Quilt of the Month


September 2005

September 2005

Redwork Album
Maker unknown
Probably made in Pennsylvania
76" x 65"
IQSC 1997.007.0880
Ardis and Robert James Collection of Antique and Contemporary Quilts

In the early decades of the twentieth century, fund-raising quilts like this redwork piece became very popular, particularly as a means to raise support for war efforts and religious organizations. Individuals paid a prescribed amount to have their names included; upon completion, the quilt could be sold or auctioned to raise additional funds.

The use of embroidery in quilts became prevalent after the exhibition of embroidered pieces by the Royal School of Art Needlework at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Redwork embroidery, usually done in a simple outline stitch, decorated all sorts of household objects in addition to quilts. Patterns were available through women's magazines and published patterns as well as on pre-stamped items.