Patches From the Past
Scraps of Fabric, Sewing & Quilting History

Create a Crazy Quilt of Your Own

Crazy quilts can be great fun to make. The choices and room for creativity are unlimited. You can choose to make an embellished crazy quilt much like those made during the Victorian Era or you can stitch together and tie a quilt of old suit fabrics and heavy clothing like women sometimes made. You can go modern and use fabric with photo transfers or use printed cotton on any theme you please. A dinosaur or teddy bear crazy quilt could be the perfect gift for a child.

You are not limited to quilts either. Many objects can be decorated with crazy quilting such as such as clothing and decorative household items. Crazy quilts can be as small as a baby quilt or as large as a king-sized bed quilt. They can be used as tablecloths, runners, wall hangings or simply draped over a couch or chair much as they were in the Victorian Era.

The Internet abounds with inspiration and instructions for making a crazy quilt. I am going to direct you to a few sites but a quick search on or other search engine will help you find many more.

the best book for learning stitches

Part of the fun is just surfing around and looking at both antique and present day crazy quilts. This antique quilt at "Crazy Quilt Central" is fascinating with its great variety of embellishment.

Once you are sold on the idea of making a crazy quilt you there is plenty of information to help you complete your project. You can find patterns for crazy quilt blocks on the World Wide Web as well as instructions for making a crazy quilt. The online class, "Crazy Quilt Patchwork Block", includes step-by-step instructions to show a beginner how to use her creativity to make a beautiful crazy quilt. The article includes a bit of history along with suggestions on how to make the mini quilt. Henrietta's Crazy Quilting Techniques explains both traditional and modern methods for foundation piecing.

There are also plenty of sites showing how to do the delightful varieties of embrodery stitches used in crazy quilting. Take a look at this site for easy to follow directions for crazy quilt stitches. If you don't want to take the time for hand stitching many modern sewing machines have several fancy stitches that could be used on a crazy quilt. Some computerized sewing machines even embroider small motifs. So a machine made crazy quilt could be quick and fun.

2001 Judy Anne Johnson Breneman (Do not reproduce this article without permission from the author.)

Recommended Websites:

Crazy Quilt History: A Victorian Craze

Victorian Era Quilts From Silk to Cotton

1887: Crazy Blocks al dente Enjoy these photos of a crazy quilt in progress.

Crazy Quilting Today Find inspiration, ideas and examples.

Sharon b's Dictionary of Stitches for Hand Embroidery and Needlework
Over 200 stitches with pictures showing how to do each of them.

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