Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Red and White

Have you ever made a red and white quilt?

My Nana Betty hated the color red.  It somewhat shocked me when I found this out because she was always seemed to embrace everything, particularly flowers.  She complained that red was a "hot" color.  Throughout most of her life, Nana dealt with thyroid problems; as a young child she experienced hot flashes.  These prompted her mother to tell her red faced, sweating profusely little girl to sit in the cellar to cool off.  

I've only technically made two--although that is pushing the envelope since one was technically burgundy more than red.  One is still a top and awaiting me to pull off more of the paper pieced triangles (I'm sorry to admit the paper has been on there for years).

The burgundy quilt is finished.  I made the redwork blocks as I cared for my mother for a full year.

It's Christmas themed:

One of the problems I have with working with a true red is that I see red spots for a while afterwards.  Still I like red and white quilts and have a few.  This one I inherited:

Yes I have a lot of redwork quilts but more on those later.

One of the highlights in my quilt life had been the privilege to attend the Red and White Quilt Exhibition, "Infinite Variety" in NYC in 2011.  

We live only a 2 hour drive from NYC and I have to admit I didn't even want to go to the exhibit.  My friend Kim had gone to the exhibit and then insisted Julie and I return with her--AND THANK GOODNESS SHE DID!  I have photos on my other blog here if you want to see a little of what we experienced.

It was otherworldy.  It was like entering a sacred quilt place and I don't even remember hearing a lot of loud speaking.  It was truly an amazing experience.

Obviously, red and white quilts appear to always have been popular.  Most historians will cite that "turkey red" fabric was popular because it was color fast and wore well.

19th century Carpenter's Square quilt from my collection.

I respect that many folks made quilts with turkey red because of the durability of the fabric.  Still I muse about other factors--not historical in nature and completely subjective:  Did the red color brighten 19th century homes in the bleak midwinter?  Did the color feel "warm"--or as Nana said-- "hot" during wintry days?

Have you ever made a red and white quilt?

Have a great day and please stay safe!


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