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Crazy Quilt

Curated Submission
Durham County, Ontario, Canada
Circa 1890
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
172 x 149
Materials & techniques
Silk, cotton; Pieced, velvet, satin, embroidered, hand-painted, quilted
Gift of June Husband
Textile Museum of Canada T96.0118
The grandmother of the donor, June Husband, stitched this quilt at the end of the 19th century, when crazy quilts were popular. She intended it to be strictly for display, likely as an ornamental throw for the parlour couch, and she selected luxurious fabrics such as silk, velvet, and satin to piece the quilt. She added additional ornamentation such as supplementary needlework, designs embroidered or hand-painted on individual patches, and the ribbons from the Ancient Order of Foresters fraternal benefit society. The incorporation of community symbols, and the use of fabric scraps from clothing worn by family members or traded with friends, underlines the quilt’s importance as a record of family and community life.

The dynamic “craziness” of this quilt is controlled by squares that act as a grid, but it remains an exuberant expression of the spirit of the maker.
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