This crazy quilt was hand-sewn and embroidered using recycled fabric in North America at the end of the 19th century (1895).
Crazy quilts are so-called "crazy" because they don't follow a specific pattern or quilt block (the building block for a quilt pattern), instead patch-working differently shaped fabrics together to create an abstract pattern. This is a very labor-intensive craft and can feature a wild mix of fabrics and stitches. Crazy quilting reached its peak in the late 1800s, first with upper-class women who had the time to fully unleash creatively and employed fantastical fabrics and embellishments like buttons, beads, shells, and anything else that could lend sparkle and pizazz. Later once the fashion for these quilts had passed, they continued to be made in more rural areas, where women used sturdier fabrics and fewer embellishments.
This particular quilt was composed during the height of this movement and epitomizes the Victorian design sense. It features many symbols, a variety of fabrics, and tiny detailed embroidered "borders" around each swatch of fabric. The symbols include horseshoes, hearts, flowers, and even the text "Happy Easter". It was almost certainly intended as a family heirloom with attention to detail as well as the use of expensive materials like silk and velvet. Embroidered in one patch is the quilter's name and the date of the quilt - "Made by Debbie A. Smith 1896"
In very good condition, signs of wear are consistent with age. Backed with fabric and framed by a soft velvet trim. Has a light and airy handle, consistent with crazy quilts.