The crazy quilt first became fashionable around the 1880’s. Quiltmakers began breaking the rules of traditional patchwork and incorporating random scraps of treasured silks and velvets, odd shapes, and as many different embroidery designs and techniques as they could.
The Quilt Alliance is an organisation dedicated to documenting, preserving and sharing information about quilts and they have a great article written by Merikay Waldvogel about what makes a crazy quilt a crazy quilt. Merikay suggests the crazy quilting became a ‘craze’ so quickly because it appealed to other artisans such as embroiderers and ceramic painters as well as quilters. The years 1880 to 1920 appear to be the height of the crazy quilt popularity, but that doesn’t mean that it is a defunct style today.
Sherri Noel of Rebecca Mae Designs has written a really clear and easy tutorial for making crazy quilt blocks. What catches your eye first is the fact that the block is made of bright, modern solids. There is nothing dusty and 19th century about this crazy quilt block tutorial!
Also, you don’t need anything complicated – just a square of light-weight fabric to use as a base, whatever precious fabric scraps you’d like to use, and some imagination. The original crazy quilts used many different decorative embroidery patterns, often a line of stitches along the seam lines and then motifs and patterns in the open areas. When you construct a crazy quilt block by machine using Sherri’s tutorial, you have the option of adding a line of fancy machine stitching as you construct, or leaving it plain for a simpler, cleaner look.
So, do you have some precious scraps of fabrics that you’d like to use in something special? Why not try something a little different and make your own modern crazy quilt?
PS – There are also no points to match and the stitch-and-flip method is perfect for beginners!
Here is a link to the tutorial: http://www.rebeccamaedesigns.com/homesweethome/crazy-quilt-block-tutorial/
Thanks to Sherri Noel of Rebecca Mae Designs