Sunday, May 8, 2011

The "CIRCUS" ... and Other Crazy Quilts


Say "Antique CRAZY QUILT" to most folks,
and they envision the very "fancy" type made at the end of 19th Century.
You know the ones...

~ Victorian Kaleidoscopes ~
made with lush and sparkling silks, velvets, taffetas, and brocades.

Colorful, shattered, abstract compositions of elegant cloth and ribbon,
embellished, surrounded, and sometimes almost smothered
by fancy hand embroidery and other wonderfully inventive surface decorations.



But not all Crazy Quilts were of this so-called "High Style."

Crazy quilts do not have to have surface embellishment, or any particular colors,
or be finished with any special edgings.

Crazy quilts do not have not be made of silks and velvets;
many women made theirs out of wools or cottons.

Here is one of our favorite examples of a COTTON Crazy Quilt;
it was made around 1890.

We have had it in our personal collection since the 1970s.
Now it is for sale...


We call this our "CIRCUS CRAZY" ~ for obvious reasons:
Five prominent center blocks have images related to the Big Top!


Circuses traveled the country in the last part of the 19th century,
and captured the attention of the American people,
so of course we see them represented in quilts.




The free-wheeling, playful woman who created this wonder organized her quilt
with a strong, colorful center in each of her 49 blocks.

The center of each block is a large piece of "cretonne," a heavy cotton
fabric commonly used for upholstery or drapes, and printed with scenes and figures.

Not all of the images in the centers are Circus-related, but those do dominate.

All of the "pictures" have wonderful stories to tell.

Have fun reading !



To see more photos of the "Circus Crazy Quilt," click here,
or you can go to: TQC Quilts for Sale to see all the quilts we have for sale.