Family Bethlehem Star quilt

Family Bethlehem Star quilt

Friday, March 11, 2011

1913 Redwork Quilt

Hi again...a quick post to add another red and white quilt to Taryn's Red & White virtual quilt exhibit.

This quilt was a Christmas gift to me from my family 1n 1999. It was acquired from an online eBay auction with our winning bid on 12/29/99. The eBay seller was from Ridgeway, Pennsylvania and she found the quilt at an estate sale in Brockway, Pennsylvania earlier that summer.

We don't know anything about the quiltmaker. There are embroidered initials "L", "O", "T" (?) and "E" and the centered date of 1913. Photos can be enlarged by clicking on each image.

Was this a wedding gift to a couple with those initials? Or an anniversary gift? We will never know the occasion but someone thought enough about the recipients to embroider popular redwork designs on a woven background. The thread count is not real high - the background is a muslin or similar as is the back. The red embroidery work is done in a cotton thread, equivalent to a #8 perle cotton - the stitch is a stem stitch throughout. On a few of the blocks, it appears a slightly heavier cotton thread may have been used and the workmanship looks a little different.
Just a couple of my favorite designs...and of course they include a log cabin!

The embroiderers "traveled" with their red threads as you can detect llttle "tails" underneath some of the designs. Possibly the blocks may have been done by more than one person?
The hand quilting is approximately 6-7 stitches to the inch and quilting designs are composed of clam shell, hanging diamonds and feathered triangular wreaths. As is typical of that era, there is no applied binding and the backing has been neatly turned to the front and whipped stitch in to place to form the edging.  Overall, the quilt is in very good condition with no real issues. It appears to have been more of a "presentation" type quilt and received little use. It may have been laundered a few times.

I hope you enjoy viewing my redwork quilt!



  1. Really beautifully done! Wonderful gift from the family! Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Have you ever been able to trace a quilter through their work? Do quilters sign their work?

  3. That one is very special. You are a lucky gal.


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