I was at knittin' kitten restocking our craft and princess/fairy supplies and found these vintage redwork blocks pinned together and got so excited!! I have a feeling they have been there awhile and they just jumped out at me not only because I have been getting more and more obsessed with redwork in the last year, but also because these in particular are so very odd. The designs are so cool and sort of funny really-at least they are funny to me and the needlework is pretty shoddy, which I love. Some of the blocks aren't done yet and you can see the pencil line underneath.
So, I knew of the designs, but had never seen them in person. They are by Ruby McKim and what is super cool is that
all these designs are available as PDF's here **update-these aren't pdf's. :( they are files for machine embroidery on special sewing machines. lame.). The quilt is usually called the "Colonial History Quilt" and the block patterns were featured in a newspaper every week in the early 1920s.. After doing some research I found some discrepancies in the details, but I think this sounds the best:
Ruby McKim's Colonial History Quilt, this pattern was originally featured in the Kansas City Star Newspaper. The newspaper sponsored a contest beginning in December 1926. Every week for 24 weeks an embroidered pattern was published in the Saturday society pages along with a description of each design's historical significance. The contest offered the winner $80 in gold. Women ages 19 and older were eligible to win first prize.
I found the info above at this great site here (it's #18)
Okay-these are making me crazy they are so cool. These patterns were re-published in 1999 but these blocks are from the 20s for sure because they are in pretty bad shape. I am going all coo-coo-crazy with the simplicity of these. And I love the idea of completing the set-there are about 10 missing (I will add this to the new project pile, which also includes a homemade Raggedy Ann. I need to get busy.)