I had the high honor to quilt a Red Work quilt top, embroidered in 1892! The quilt top is also a friendship (or signature) quilt, with each block “signed” by the family member or friend who embroidered it. Since the date, January 19, 1892, is embroidered in the central block as well as some of the smaller surrounding ones, I feel certain that this quilt top celebrates an event, most likely a wedding. Women from the Pieper family and the Howard family are prevalent throughout. Three of the blocks include a location – two from Amboy, Ohio, and one from Erie, Pennsylvania. My client and I agreed that a simple cross hatch quilting design and a red binding would be in keeping with the time period. It was such a pleasure to work on this project. As I quilted each block, I thought about the women who wielded their needles, 128 years ago. And wondered, also, why it was never quilted/finished.
My client found the quilt top, inside a stained and beat up brown paper grocery bag, at a garage sale. She paid $5.00 for it.