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“During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, decorative surface embroidery on practical household linens came into vogue in America.”

From the book Red & White American Redwork Quilts by Deborah Harding

My hubby gave me a boxed set of redwork books for Valentine’s Day a few years back. I’ve been interested in embroidery and redwork since I was little. IĀ  remember a nice neighbor lady teaching me how to do the basic stitches on a pre-printed pillowcase with a delicate lace trim. I was mesmerized by how she could take something so plain and turn it into something so beautiful.Ā  My aunt Bobbie showed me how to do cross stitch and how to knit around the same time. I was probably about 12. Later I got hooked on doing embroidery and cross stitch on French linen, and at one point spent my evenings working a complicated petit point that took me close to a year to complete.

During the warmer months I don’t work on my knitting and crocheting as diligently as I do in the winter and I’m always looking for new ways to express myself creatively.

Today I was walking down the hallway to our bedroom and happened to glance over at the book case. I noticed my redwork books…


I decided to unearth a “life” quilt I had started working on for my daughter Andrea when she was still in junior high.


‘Baby Andie’ redwork design by Melissa Placzek


This is the basic pattern I’m going for. Each of the redwork squares will represent a different milestone in my daughter’s life.

Next to the books I found a folder full of redwork designs by me! I think I’ll be publishing an ebook soon šŸ˜‰

How are you expressing your creativity today?



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  2 comments for “redwork

  1. Kimber Dunn
    October 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    What a great idea for a quilt!! I use to cross-stitch, and linen has always been my favorite too. Lately, I’ve been thinking of starting up again as I yearn for that start-finish creation that you watch emerge along the way in slow progression – but I don’t think the RA in my fingers can handle it anymore. Can’t wait to see your quilt when you finish it. You’ll have to start one for your grandchild now too!

  2. admin
    October 8, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I may actually finish this quilt some day! I am working on it, little by little…I have committed to finishing the 3 quilts I started by the end of my 1001 days (for the “Day Zero Project.”) I’m currently working on the redwork quilt for Andie, a spring tabletop quilt, and a quilt made entirely of vintage tablecloth squares. I’ll keep you posted on my progress! šŸ˜‰

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