Victorian Crazy Quilts
The term “Crazy Quilt” refers to a type of patchwork quilt that was wildly popular in the late 1800s. But it could also credit those who attempted the stitchery.
In 1884, Harper’s Bazaar estimated that a full-sized quilt might take 1,500 hours to complete! If a Victorian sewed 8 hours per day, the masterpiece would be complete in 187 days. Otherwise measured as 26 weeks or half a year.
Fashioned from irregularly shaped pieces of fabric in a variety of exotic materials, Crazy quilts were especially trendy among urban, upper-class Victorian women.
The first Crazy quilts appeared after the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, which featured a display of Japanese decorative arts. Historians surmise that the unusual symmetries of Asian art so captured the imaginations of 19th-century women that the Crazy quilt was born.
The Industrial Revolution also brought historically expensive fabrics within reach of the middle classes. Thanks to advancements in the textile industry, hundreds of silk, satin, taffeta, brocade, and plush velvet fabrics could be found in one Crazy quilt.
The finishing touch on a Crazy quilt and the portion which took the longest time was the embroidery. Talented needleworkers often embellished their works with over twelve different stitch patterns.
Because of the time commitment required, these elegant quilts were never meant to be functional bedcovers but were instead used as parlour throws or decorative displays.
The modern design of Crazy quilts freed women from conventional rules of quilting, allowing them to showcase their creativity. In comparison, traditional quilts seemed outmoded and old-fashioned, and enthusiasm for the fad continued until about 1910.
Due to the fragility of silks and other lightweight fabrics used, original Crazy quilts can be a rare find and quite costly.
Antebellum Crazy Quilt
Our antique reproduction Crazy Quilt is a beautiful hodgepodge of cotton velvets and jewel-hued prints, a cozy and sentimental masterpiece for your home.
It is a beautiful replica that has an authentic look. It feels elegant to snuggle under it.
– Susie from Tallahasse