Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Brief History of Crazy Quilts

Crazy quilts are quilts that have random patches or scraps of fabric sewn together. Usually, there is no set pattern or colour scheme when creating a crazy quilt. Each piece of fabric has a unique shape and is added to the quilt one piece at a time by hand. Fancy embroidery stitches and embellishments are common on crazy quilts but the amount of detail added to each quilt can vary enormously.

Crazy quilts have been popular since the Victorian age, especially in North America where settlers had limited resources. They didn't always have new material to make blankets, so they pieced together scraps of fabric and the pieces of old clothing left over after the worn out parts were cut away. It didn't matter what type of fabric it was or its size, all fabric was precious and useful.

Then, in the 1880's, the popularity of crazy quilting exploded due to an art exhibit from Japan in 1876, at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Patterns and embroidery on the quilts became much more elaborate and often had an Oriental theme or featured Japanese motifs, such as fans. However, the emphasis of crazy quilts was still on the embroidery stitches holding the fabric scraps together, along with the embellishments added to the patches.

By 1920, their popularity had faded and crazy quilts had taken on a simpler look. By this time, women began to think more about practicality than fashion or art when making their quilts. Crazy quilts had finally returned to their original purpose as a way to use up fabric scraps and old clothing.

To learn How to Make A Crazy Quilt, please visit my website, Beautiful Creations, where you will find step-by-step instructions and a full list of all the supplies you will need.

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