Monday, November 9, 2015

American Crazy Quilt Exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art

Time is ticking! If you live in the general area of Baltimore, Maryland, you have a wonderful opportunity to visit the Baltimore Museum of Art, which currently has six stunning crazy quilts on exhibit. But this special exhibit ends on November 29, so don't wait! The quality of the workmanship in these quilts is exquisite. I (Teri) was able to visit last week, and was enthralled by the embroidery and elegant work in these fabulous crazy quilts. I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to see this wealth of amazing stitchery if possible. I was inspired to try some new techniques. But just in case you live too far away to visit in person, I thought I'd share a bit of it with you, so you can be inspired as well.

Crazy quilts commonly had a spider web and spider stitched onto them. Evidently, it was supposed to represent good luck. Here are a few examples of spider webs found in the exhibited quilts.


Butterflies were another commonly stitched motif, as seen below.


And the flowers! Oh, the beautiful flowers—appliquéd, embroidered, and even painted in various types of fabric and thread: silk, velvet, ribbon, chenille. What a glorious garden! I'll let you just study the photos; I think they speak for themselves.

We can't forget the birds, from ordinary to exotic.

Crazy quilts often include fan designs, perfect for showcasing embroidery stitches. Sometimes they are found in the corners of the quilts, and sometimes an entire quilt might be based on the fan design. It is always fascinating to see the combination of stitches the needle artists created to decorate the seams. One could study these crazy quilts for hours and still discover something new.

I hope you have enjoyed our peek at the crazy quilts on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art. It has been a joy to share with you. Are you inspired to try something new, or use a new fabric to create a flower, a bird, or something of beauty to you? I hope so!

Crazy Quilt with Center Star and Blue Velvet Border, 1883-1888; Made by Augusta Adèle Smith, in Baltimore, MD


  1. Fabulous photos! Thank you for sharing with those of us who can't see the quilts in person. Inspiring me to go through my "one day I'll make a crazy quilt stash" Love you guys and your blog!

    1. Thank you so much! We are so glad you enjoyed the virtual tour of the exhibit. Can't wait to see your crazy quilt!

  2. Inspiring quilt. Wonderful close-ups. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Patricia! We're glad you joined us on our "museum trip."