Redwork…..some vintage patterns to download

redwork house

The name Redwork is derived from the red cotton thread that was used to create this charming style of embroidery.  Redwork embroidery was very popular from about 1880 – 1920  Much of its popularity was due to its economy, simple and inexpensive. In America, dry goods stores sold 6 inch muslin squares marked with a variety of designs for a penny each. These “penny squares” are often seen incorporated into old Redwork quilts and linens.

Penny squares were often given to youngsters to occupy their time, as well as improve their embroidery skills. Most sources agree that penny squares were widely distributed in the early 1900s through the beginning of World War II, although their popularity had begun to decline even before that time. The simple designs were also made available in catalogs, newspapers and magazines. It would seem the interest in the designs outlasted the interest in penny squares. In fact, line drawing designs for Redwork were printed in publications like Work Basket throughout its publication and even in more modern magazines like McCall’s Needle Crafts.

One of my favorite books , “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” hes a little bit about penny squares see it here

I have a group of old Redwork blocks in my collection.  They were given to me and  have no information about who made them or where they were made. There is a variation in embroidery skill from block to block so I do not believe that they were all made by the same person.  One of the blocks does have the date 1917 on it.

redwork flag redwork rose redwork basket redwork pear redwork teapot redwork house redwork calla redwork fruit bowl redwork flowers redwork pineapple redwork flower redwork columbine redwork Nov redwork april redwork 1917

If you click on the pictures above they will enlarge and you are welcome to copy them.

I also have a big stack of redwork patterns

2011_0117vintage-transfers0012

I assume that these were traced from newspapers and magazines. I have 70 of these and I have scanned 20 of them so far.  If you would like the patterns click here   redwork 1   and you can print them out for your own use

I also have a Redwork quilt top that it pretty fun.  The pattern is called “Colonial Life”  and it is a Ruby Short McKim pattern originally offered in 1930.

“This is the Colonial History Quilt, designed especially for a boy’s bed, but girls who love stories of heroes may make it for themselves. If grandmother decides to make it for that lad, it will become an heirloom, a thing of joy and beauty to be used and treasured for years.”

the patterns for this can be purchased here http://www.mckimstudios.com/04treasures/quiltspecial/quiltspecial.shtml#sthash.nN6rTPnh.dpbs

2012_0221colonial-life0001 2012_0221colonial-life0002 2012_0221colonial-life0003 2012_0221colonial-life0004 2012_0221colonial-life0005 2012_0221colonial-life0007

Happy Quilting

Tim

“The Sunday Plain Dealer has arranged to give its readers a service that will make special appeal to the boys and girls as well as to their mothers and grandmothers, and we’re pretty sure that father and the baby too, will like the finished result.”This is the Colonial History Quilt, designed especially for a boy’s bed, but girls who love stories of heroes may make it for themselves. If grandmother decides to make it for that lad, it will become an heirloom, a thing of joy and beauty to be used and treasured for years.” – See more at: http://www.mckimstudios.com/04treasures/quiltspecial/quiltspecial.shtml#sthash.nN6rTPnh.dpuf
“The Sunday Plain Dealer has arranged to give its readers a service that will make special appeal to the boys and girls as well as to their mothers and grandmothers, and we’re pretty sure that father and the baby too, will like the finished result.”This is the Colonial History Quilt, designed especially for a boy’s bed, but girls who love stories of heroes may make it for themselves. If grandmother decides to make it for that lad, it will become an heirloom, a thing of joy and beauty to be used and treasured for years.” – See more at: http://www.mckimstudios.com/04treasures/quiltspecial/quiltspecial.shtml#sthash.nN6rTPnh.dpuf
“The Sunday Plain Dealer has arranged to give its readers a service that will make special appeal to the boys and girls as well as to their mothers and grandmothers, and we’re pretty sure that father and the baby too, will like the finished result.”This is the Colonial History Quilt, designed especially for a boy’s bed, but girls who love stories of heroes may make it for themselves. If grandmother decides to make it for that lad, it will become an heirloom, a thing of joy and beauty to be used and treasured for years.” – See more at: http://www.mckimstudios.com/04treasures/quiltspecial/quiltspecial.shtml#sthash.nN6rTPnh.dpuf
“The Sunday Plain Dealer has arranged to give its readers a service that will make special appeal to the boys and girls as well as to their mothers and grandmothers, and we’re pretty sure that father and the baby too, will like the finished result.”This is the Colonial History Quilt, designed especially for a boy’s bed, but girls who love stories of heroes may make it for themselves. If grandmother decides to make it for that lad, it will become an heirloom, a thing of joy and beauty to be used and treasured for years.” – See more at: http://www.mckimstudios.com/04treasures/quiltspecial/quiltspecial.shtml#sthash.nN6rTPnh.dpuf

38 thoughts on “Redwork…..some vintage patterns to download

  1. patricia sherman says:

    Thank you for all the redwork patterns!

    • timquilts says:

      you are welcome….I hope you can use them!

      • LeeAnn says:

        Thank you! I remember these type of designs for in the fabric stores in the 1960′s. They were old then, and I think they were made to iron on fabric and then embroider. I may download some of yours. How lovely of you to share them!

