Monday, June 16, 2008

Vintage Crazy Quilt Pix - Day 1

Last year I bought a vintage crazy quilt on Ebay. I believe I got a good deal - the quilt is beautiful although it does have several pieces of shattered silk. Most of us realize that this is an unfortunate fact due to the silver nitrates added to fancy dress silks during the Victorian Era to make the ladies' skirts rustle.

The quilt came with a full appraisal and provenance. It measures 49 1/2 x 62" and was made in 1885-1888 by the great grandmother of the gentleman I purchased it from. The backing is red cotton sateen and the front contains silk, brocade, damask, ribbons, velvet, beading, commemorative ribbons and ombre ribbons and cigar silks. There is no batting. It was hand pieced to a foundation fabric, and includes beading, applique and embroidery. The quilt has borders on two sides only; one side is embroidered tabs and the other is sane-pieced triangles.

The symbols that abound in this quilt are amazing. They include most designs associated with traditional crazy quilts. I have taken almost two dozen photographs of this quilt, and will share between 4-5 photos every day this week. I hope you'll enjoy this CQ Study with me! ! I'd love to hear some of your comments and feedback as we go along.

This is the center piece of the quilt. It is not symmetrical, but it is definitely the focal point. The bird sits on a leafy branch and is stitched in chenille threads. As you can see, the colors are still very vibrant and the stitching is in remarkable condition.
This section contains more chenille embroidery, but also an embroidered butterfly and flowers. Note some of the unusual fabrics and the variety of stitching on the seams.

The daisies on the black patch are very finely stitched. Can you spot the rat and the Victorian shoe? Below is one of the two dates embroidered into this quilt. The patch to the right looks like needlepoint. My guess is that the maker salvaged a portion of a print.

The final picture for today takes in the lower left portion of the quilt. You can see the pieced triangles that comprise the border along the left side. The palette motif was hand painted, although some of it has faded away. I thought that was pretty clever! The leaves are velveteen and appliqued on. The lower red patch has an embroidered owl. And I really like the effect of the stitching on the triangular patch to the right of the leaves.

More pictures tomorrow!!!


  1. Wow Cathy thanks for the peek of this lovely quilt. Unbelievable is what it is..All the different stitches on it and designs. I don't think I have saw so many in one quilt. Is this made by one person or ? Thanks again I enjoyed seeing the photos. How lucky you are to own it.

  2. Cathy, this is definitely a treasure. It is beautifully done and looks to be in really good condition. What a wonderful find!

    It's hard to believe that someone would part with such a wonderful heirloom but I know it has a great home with you.

  3. What a beautiful quilt. You must be so pleased to own this beauty.

  4. Terrific antique quilt. Thanks so much for sharing pictures of it.

  5. Very Cool Cathy.. I have an old one that I thought about doing this with also but you know how those thoughts are... eventually I will post mine on the blog too but until then I will just enjoy the journey with yours! I alway marvel at those flowers like the "finely stitched" daisies. You got a treasure and especially since you got it from an actual family member!

  6. I can't wait to see more pictures of this jewel. I can almost see the lady stitch this those many years ago. That is because you see what is important to her life. I simply love what she stitched!
    Thanks so much for sharing it!
    Donna Godfrey

  7. Thanks , Cathy for sharing this quilt with us ! the stitches and designs are beautiful, I love specially the bird with its vibrant colours.

  8. Thank you for posting all the pictures of your antique quilt! I'll be sure to check your blog everyday for more eye candy. It's great to be able to see all the different stitches used in these old cqs, and it's wonderful you're willing to share all this.
    Karen in OH (lurker at CQembells)

  9. Thanks for sharing this, Cathy! I'll be checking back for more photos. Do you have one of the entire quilt? I always like to see how the motifs are arranged.

  10. Thank you for sharing photos of this antique crazy quilt. Though I'm an AQS certified quilt appraiser I can't ever see too many quilts. I'm also in Utah (Moab).


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