Old Fashioned Patchwork Quilt Patterns Old Lady Patterns How-To The History of Penny Squares and Other Redwork

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The History of Penny Squares and Other Redwork

Drawing has played an important role in the history of quilting. It was used in blocks, usually quarters of a penny, in which pieces of music were printed and sold for one cent each. Embroidery designs include many styles and themes, and many of these old patterns are still available for embroidery today. In recent years, vintage doilies have become an essential source of pattern decoration for patchwork projects.

While the pattern embellishment is centuries old, it came to prominence as a quilt embellishment in the 1870s and 1880s when it was used to decorate Crazy Quilts. Made in a single color with a stitch or crochet stitch, it was faster and easier than another Victorian technique called Kensington embroidery, which is filled in and shaded accurately.

Although floral, bird and animal patterns were popular in the 19th century, designs featuring children’s drawings by English artist Kate Greenaway dominated. Dressed in early 1800s clothing, Greenaway’s figures began to appear in the 1860s, and they adorned all manner of objects, even after her last book was published in 1900. 1889 manual Needle-Craft, recently published by RL Shep. By the 1890s, quilting had spread from bedding and quilts to pillows. The Good Night/Good Morning motifs of sleeping children became so popular that a mass merchandiser, such as Montgomery Ward, sold pairs of cases stamped with these early designs in their 1894-1895 catalog. Ward also offered stamping clothes in about 75 patterns, including a complete alphabet. The kit had white powder for dark fabrics and blue for light ones. The pattern was punched with a hardened follower wheel, or the perforation could be made on a sewing machine with a stationary needle. The powder was then sprinkled through the holes on the fabric. Montgomery Ward also sold silk felt in many colors, although by 1900, turkey red was the most popular for patterning on pillows and clothing.

Some women marked or stamped their glasses. They used commercially available patterns or outline drawings found in coloring books. A 1902 vase, in the collection of the Museum of American Folk Art, contains coal shards representing the United Mine Workers strike of that year. Lucky events also found their way onto the red decorative rugs; for example, the 1901 Pan-American Exposition and the 1904 St. Redwork continued into the 1900s. An antique quilt, made of 16 large blocks, some with the inscriptions “War declared 1914” and “Armistice signed 1918.” The date “1922” was engraved in a monogram wreath.

However, children were the most popular subjects for drawing. Whether sewn in red or other colors, children’s patterns were often collected from illustrations in books and magazines. In the early 1900s, for example, Bertha Corbett’s Sunbonnet Babies and Bernhardt Wall’s Overall Boys picked up where Kate Greenaway’s patterns left off and went on to adorn countless embroidered and appliqued garments.

Dutch children’s patterns, decorated with blue or red thread, peaked in popularity before World War 1. Rose O’Neill’s Kewpies provided strong competition, especially in the 1920s.

Other important themes of the interwar decades include cottages, flower baskets, and western themes, especially cowboys. President Roosevelt’s pet daughter, Fala, practically owned the souvenir industry. The small needle was used in many needlework projects. World War II created embroidered motifs of sailors and soldiers as caricatures and their admirers. In the post-war period, cute French dolls, kittens, chicks and chefs appeared heavily in embroidery, mostly on tablecloths, tablecloths and dusters, tea towels rather than quilts, although today’s quilts can be used on these. designers make lovely creations.

Indeed, vintage red dresses pop up from time to time at vintage stores and shows, but they are usually expensive. Separate red blocks, usually sold in a set, are cheaper. Vintage doilies and tea towels from the 1920s-1950s will rarely run more than $10 each and can cost as little as one dollar. Some quilt shops may have collections of old designs that members can browse. Flea markets and garage sales are good sources of old, unused replacements, stamped but never worn items, and even floss in colors that are no longer available. Examples of Chinese painting from old magazines and books are similar to vintage designs from that decade, so they can be substituted.

For those who enjoy recreating the past with traditionally rich quilts, making penny square reproductions and other patterned decorative works can be very satisfying. And what little girl wouldn’t love to have a blanket sewn for her bed with kittens, dolls, Kewpies, or nursery rhyme characters?

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