Crazy Quilts

"Crazy quilts" are sometimes called "crazy patchwork" and refer to the irregular piecework that lacks a motif or replicated pattern and has seams that are often embellished.

  • See collection: (1973-25), (1973-44)
Quilt made in the USA (1973-25-0002)

European-American Immigrant Quilts

"Jacob's Ladder;" made by Miss Helen Yeakel; Seattle, Washington, USA in 1880 (1988-02-0002)

Gullah Quilts

Gullah quilts are made along the coasts of North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, but show the influence of both African and American quilt techniques. Researchers think that the long strips of fabric in these quilts were influenced by the strip-woven fabrics worn in Africa (long, narrow woven strips sewn together to create a larger fabric). Whether true or not, the Gullah quilts are unique and identify the maker as someone from that community.

  • See collection: (1972-14) Twining Collections
Made by Eva Cohen, Johns Island, South Carolina, USA   (1972-14-0002)

Ralli Quilts

Pakistani quilts called “ralli” are often made by women and their designs vary from region to region. For example, in the southern part of the Sindh province ralli is made using pieced black and white blocks surrounded by red, yellow, black, and white applique blocks. However, in Baluchistan they make embroidered ralli using bright colors and embellishments like mirrors, tassels, and cowrie shells.

  • See collection: (1965-42) Madge MintonCollection
Quilt from the Thatta District, Sindh, Pakistan   (1965-42-0122)

Quilts + Identity

Quilts all over the world reflect part of their artist’s personal identity. They might be made from a favorite outfit or represent the creator’s favorite pattern or a special memory. Personal elements like these, as well the identity of the quilter, are hard to know without recorded stories. But that doesn’t mean they are not unknowingly represented in the fabric.

Themester 2022 Identity Quilt: #IUquilt

Thanks for becoming part of the worldwide quilting tradition! As part of Themester 2022: Identity and Identification we, collectively, created a quilt that represents IU Bloomington. Makers decorated however they wanted - showing us what makes them, them.

Quilt squares were made in fabric or other mediums, then photographed, scanned, or otherwise digitized and submitted to IUMAA digitally using #IUquilt. The results speak for themselves!


The #IUquilt! (Fall 2022)
The finished IU Identity Quilt was displayed at the First Thursday Festival on October 6, 2022.