October 29, 2015

Crib-size Crazy Quilt, c 1890

Antique crib quilts don't come around often.  For pretty obvious reasons, they were used hard and washed a lot.

This one came to me for repair and sprucing up.  In addition to being well over 100 years old, it has family history and provenance.  This adds up to a quilt whose significance way outstrips its actual size (22" x 35")!

To make this even more fun, the quilt's owner sent me two old family photos to include here.  Here's the family home in Blue Island, IL.

And here's the family photo taken at the wedding of her great-aunt Sadie.

Here's the story, told by the quilt's current owner:
"My great grandmother, Julia Evans, who made the quilt, is sitting in the front, and Edith Evans, one of my great aunts for whom I believe the little quilt was made, is standing to her right in the front row.

Julia's mother emigrated from Germany and was an expert seamstress, so perhaps Julia learned some of the stitches from her.  Edith Evans was Julia's youngest child and was born in Blue Island in 1892.  My great aunt Edith showed me the little quilt when she was living at the Admiral in Chicago, and I believe that she said that it was made for her or her sister Ruth Evans Golden, who is standing on the far left side of the picture. Ruth was born in Baltimore shortly before the family moved to Blue Island in 1885.  I don't know if that time period makes a difference, but the quilt was made for one of them by Julia.  All of the children in the photo are Julia's children, except, of course, for her husband and the groom standing next to his bride, Sadie.

I love this photo. It reminds me of how much Chicago means to me, and what exceptional great aunts I had.  (My grandmother, Marian Evans Karch, is standing in the center of the photo.)"

Family history and family photos are so wonderful!

After discussion with the quilt's owner, I mended just the most ragged patches and stitched down some dangling threads, leaving smaller wear as is.  This neatened up and saved the shreds of the three worst places, while leaving the rest of the original fabric untouched.  I am feeling more and more that "less is more" is the way to approach crazy quilts.  The quilt will not be handled much, since the goal is to help it survive as an heirloom.

Fabrics include velvets, cordouroy, wools, silks, brocades, a velvet stripe, and a heavier weave, floral print..


The most exciting part of this quilt for me, though, is the back fabric, a large print cotton.  I love it!

Thanks to the great-granddaughter who is loving her heirloom and her family history!

Here's another quilt I repaired with the family story and photos supplied by the owner.

No comments:

Post a Comment