The maker of Barb's crazy quilt cleverly incorporated the lining of men's hats into her quilt (the circular fabrics bear haberdashery labels from London).
We were all in awe of the beautiful handwork on these quilts. Barb told us that crazy quilts were status symbols of the day and were rarely displayed on beds but rather sofas or pianos where they would be seen by company. As you can see, the makers loved to showcase their embroidery skills on these quilts.
This country crazy quilt is made of cottons and was embroidered with string.
Kathy, one of our group members, brought this lovely crazy quilt, which Barb dated to the 1930s when the crazy quilt enjoyed a resurgence. It also contains some older silks.
Jacque, our group facilitator, brought this striking crazy-quilted treasure that was made by her husband's grandmother.
Jacque also shared this charming sewing pocket (pattern by Pam Buda) that she made from a kit that she won at Pam's Schoolhouse presentation at Quilt Market. I've seen LOTS of patterns for these sewing pockets, so they should be widely available if you want to try making one yourself. I purchased a wonderful book on them a couple years ago, and it has many patterns for pockets similar to this one as well as huswifs. Wasn't there a fabric collection called Pockets and Housewives by Old Sturbridge Village many years ago? Can't remember if that was the exact name or not, so if you know, please leave a comment! I think I have some it somewhere in my fabric stash but not anywhere that would be easy to access right now!
This book is a great resource on the history of crazy quilts. I received it as a gift several years ago. For years, I had wanted to learn how to make a crazy quilt and 12 years ago, I attended an all-day seminar on just that by crazy quilt expert Betty Pillsbury at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa (which has a beautiful guest room decorated with antique quilts). Sorry to digress as that has nothing to do with this book, which was written by Cindy Brick.
In addition to crazy quilts, Barb talked to us about lighting during pioneer days in Iowa. Unlike those in the East, Iowans didn't really use candles because they didn't have a plentiful supply of the material necessary to make them. While researching the topic, Barb learned that they typically only sewed during the daylight hours and if they sewed by evening, it was usually by the light of a fire. Those in the East had plentiful access to bayberry, which was made into candle wax. This was much more fragrant and pleasing than the scent of candles rendered from beef tallow. I don't have any lighting visuals from the presentation to show you but I can show you this small sampling of my vintage kerosene lantern collection in my parlor.
This is my cast-iron Victorian match striker, which was made during the late 19th century. It's made in the shape of a lady's boot! The Victorians certainly had a penchant for the fanciful, so I had to pair it with matches that were equally delightful. These are aqua and came in the prettiest bird box!
And on a totally different note, don't forget to join the giveaway for my most recent quilt book editing project in my previous post. You have until this coming Tuesday. I'm delighted by the terrific response to it so far.