Monday, February 8, 2016

Redwork in Quilting

In between ice storms,  the quilters gathered around the fire at Molly's to share our joy in fabric. This year our focus has been handwork and its application to quilting. Linda presented a report on the history of "Redwork". The short and skinny is that Redwork is embroidery which uses red cotton floss to stitch simple line drawings. It can also be done in other colors, thus changing its name to green work or blue work accordingly. Its history dates back to Victorian era in Europe, where it was called "Turkey work" (the name of the color red used).

Embroiders used "penny squares" onto which a pattern was traced. It was named as such because the square of fabric, a pattern, and the floss cost a penny. These became the quilt blocks or were used for embellishing tea towels, aprons, pillow cases and other decorative items. The traditional stitches are outline, stem, backstitch, and french knots.  There has been a resurgence in its use as seen here. Kathy provided the quilt shown and it is a magnificent example of scrap utilization and redwork. I think this inspires us all to be part of that resurgence. Thanks Linda and Kathy.