Crazy quilts are a classic example of making something beautiful out of practically nothing. They begin with a pile of scrap fabric and are pieced together to form a coherent whole. The original Victorian crazy quilts used satins, brocades and velvets---fabric left over from ladies' elegant ball gowns. The fabric scraps were outlined in intricate embroidery. Thanks to modern sewing machines, making a crazy quilt is much less strenuous, but is still a great way to showcase creative flair.
Prewash the fleece and muslin according to the manufacturer's instructions. This step prevents the fabric from shrinking, which can distort a finished quilt when it is washed.
Cut 13-by-13-inch squares of cotton muslin. The number of squares depends upon the size of quilt you are making. A 3-by-4-foot crib-size quilt will require 12 squares: four rows of three squares each.
Lay out your fleece fabric scraps on each muslin square, trimming the fleece as necessary to line it up with the edges of the muslin. Make sure the fleece scraps line up so that muslin is completely covered.
Baste the fleece scraps to the muslin squares using a needle and thread.
Lay out the squares on a clean table or floor area. Stand several feet away so you can get an idea of what the finished quilt will look like. Rearrange the scraps until you are satisfied with the design.
Stitch each of the muslin squares into rows on the sewing machine. Sew the rows together.
Lay out the solid coloured fleece, right side down, on your work surface. Spread a layer of quilt batting on top of the fleece. Top this with the quilt top, right side up.
Fasten the three layers together with safety pins, so they do not slip during quilting.
Sew along the edges of each scrap of fleece fabric using one of your sewing machine's embroidery stitches. This will secure the scraps to the muslin and quilt the three layers together.
Cut four lengths of quilt binding. Two lengths should be the same length as the sides of the quilt. The other two lengths of binding should be 1 inch longer than the top of the quilt.
Sew the bindings to the quilt using a straight stitch. Make sure to go slowly, and catch the top and bottom edges of the binding in the stitching. Sew the sides first, and then the top and bottom bindings. Leave 1/2-inch of extra binding at each edge of the top and bottom bindings.
Fold the raw edges of the extra binding under, and fold the entire excess to the back of the quilt. Hand stitch this excess to the back of the binding to create finished corners.
- Teaching History with Textiles
- "The Joy of Quilting;" Joan Hansen and Mary Hickey; 1995
- For extra embellishment, sew ribbon or lace between the fleece scraps.
- Lightweight quilt batting is sufficient, since the fleece is so heavy. If you prefer, you can skip the batting completely and quilt the two layers of fleece together.
- For more professional-looking results, you can mitre the corners.