Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Redwork Embroidery - Old and New

Here is my redwork cross, all bordered and basted and ready for hand quilting. It doesn't show in the photo, but the border is marked in white Nonce pencil.

Last year, a friend gave me some old quilts and a box with grandmothers flower garden blocks in it, knowing that no one in the family was really interested in them, but that I had an interest in studying and preserving antique quilts. One of those quilts was this amazing redwork coverlet. (click on any of these photos for a larger view.)

A few weeks ago, she came to me saying she'd found more blocks while rummaging around in closets. I expected more of those hexagons for the flower garden blocks but instead, she handed me a plastic bag with 33 redwork embroidery blocks! I was astounded. There are no two alike, and as near as I can remember, they do not duplicate any in the coverlet either. They look to be by at least two different hands, and most of them are very finely done. The quality of the muslin backgrounds vary, some have yellowed and have brown spots, a few have frayed and are barely big enough to contain the embroidery.

I'm not sure what I'll do with these, but I am fairly sure I do not want them to go back into hiding for another near century - I'm guessing they were done around 1900. I'm tempted to divide them up into themes for small wall quilts. They need to be seen and shared.


Exuberant Color said...

What a treasure she gave you.

Patty said...

What a great find!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, those old blocks are very very pretty. I like the ones in the first picture :)

the Koyle's said...

What an amazing treasure! You are so lucky!