Thursday, July 7, 2016

To Quilt???? Or To Not Quilt????

I think most quilters have seen the t-shirts or mugs with the saying "To quilt? Or To NOT Quilt???? What a silly question!"  Because for quilters the most popular answer is "To Quilt!"  Without a doubt!

But this week I was truly faced with the question about whether or not to quilt a Crazy  Quilt...

It's a terrible pickle to be in!  My friend asked me to quilt the Crazy Quilt that came from her Mother-in-law.  

In researching vintage crazy quilts I learned that they are not typically quilted. They were tied... and no batting.  

 "These type of quilts were used as a coverlets to showcase the embroidery skills of the maker and to us up bits of the luxury fabrics that were perhaps traded with friends."

There are several interesting things I have discovered about this crazy quilt...

A name patch of some sort???  
Euls Ells Srs
Pierce City

When I did a quick search for Pierce City it came up with it being in Missouri.

Other interesting things I found in the Crazy Quilt patches...


Are these initials of individuals that created the blocks and did the embroidery?

Many of the satins and linens were very fragile.  Even prior to me spreading it out to work on there were some areas that the fabric had just  disintegrated and the muslin backing was the exposed.  This must have been the case for several areas of the quilt and someone spent a great deal of time making repairs...

You can see that the brown (polyester) patch below covered other satin-like fabric...

... and here you can see that this small, thin patch covers a hole... 

Likewise, below you can see that there was another repair...

When I asked about quilting it in a vintage quilting group many were strongly opposed to it and suggested holding to tradition and simply tie it. Yet others were okay with it and suggested a Baptist Fan pattern for it...  The "purists" also recommended that regardless of how I finished it, "it should not be used"...  when obviously it HAD been used by another...

Right, wrong or indifferent, I decided to fulfill my customer's request to quilt it. This decision was made mainly since she was not trying to preserve any authenticity of it or avoid losing any value of the quilt.

I did an all over grid with nylon thread so that it would not detract from the hand embroidery, yet stabilize the top.  

So, was I crazy to quilt a Crazy Quilt?  

Maybe so, but I know that my friend will fall in love with it and hopefully her son will be gentle with it, should he choose to use it.

To Quilt?  Or Not???  Silly question!

Happy Quilting!


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  1. I think that as long as your client is happy, that is what really matters. But learning a bit of history along the way is a nice bonus, too. :)

  2. It's always neat to learn a bit about the projects we are working on. I didn't know that about crazy quilts. But I agree with Yvonne, if you customer is happy that is what is most important.