Quilting, Farming, Variety

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Anyone who has followed my quilting activities knows how much I like to do redwork. Maybe it's the fact that I don't have to make decisions when it comes to selecting colors for the designs; just pull out the DMC floss, color number 817, and I'm in business. The August, 1998 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine introduced me to redwork, the use of red thread to trace simple line drawings in an outline or stem stitch. The technique was popular from the 1880's through the 1930's and has recently been revived. Patterns were traced from magazines and newspapers, or preprinted squares, called penny squares because they could be purchased for a penny each, were available to stitchers.

The pattern for this quilt was included with the December, 2000, issue of the same magazine. The many, many stitches, both in the patchwork and the embroidery, paid off; it won a grand champion ribbon for me at the county fair.

This is a cute quilt for a toddler girl because it's more crib sized. The patchwork was paper pieced and the redwork blocks were taken from antique day-of-the-week tea towel transfers. The transfers were so fragile that I had to put them on the copy machine and use the copies for tracing them onto the blocks.

Here is a close-up picture of the work to be done on Saturday.

Little boy activities are the inspirations for these blocks. The nine patch blocks and the borders are made from plaid fabrics which go so well with the redwork. This idea for the quilt came from a picture in the December, 2000 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.

A good chore for a farm boy: feeding chickens!

Two quilts were made by this pattern: a doll quilt and a baby quilt. I reduced the drawings on the copy machine to fit a four inch block and worked the math for the squares to make the doll quilt. Hint: always prewash those red fabrics!

The next two redwork patterns came from the Sunbonnet Sue website. They are month-of-the-year activities. The baby quilt was made of paper pieced log cabin blocks with the redwork blocks used in the center. (This is only the top, but it is finished now.)

The side borders on this doll quilt are not very visible but it was a very sweet little quilt. I sold this quilt to a grandmother who sent it to her granddaughter in Texas. I think they planned to use it as a wall hanging.
Redwork has been called a contagious pastime. Don't you want to try it this winter?


  1. I absoulutely love the redwork quilts!

  2. I am so impressed with your redwork quilts! The one, which you said would be suitable for a little girl, with the day-of-the-week tea towel transfers is so pretty. The background fabric kind of gives it a vintage look. But, my favorite might be the little boy activities quilt. I can never resist plaids, and you have used them so well in this quilt.

  3. I adore the redwork quilts. The Sunbonnet Sue calendar is darling, all of them are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!