Americans in particular adapted the crazy method (random patches sewn over a backing) and recycled wools, blankets, old military uniforms, men's pants, and suiting samples into heavier quilts which were often tied rather than quilted. Call these 'country crazies.' Embroidery when done on wool crazy quilts could be quite bold and women found their inspiration everywhere. Even redwork transfers, available through mail order or in magazines, crossed over into crazy territory. Threads used varied from thin wool yarns to silk floss to perle cottons.
While textile historians speculate as to the exact root of crazy quilting, we can't discount the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement (called the Aesthetic Style in England) that produced all manner of quasi-oriental home furnishings, decor, and dress after the Civil War. Or maybe its genesis was the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876 when many Americans saw Oriental ceramics for the first time. Don't tell me this platter from1878 is not in the crazy quilt style!