Tonight we’d like to highlight a few embroidered quilts that have recently been shared with us by our readers. Quilted “Redwork” has long been popular and was especially so in the late 19th century America. It is created by outlining a design on a white or cream background. Red thread historically was used. Some sources indicated that red thread was the first to be made “colorfast”.
Artistically there is a similiarity between redwork textiles and the kinds of blue and white porcelain that was popular at the same time. The English Aesthetic Movement promoted the idea of “art for art’s sake” and both the blue/white porcelain and the red/white textiles were considered art. During the same time, many kinds of quilts became more embellished.
Redwork stamping kits were marketed in the US by many magazines and supplies could be purchased both by mail and in stores. Many embroiderers used their skill not only to create artistic quilts for their own families, but also for sale.
Redwork designs in the late 19th century often celebrated certain events or reflected images that were popular in domestic culture: birds, favored sayings, characters from stories, babies and children, flowers, etc. The later popularity of Sunbonnet Sue led her to be one favored design for red embroidery. Redwork quilts also were frequently used for signature quilts and for fundraising.
Today, of course, embroidery in all kinds of colors can easily be to added to quilts, both by hand and by machine. It’s an old tradition we still keep alive. We hope you enjoy these examples from our readers. The captions are in their own words.
Vicki’s quilt also won a 2nd place ribbon in her guild quilt show last month!
We love all these! Thanks to everyone who has shared their love of quilting!