Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Crazy Quilt - 1885

One of the more interesting aspects of my life as I have lived it is that I see a lot of things and am asked a lot of things. Usually I don't know the answer. I am smart because I know I don't know the answers and so I look things up or seek answers. It is what it is.

Anyway, recently I was asked to look at a crazy quilt at the Botetourt County History Museum in Fincastle. The reasoning was that because I am a Firebaugh I would have some idea about quilts donated by Firebaughs.

The quilt has a date of 1885 on it. I am not that old! I'm afraid I am not much help with this particular query.

Apparently this particular quilt was made by Boozes or Zimmermans, both familiar names to the area. I am taking a guess at that because of the Bs and Zs on the quilt.  I suppose it could be Bolton. How it ended up being associated with Firebaugh I do not know, although the Firebaughs and Boltons are related.

An old card, created probably in the early 1990s, indicated the quilt was donated by Firebaughs and there was a question as to whether or not it was created/made or otherwise involved with Willie Firebaugh who was a daughter of a Major Firebaugh (CSA), so I suppose that is where the inquiry came from.

The piece is very delicate but exquisitely sewn. I am not a person familiar with quilting nor do I know much about textile work, but I can tell fine needlework when I see it. This included what looked like embroidery and other types of needlework as well as simply quilting.

I suspect this piece needs to be reviewed by a textile historian.

Here are photos:


  1. That is so beautiful!! WOW

  2. Lovely quilt! It looks like several different women—perhaps kin—made it, each working on a few crazy-quilted squares that were then joined together. I suspect that the initials on some parts were those of the quilters.

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