Are you familiar with the fabulously embellished and embroidered crazy quilts of years past? Much as I love the carefully pieced formaml patterns, there’s something about the free form expression ┬áthat speaks to me. My mother collects crazy quilts, in fact, and I love to look over her collection, rich with velvet and satin scraps turned into luscious domestic art.

Crazy quilting seemed to fall out of fashion for a time, with the passion for precise geometric piecing, but you’ll still find many quilters of an artistic bent who love to experiment with this style of expression.

Jude Hill is the guiding hand behind the What If… quilting collaborative, blog, project, whatever you want to call it, that began as an online group of about 40 keen quilters back in 2008 or so. They started with just one mission:

… to revisit the Crazy Quilting style and share our results. We are asking questions about technique and rules and style using the traditional Crazy Quilt framework as a jumping off point.

The Magic of Crazy Quilting: A Complete Resource for Embellished QuiltingThe project has evolved, loosened up, moved into a new realm of quilt-tradition-inspired works since its launch, but there lingers the original pledge to keep an open mind and to challenge each other to new heights of creativity.

There’s also a Flickr group where you can enjoy the results of “what-if” in every colour of the rainbow and every crazy-quilt interpretation or technique you might imagine. It’s textile art, and cooperative creativity that goes to the heart of the quilting tradition – in a very nontraditional way. Havae a look and I think you’ll be inspired to try a crazy quilt of your own.

What about a crazy quilt that’s created of pieces selected from your child’s special clothing from babyhood on? A wonderful keepsake of memories in fabric!

Crazy Quilt photo: Front cover of my journal by maryfrancesmain, on Flickr.

Leave a Reply