COLLECTION: Quilts & Coverlets

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Crazy Quilt Block or Pillow Cover

1880-1900
Origin: America
OH: 18 1/2 in. x OW: 18 1/2 in.
Silk with silk and metallic embroidery threads and cotton sack backing (fiber identification by eye)
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2018.609.4
This is a square crazy quilt block or pillow cover consisting of pieced irregular patches embellished with embroidery stiches in a technique known as crazy. The embroidered designs include flowers, circles, and decorative borders. The patches are stitched through batting to a cotton grain sack backing that is stamped "J. G. EVANS & Co. / GOLD TIP." This grain sack comes from J. G. Evans & Co. mill in Haddonfield, New Jersey. The quilt block or pillow cover has unfinished edges.
Label:This is a quilt block or a pillow cover that is an example of a "crazy quilt," a style of quilt that was highly popular in America at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. "Crazy quilt" is an apt term for the apparent disregard of overall design and the mix of irregularly shaped fabric swatches traditionally used in them. These quilts, or in this case, a smaller-scale quilt block or pillow cover, were often composed of silks and other fine fabrics, and the seams of many were covered with fancy embroidery. This object would have perhaps been used to cover a decorative pillow or was one small part of a larger quilt.
Provenance:Ex. Collection: Pat Nickols; no further provenance is known.
Mark(s):The backing consists of a grain sack which is stamped: "J. G. EVANS & Co./ GOLD TIP" and the image of possibly a dove.
Inscription(s):None