Monday, September 21, 2009

My Dork-Out Quilt Is Done!

I finally finished the redwork/feedsack quilt I’ve been geeking on about. Hooray! Except I couldn’t call it My Dork-Out Quilt and expect to sell it. So its professional name is Everything Old Is New Again.

Here’s some history for those who aren’t familiar with redwork or feedsacks. I got the inspiration for this quilt from two of my favorite mediums: redwork and feedsacks. Redwork is a style of embroidery that was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It's called redwork because of the colorfast Turkey red thread that was used at the time. The redwork patterns used are authentic 1890s motifs which I hand embroidered. One of the design themes in turn-of-the-century redwork was nature which is where I took my cue for this quilt. Peaches, strawberries, leaves, roses and cherries fill the 5 embroidered squares.

Feedsacks that formerly held flour, sugar and feed were a popular quilt material during the Depression and World War II. Through the shortages of money during the Depression, and of cloth during the war years, feedsacks filled the needs of thousands of women for fabric to create the things they could not otherwise buy. Recycling at its best! Nine 3” squares of mostly cotton 1930s feedsacks with some viscose and cotton scraps were hand sewn together to form each block. I got these blocks already sewn together at an antiques store and instantly fell in love with them. Each one is still gorgeous and the seams strong even after all these years.

There are red frames around the embroidery, and around the center is a border of black and red paisley print from this century. The border has a double cable quilt stitch, while the smaller 9 patches are quilted with a half moon pattern. The quilt stitches are hidden in the seams around the redwork so as not to distract from the embroidery. The backing fabric is a white on cream tiny floral design. To keep all this red from becoming too overpowering, cadet blue thread was used in the quilting, and blue and cream plaid binding was used to finish off the quilt. Its finished size is 34” x 34”, and is available for sale on the Quilted Lovelies website and the Quilted Lovelies Etsy shop. If you would like to see all the embroidered redwork and 9 patch squares, please see my portfolio on Flickr.

To keep the antique theme going, I just got in a 45 year old Flower Garden quilt to restore. More on that later!

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