My Crazy Dream
Mary M. Hernandred Ricard
Made in Boston and Haverhill, Massachusetts
74 x 69 inches
Ardis and Robert James Collection
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.
Curator of Collections Carolyn Ducey provides additional information about this masterpiece in this two-part video series: