruptive and break the rules in some way. The boundaries prescribed by conventional quilting practices are relaxed to the simplest, practical requirements of the quilting process and the geometric form of the quilt. Freed from the limitations imposed by numerous repetitions of, for example, the same pattern, shape, and scale, the quilter(s) may choose to turn their attention to the overall effect of the quilt in terms of colour, theme or another concern. Suddenly, all of those uniquely singular scraps of cloth, usually set aside, are eyed as valuable resources and used. Often joined arbitrarily as each shape or colour suggests a site of connection, what is expressed with stitching each unique piece to the next, as this crazy quilt shows, is enriched by the effects of spontaneity and chance. Both deepen viewers' responses to the quilt, in the same way a Cubist painting or Surrealist collage delivers the unexpected.

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