February is a great month to talk about Red and White quilts!
This style of quilt, using just the two solid colors,
was at it's height of popularity in the 1880's through the 1920's, although certainly quilts of this style were made well before and after that period. The red color, dyed with a concoction of madder (an herb) and a bunch of other caustic (and kind of gross) items, was a lively red that was very colorfast. It was a natural dye that was very time consuming to create, therefore the fabrics were quite costly, but well worth the expense. Synthetically dyed fabrics that came later were not so colorfast, although more affordable.
Combined with white, the bold, graphic contrast made for some very dynamic quilts! And it was all about the contrast. Design choice was critical, since using only two fabrics eliminated many possibilities. A good many of these quilts were pieced designs, but some were appliqued, embroidered, and combinations of those techniques.
The four quilts you see with this blog belong to, and were made by Thelma Childers of Charleston, IL, author of the blog, cupcakesndaisies. She was inspired to make red and white quilts by a display in New York City in March of 2011, titled Red and White Quilts: Infinite Variety. (I encourage you to research this display and see the amazing quilts in just one woman's collection!)
If you would like to hear more about red and white quilts, I am presenting a lecture and slide show on this topic at the Sugar Creek Quilt Guild meeting on February 18th at 6:30 pm at the Crawfordsville, IN public library.