      • timquilts says:

        Have fun with them…..I cant say for sure how old they are, but I think early 1900′s…..if you use white fabric you can trace them on using a light box….or like I have done, by taping them to a window with sun coming through

    • Clara Zolud says:

      Thank you so very much!!! I love the Redwork, I have a few blocks that my grandmother did back in the 1940′s on muslin and she has crocheted the edges. I can remember watching her embroider while she babysit me and my siblings. I love them so much I am going make a few of these and try and copy her crocheting and mount them on a red cloth, what is your thought?
      I love that you are so sharing with us, you surely have made your mother proud. Kudos!!!

      PS Give Teddy a hug, animals are as good as their master :)

      • timquilts says:

        Thanks Clara
        that sound like a great idea and a beautiful tribute to your grandmother! I think she would be happy that her work made such an impression on you.

        Teddy says Thanks too!

  2. Sara says:

    Thanks for the patterns! I also have several of the Ruby patterns and they are sitting here in one of my buckets (I figured if you have more than one bucket list, they won’t overflow). The flower baskets are what are really nice, not so much in red work, but all colors of floss, it’s at the top of one of my lists! Crosshatch quilting over them is nice, also.

  3. May Olson says:

    Tim you are without a doubt a true giving person.You share openly.I do enjoy red work-influenced by Alex Anderson’s book on redwork from a few years ago.Thank you so much.I really love your dog too.What a cutie pie.

  4. CalCat says:

    I have a ton of these already embroidered by my aunts, great aunts, and so on…since I am not a quilter I have put them in a little book in those acid-free slips, just in case someone in the family, in the future, decides to quilt them!

    • timquilts says:

      that is a great way to preserve them! even if they never get quilted they are pretty to look at and it is wonderful that they have a family history!

  5. Lisa says:

    These are awesome. My mother in early 1970′s bought floss, patterns and pillow cases for my sisters and m as an “occupy your summer project”…After I married, she had my piece matted & framed…..a kitten in pink varigated floss with the phrase “cute as a kitten” …. it hangs over my sewing machine today.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. I enjoy red work. I use a piece of thin cotton wadding behind the fabric – it stops the ends of the thread showing through, and adds a little texture to the embroidery.

  7. Karen says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’m adding these to my list of someday projects.

  8. Kathleen C says:

    Tim, thank you for the patterns. Just recently I started some redwork blocks-but I used blue floss since that’s what I had on hand-from Gwen Marston’s Needlework Designs. The patterns can also be used for quilting or applique. Leaves picked from the backyard would also make good redwork motifs.

  9. Linda says:

    Thanks for sharing the redwork patterns. Love the redwork/blue border quilt top. Your flowers are gorgeous, it is a challenge to grow anything in NM! We do grow big melons and sweet taters!!!

    • timquilts says:

      I can imagine that growing there would be difficult…glad I dont have to worry much about water here! but I do love mellons and I can’t grow them here…..I think the growing season is too short

      enjoy the patterns!

  10. Gorgeous patterns – thank you Tim…and for the history lesson.

  11. The basket of flowers near the top of your post appears in repeated blocks on a quilt top made by my maternal grandmother and set with alternate blocks of pink polished cotton. Although she had stitched redwork and “blue work” blocks, she stitched these in color.

  12. Jackie Beard says:

    Really enjoyed your program at Capitol City Quilt Guild last night. Glad to see someone rescueing these quilts and giving them another life. Great work.

  13. Babara says:

    Thanks for sharing, these are great!

  14. STEPHANIE says:

    Love the new banner/header or whatever the picture (of Teddy) at the top is called!

  15. STEPHANIE says:

    Have to share this with you . I recently had to have my King Charles Cavalier put to sleep. (Heartbreaking) She was only 10. It was the dreaded heart problem which is in the breed genes. I have another who is younger and can only hope that he will be O.K.. But I now realise until this problem is sorted (which it probably won’t for a long time, if ever) one should not encourage the breed. So I was *googling” different breeds of dogs and this is what was said about Teddy’s breed;

    The writer’s “fav of the small dog breeds. Weight 12-16 pounds, height 12-14 inches, lifespan 12-15 years. Playful, affectionate, alert, inquisitive and very companionable. Need LOTS of human interaction. Lapdog. Once bonded, frightfully devoted to family. Sometimes get along with other dogs and house pets. They love people! Tolerant of children, excellent for seniors and a great watchdog. One of the best family pets around”

    Sadly the “sometimes get along with other dogs and pets” means – might not be suitable my K C Cavalier and my cat. But I thought you would like to hear the excellent comments about Teddy’s breed.

    • timquilts says:

      Sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. I know that is a very difficult thing to deal with.

      The breed description you sent fits Teddy perfectly!……..He does get along with other dog….in limited situations (like playing at other people houses….but at home he wants to be the only dog …I think if he grew up with another dog he would be fine, but hes been an only dog here and is used to getting all the attention.

  16. Cathi says:

    Thanks, Tim! I love the look of redwork quilts but have yet to start one. I’m hoping these downloads will get me started!

  17. lizzage says:

    That was great and informative, I am a fan of redwork, so the patterns you’ve supplied were wonderful.

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