|Description: A multi-coloured crazy quilt backed with faded green fine wool. 'Crazy' patchwork quilt patches are irregular shapes of cloth scraps pieced together with coloured embroidery stitching in red, pink, yellow, and white.
History: Crazy Quilts, also known as Puzzle patchwork or Japanese patchwork, were made of irregular pieces of fabric, decorated with ornamental stitching and motifs. Influenced by Japanese art and culture introduced during the Expositions in London (1862) and Philadelphia (1872), Crazy Quilts fit in perfectly with the heavy and dark décor of the times. The goal of these quilts was to create the most lavish and colourful cover with no straight lines or neat angles. The patches were sewn onto a background and were made from many expensive fabrics like velvet and silk, although more utilitarian fabrics were used as well. Crazy Quilts were usually smaller than regular quilts and were more decorative than functional, since washing of these quilts was difficult due to the very nature of all the various fabrics used. Embroidery was a dominant element in crazy quilts. Often women’s magazines supplied popular motifs including flowers, animals, insects and fans. The interest in this style of quilt had died down after the 1880’s and had nearly vanished by 1910. More of a fashionable fad rather than enduring style, these quilts have made a comeback today and have become quite collectable.