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Crazy Quilt with Masonic York Rite Knights Templar Ribbons
USA: Illinois (probably)
Silk; velvet; cotton
overall: 79 x 65 in.; 200.66 x 165.1 cm
Gift of William C. Roseboom

Crazy quilt made out of silk and velvet fabrics and Knights Templar ribbons. The ribbons represent a number of events and Commanderies including those in Pottsville, PA, Crawfordsville, IN, Cincinnati, OH, Frankfort, KY, Ionia, MI, New Orleans, LA, Evansville, IN, Danville, IL, Beloit, WI, and others. The quilt shows a variety of embroidered motifs (owl, fan, flowers) and stitches. It is backed with dark orange cotton. Pieced and tied (on the front). Made up of 12 blocks that are roughly 11 1/2 by 22 inches. Back to front binding; medium cotton batting.

In the late 1800s as Westerners became better acquainted with Japanese culture, many Americans embraced styles derived from Japanese art. Crazy quilts were one pervasive expression of this widespread interest. In these quilts, makers collected small and varied scraps of fabric from various sources. Some of these pieces, such as those taken from wedding dresses or children's clothes, represented family and personal memories. But women incorporated more than just pieces of dress silks in their quilts. The maker of this quilt composed entire blocks out of the ribbons that men wore and traded at Knights Templar gatherings. People also wore ribbons like these to announce their support for a political candidate, when they attended parades, or when they competed in fairs. These ribbons made this quilt a record of the family's involvement with both the Knights Templar and politics.

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