Sunday, May 29, 2011

Red Work Quilts

The Art of Quilting Show hosted by the Gilbert Historical Museum featured two vintage red work quilts.
The use of red work embroidered blocks for bed coverings became popular around 1900.

Pre stamped squares could be purchased for about a penny each.
Originals could be drawn, traced or shared among friends.
The top would then be finished by being quilted or tied, with or without batting.

Shown by Laura Hardon, this top was the first vintage quilt she had ever purchased.

Hand quilted by Laura.

You can still see many of the original pencil marks around the Red Work.
Many of the blocks are quite traditional, featuring birds, plants and flowers.

Although I thought showing the birds in a floating wooden shoe was quite fun.

Family Heirloom shown by Judy Shahenian

This red work was not quilted, and hung over a long rack, with only half of the blocks visible.

Notice in the setting that the blocks face different directions.

Made for Judy's grandfather by his grandmother in 1900.

Many of the blocks had a baby theme.

Several blocks were very original in style.

Such a motherly gesture as the woman appears to be combing down her son's hair.

The use of a red herringbone stitch to outline each block is quite striking.

Wouldn't it be interesting to talk to the original designer, and ask her what she was trying to represent as she combined a spider web, dragon fly, Calla Lily's and initials into one section?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this! I love redwork and those pictures really inspire!

Cathy @ CabbageQuilts said...

Very interesting Nedra. xo

Material Mary said...

I know the spider web represented good luck. As for the others, I don't have a clue. Love the redwork.

Lois Evensen said...

Wow, those are beautiful! I just love seeing vintage work. Wouldn't it be fun to see and talk with the people who worked on them.