From the Collections: Crazy Quilts

Crazy Quilt from the Richfield Historical Society Collections

The Richfield Historical Society’s Crazy Quilts are among the most colorful pieces in our collections. Crazy quilting was a popular 18th and 19th century patchwork style which used small and often time exotic pieces of fabric to create a collage with no particular pattern. Quilters would use silks, satins, and velvets – along with more conventional materials – to create brightly colored designs where texture, embroidery, and embellishments were often as important as the pattern itself.

Crazy quilt with more simple patchwork

Making crazy quilts was meant to be fun and creative – a break from the more traditional and rigid quilting patterns also popular at the time. It was also a great way to use up all those odd and uneven scraps that would otherwise have to be thrown out.

Despite being called “quilts,” most crazy quilts, including the ones in our collection, aren’t quilts at all, but just decorative patchwork. Lacking the interior batting and multiple layers, they provided little warmth and were mostly used decoratively. Some were even fashioned into robes or bags.

Tell us about your experiences with Crazy Quilts by leaving a comment or visiting our Facebook page and learn more about are collections by visiting the Richfield History Center on Wednesdays and Saturdays 12-4.

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April Fool’s Dance!

1949 April Fool's Dance Announcement

I choose to believe that there was no dance and anyone who showed up was an April Fool. How did you celebrate April Fool’s Day growing up?

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Chickens in Richfield?

With the local and organic movement, raising chickens in the city is suddenly in vogue. Today in Richfield you are allowed to have up to three hens in a confined space in your backyard – just enough for a couple eggs for your breakfast – but this limitation wasn’t always the case. In the first half of the 20th century, it was common to have a handful of chickens running around yard and for some Richfielders, eggs were a big business. Take a look at these ads from 1941 to get an idea of just how much raising chickens in Richfield has changed.

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Will You Do Your Bit For Russia?

Relations with Russia weren’t always as cold as they are now. During the war Richfield not only sacrificed for American troops, but also for our allies across Europe and Asia. This clothing drive announcement is in the July 15th, 1943 edition of the Richfield News.

This Saturday, March 15th, is the last day you can see the Minnesota Homefront Exhibit here at the Richfield History Center, but bound wartime copies of the Richfield News are always available!

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