I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Red and White Quilt for Valentine's Day

Hello dear friends! Happy Valentine's Day! I thought today I'd share one of my favorite red and white quilts for a little Valentine treat.

I was gifted with this gorgeous book for Christmas. I have it on my dining table and I am slowly poring over every page.

It inspired me get out my red and white quilts for an afternoon's enjoyment [air and refold too]. I think red and white quilts are the largest segment of my collection---the combination never fails to attract my eye and please my collector's spirit.

This is a beautiful redwork quilt I've had for many many years. c 1911. It is much whiter than my photos show.

I'm pretty sure, all these years later, that I bought it for the zebra.

How cute is he! I fell in love with the zebra. He is so animated and charming.

But it has many wonderful special blocks, including a date---

And this I never noticed, or forgot: it has initials. Isn't that a lovely find?

It also has Sunbonnet babies

Nursery rhymes

a whole menagerie of animals.
Including a polka dot fish...



Bunnies and squirrels...

you'll note here that it has been poorly rebound at some point.
 I need to remember to redo this
in vintage turkey red cotton.

Hens, chickies, birds [2 turkeys, a swan, an owl, geese, and more.]

"who'll get the worm!?"

including  flowers:

...fruits, vegetables, acorns, lily pads with a frog!

It is thin, like a summer quilt. Nice but not fabulous quilting in an unusual circles pattern. 

.After all that embroidery the quilter's fingers maybe gave out. Or her attention. [Most redwork quilts are  only lightly quilted, I've noticed.] 
Some areas seem to have been quilted with red thread, but I think maybe instead the red embroidery thread dye migrated and was captured in the folds of the quilting. 

If I counted correctly there are 81 embroidered blocks in this quilt. 81 different imaginative designs! I picture this on a child's bed, an early 2oth century I SPY quilt. What a joy this  must have been.
This quilt is over 100 years old. Its maker and recipient are lost in time. Don't we wish we knew? Who made this? Why?

For now all I can say is it was made with love and care. Happy Valentine's Day!



gone to the beach.....


  1. That embroidered quilt is fabulous! What a piece of art. Love the year and the initials too.

  2. Oh how I love Redwork! Your quilt is such a great find. That must have taken a long time to finish. I was lucky to inherit some Redwork pillow shams from my hubbys family. They say Good Morn and Good Night. :) Have a great weekend Liz! Kit

  3. I've done quite a few embroideries and recognise a lot of the ones you have on the quilt but I have never seen a zebra before. Wonderful!

  4. Ahhh, so charming. The zebra, the kitties, the acorns, ugh, how to pick a favorite. Interesting that Redwork quilts are only lightly quilted. What do you make of that?

    Happy Valentine's Day Lizzy! Thanks for sharing. Love the snow pic, hope you're keeping warm.


    1. I don t think I ve ever read a reason for the often meager quilting on redwork. They were done at time that ladies did less dense quiltwork, and I think they were showing off their embroidery skills, not their quilting? Many are summer quilts, I think all mine are anyway..no batting or thin flannel only. [I have 3 or 4 complete redwork quilts, 2 tops, and a set of 100 squares. I think].

  5. It's very cool that there's a date and initials on your quilt, most quilters of that era didn't seem to do that. I recognize a few of the figures as some my mom had embroidered on dish towels and pillowcases (only in more colors - my mom liked colorful things). Makes me wonder if the pieces were done for the quilt, or if they were cut and saved from other things. It's beautiful either way! Thanks for sharing, and have a great Valentine's Day!

    1. No, the muslin squares were intended to be quilt blocks, they were marketed as Penny Squares, and were a big fad between about 1885 and 1930. Popular motifs were also printed on things like sidhtowels and pillow cases, especially later, in the 1930s. And tranfers of the designs are still sold today sometimes ["Aunt Martha's"] I have a set of embroidered squares in my collection, never sewed into a quilt, 100 blocks I think. Even Queen Victoria. I ll dig them out for a photo.

  6. Beautiful sweet red work - what a treasure. How we all wish our predecessors had labeled their quilts! But you have the date and initials which is nice.

  7. Aww man, I left a comment last night and it's gone missing :(

    Anyhoo, I think the quilt is so charming. I, of course, love the kitties, but also the acorns, and the cow jumping over the moon. Well they're all pretty cute. Thanks for pulling it out to show us. A very nice Valentine treat!

    Is Mo your Valentine?

    Love the snow-ing pic. How's it going in your neck of the woods? Just started snowing in MD a little while ago I heard. Well, just remember that awesome December you had :)


  8. Hi Kel! I retrieved your previous comment, no clue why Blogger erased it. Thx for letting me know.

    Of course Mo is my sweetheart! But my kids gave me gorgeous roses too! And a girlfriend brought red tulips, I was well Valentined.
    We re expecting snow tomorrow by noon, sigh. And it was ZERO last night, brrr. Good thing I like winter?


  9. I was thinking the same thing. How wonderful it would be to know who made it. What stories it could tell. What history there is in all those stitches. Truly an amazing piece. Happy new week! Tammy

  10. What a lovely quilt! So sweet. Yes, wouldn't it be wonderful to know who created this treasure? So much history.
    Love ya, Sue

  11. In my stash of quilt/embroidery squares from my grandfather's store, some of those designs exist (from his store in the 50s or 60s).

    I never thought of an I SPY quilt ... thanks for sharing!

  12. In my stash of quilt/embroidery squares from my grandfather's store, some of those designs exist (from his store in the 50s or 60s).

    I never thought of an I SPY quilt ... thanks for sharing!


Thank you for taking the time to write a comment here.If you are a no reply blogger pls add your email for replies or look for a reply on the comments page within usually 3 days or less.