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Q&A on Collecting: Crazy quilt is a stitch in time

Anne McCollam advises readers about the value of their antiques.
BY Anne McCollam, For The Oklahoman Modified: October 13, 2012 at 9:49 pm •  Published: October 15, 2012

Q: This is a photo of a “crazy quilt” that was passed on to my mother. It was handmade by my great-grandmother after she migrated from Italy at age 15 to marry my great-grandfather. They were needy and came under the wing of the Jane Adams Hull House in Chicago. The quilt was a product of her learning there. It is made up of velvet and silk pieces embroidered together to form the pattern. The date “1892” is sewed into one corner. The quilt has been well preserved. Any information you can give me about this quilt and its value will be appreciated.

A: Jane Adams was a visionary who founded Hull House, a pioneer settlement for European immigrants who came to the United States around 1900. They welcomed those in need of acclimating to a new country. Hull House provided educational, social and artistic programs for throngs of Italians, Jews, Irish, Greeks, Germans and even Canadian French new to the United States.

Crazy quilts were popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They were made by using irregular patches of silk or velvet that were applied to fabric. Each piece was sewn together by embroidering. Similar crazy quilts can be found selling anywhere from the hundreds to several thousand dollars.

Q: This mark is on the back of a pastel dinnerware set that I inherited from my grandmother. The set is a service for eight and includes serving dishes. The pastel colors are in excellent condition. Since I plan to pass the set on to one of my daughters, I would like to know more about its history and value.

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