My Crazy Dream

September, 2014

My Crazy Dream

Mary M. Hernandred Ricard

Made in Boston and Haverhill, Massachusetts
Dated 1877-1912
Ardis and Robert James Collection, 1997.007.0541

Though it is often thought the term “Crazy quilt” refers to the somewhat lunatic visual extravagance of these pieces, it probably came from the term “crazed” in Japanese ceramics, where the surface’s glaze is cracked into an irregular pattern. 

Seldom used as functional bed covers, Crazy quilts were often used as ornamental throws. They were most frequently fashioned out of fine silk taffetas, satins, brocades and velvets. Crazy quilts reached their zenith in the late 1800s.

Mary M. Hernandred Ricard, the maker of My Crazy Dream, began her piece in 1877 and finished the top in 1912. The piece was never brought to completion, and the basting stitches are still visible.

This quilt appeared in the book, American Quilts in the Modern Age, 1877-1940, and the exhibitions Masterpiece Quilts from the James Collection and Wild By Design.