A little on the Quilts History:
The Crazy Quilts were purchased at the estate auction of Elizabeth Bull McCauley of Chadron Nebraska. She was just an incredible pioneering woman. She received her PhD in the late 1950s in education and was a long time teacher and education administrator in Nebraska. She was married 3 times and had no biological children. I believe that the quilts were made by someone in her family or from one of her three husband's families. I do have a few holes in her family tree, I don't know the name of her first husband and the maiden names of her mother.
Not the best photo of this quilt, it is the only finished quilt in the collection and by far the most spectacular. It has an applique floral border with many applique, painted and embroidered motifs.
Detail of the center. One motif that has puzzled me is the three "red dots". I believe they are actually rings and represent the Fraternal organization of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Daughters of Rebekah. Both which use the three linked rings and the crescent moon shape as symbols. I welcome any other thoughts or ideas on what the red dot motif could be......
Motif to note is the applique butterfly in the lower right corner, one of my favorites.
(TIP: if you click on some of the photos you can get a closer view)
Detail of the floral border. The flowers are believed to be hat trimmings and if you look closely at the crazy patchwork you can notice that the border was done in darker shades than the center. Most of the embroidery is done with pearl cotton and are variations on the basic stitches.
Another detail of the border. Every time I look at the quilts something new jumps out or I notice something new. I had the extreme pleasure of presenting a lecture and trunk show on Crazy quilt history and one gal noticed the embellishment on the vase. I had never noticed that she added the embroidery stitches to enhance the pattern in the velvet fabric.