”Redwork Embroidery and Needlework Traditions in Europe and America”
is Patricia Cummings’ latest book on Redwork Embroidery. This is not a
how-to book, but more of a history book. Most of the Redwork pieces in
the book were beautifully photographed by James Cummings. Just a
few of the examples of rare Redwork beauties from Pat's personal collection
include Victorian Hairdressing Capes, a Dutch umbrella holder, and a piece
that was possibly used as a Victorian funeral shroud for a child.
The book gives clear examples of where ladies gained their inspiration for
their designs. In one case, an actual Victorian Redwork sewing pouch was
matched to its design source and the pattern is given in full size. Kate
Greenaway’s art illustrations are seen in their original form and then in
Redwork. The origin of SunBonnet Sue, and Kewpies are also discussed.
Many European pieces with written (embroidered) messages have been
translated into English. So many of those heartwarming expressions refer
to a happy and clean home.
Quilt historians Lynne Zacek Bassett and Sandra G. Munsey contributed
guest articles, and many private collections have been included to give
readers a broad look at examples. The provenance of many of these
pieces has been included. The author makes a point of saying that
many people contributed photos, information, and ephemera to this
book and without these kind people, this book would not have been
Ms. Cummings rounds the book out with examples of how the Redwork
tradition continues today. She provides photos of her two historically-
related, quilt tributes to presidents, a Greenwork quilt by Sandra Munsey,
and a quilt currently on exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum that
was made by Carol Godreau. All of these quilts were made within the
last five years. Photos of antique quilts are also shown.
Due to having covered stitch techniques in her first book, Redwork
Renaissance, Pat does not provide stitch diagrams or instructions in this
book. However, there are many usable vintage designs for Redwork
and other Outline Stitch Embroidery that are included for inspiration and
for use in one's own personal projects. The book is an inspiration and a
resource for those who love Redwork and its History.
The book is available at http://www.quiltersmuse.com/.