Still Crazy: Victorian Crazy Quilts
November 17, 2009 – February 7, 2010
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
520 South First Street, San Jose, California 95113
Still Crazy explores the crazy quilt with a broad survey of the movement, mostly with examples from the Museum’s permanent collection. Crazy quilt making reached fad proportions during the Victorian period of 1876 – 1900. Made of fine dress fabrics like brocades, silks and velvets, and ribbons they were heavily embellished with areas of decorative embroidery or paint or even photographic images on fabric. They were most often made of irregular shapes and sizes, a kind of collage aesthetic, and they were pieced together with an astounding variety of embroidered stitches, in a multitude of colors. At the same time, crazy quilt designs had Asian influences, believed to be inspired by growing interest in the Far East at that time. They are dark, saturated and luxurious in look and feel, and the embroidered details are often nature inspired or symbolic or personal. This exhibit features an unusual variety of the kinds of textiles that were created such as quilts, wall hangings, table covers, comforters, to a one of-a-kind matching pair of Victorian parlor curtains.