Crazy Quilt


Not on view

Crazy quilts, a fad in the last decades of the nineteenth century, were most commonly pieced from irregularly shaped bits of velvet and silk. This exuberant quilt is far more unusual, since its unknown maker chose to craft it from brightly patterned cottons. The cottons create an album of fashionable, though inexpensive, fabrics of the 1880s, including Egyptian Revival and Japanesque designs, children’s handkerchiefs, and pieces of “cheater” cloth—fabric that was printed to imitate patchwork. One of the handkerchiefs, printed with playing cards, is inscribed “ORIENTAL PRINT WORKS, APPONAUG, RI.” It is possible that this mill produced many of the fabrics found in the quilt.

Crazy Quilt, Cotton, American

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