Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sue's Antique Redwork Quilt

On my 8/3/10 post I told the story of a wonderful woman named Sue who has been helping me with my family genealogy.
In trade, I am helping Sue with some of her quilts.

One of the quilts I am currently helping with, is a family heirloom that was passed down to Sue.
The quilt is quite large (95" X 80") with 22 redwork blocks that have been laid on top of a large piece of red fabric.
The original designer had basted the quilt, and even partially begun the hand quilting, and then abandoned her project.

Time has taken it's toll on the red fabric and the backing, but the blocks are still in excellent shape.
Look at these cute redwork designs. I haven't seen anything like them before.
Do they look familiar to any of you?
They almost look European in nature.

The backing is stained and of poor quality.
Sue requested that we save the blocks and discard the red fabric and discolored backing.

The 8 1/2" blocks are easily removed because they had only been basted down with a large hand stitch.

The stitching on the redwork is excellent, with very precise, small stitches.
Now I have the task of selecting an appropriate setting for these blocks. Sue has given me free reign to come up with a design.
Do you have any suggestions?
Meanwhile, I will be spending the next few days with my seam ripper and steam iron to get these blocks back in good shape.

14 comments:

Marianne said...

Be very careful with your steam iron! The red thread may not be colourfast. In the past red thread was notorious for bleeding when in contact with water even up into the 60ties. It would be such a shame to have an accident especially when it is not your own blocks.
As to setting the blocks what about the centre of a star block?

Allie said...

What a great quilt! They look like Ruby Short McKim's Mother Goose blocks - now being reprinted by her family. Here's a link, scroll down the page to see the book:
http://www.mckimstudios.com/04treasures/quiltspecial/quiltspecial.shtml

Good for you on preserving a treasure! And yes, do be careful of the red, thread and fabric.

Carol said...

What a wonderful treasure...I'll be watching to see what you do with it...very exciting.

Notjustnat said...

What a treasure you have found. Good on you to try and recreate it for Sue. How about nine patch? I will be interested to see what you would do with it - Hugs Nat

Caro said...

Thanks to you beautiful stitching was rescued and will be preserved for a long time to come.

Material Mary said...

I love the contemporary style of these embroidered blocks, which I think a contemporary style quilt setting would work really nice with all this. Also I could see this done in a star/chain setting which would offset the embroidered blocks with the embroidery in the center of the stars. Have fun with this!!
Mary

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

You'll do a great job. Love them. This is beautiful work.

quiltmom said...

I am sure you will do a fantastic job with the quilt blocks- what an interesting project.
Genealogy is lots of fun too- I was first interested in my father's roots at age 16. My mother has continued to explore all the family lines of hers and my dads so we have 8 lines of information ( back to each of my grandparents on both sides) It is like a big puzzle and a maze at times. Happy exploring..
Regards,
Anna

Lori Holt said...

Hi Nedra...
I'm sure whatever you come up with will be perfect. I think they would be really cute in the center of a courthouse steps block done in scrappy red and whites.
I would think twice about using steam though...the red could very well bleed...especially the old reds don't seem to be very colorfast....I have noticed that through my collecting.
xx
Lori

AnnieO said...

I love those redwork blocks! Very distinctive and detailed for line drawings. What a wonderful opportunity for you, but such a challenge too!

Janet said...

The blocks are wonderful, I love the linear style of them.

Brenda said...

What a great quilt and story, good luck.

Mary said...

I am late in catching up on the posts, but look at the red and white fabrics in this one: http://www.mckimstudios.com/06bboard/quiltshow.lbwa.shtml

I am not sure how many blocks you have but it is going to be lovely, whatever you do.

KarenQuilt said...

Just stumbled onto your blog. These are indeed Ruby McKim designs, but you probably know that by now since your post is over a year old. Here is a link to an article I did about Ruby that I thought you might enjoy. http://www.thequiltshow.com/os/articles.php/articles_id/42/cat_id/3 plus a post I did for my own blog that includes some of my McKim quilts. http://karenquilt.blogspot.com/2011/01/more-crib-doll-quilts.html

Cheers! Karen Alexander