“There is a shade of red for every woman.” -Audrey Hepburn
The use of the color red in quilts has a rich history. Though in its earliest origins red cloth was reserved for the wealthy, it did not take long to make mass production of red textiles less expensive and readily accessible to the masses. It’s been a popular color ever since, and it’s not hard to see why: red is literally the color that flows through our veins, and it has come to describe our most raw human emotions, including love, passion, anger, and power. Perhaps it is because of this that the color seems so familiar and tangible to us.
Traditional red and white quilts decades and even centuries old convey a bit about their makers and in ages to come those we make now will say something about who we were in the future. Our hope is that the quilts in the pages of Issue no. 19:Red convey that the use of red in quilts remains robust, interesting, and innovative in spite of how regularly and casually we lean upon this primary color.
Giant by Diana S. Fox @hiitsdi5380
Fox began this quilt in 2018 when the Kilauea volcano erupted in Hawaii. She says, “Watching the molten red lava flow into the ocean was powerful, and this eruption altered the land and its communities for generations to come.” Some areas of the quilt were intentionally left unquilted indicating the parts of the earth missed by the lava flow.
Stella by Don Wattam @drgriz
Machine Quilted by Mary Ann Wattam.
Frank Stella’s painting Delaware Crossing served as the inspiration for this quilt. Wattam was exploring using micro stripes when he created this quilt. Each of the off-white strips are ⅛” thick.
Markings in Red and Black by Irene Roderick @hixonir
This quilt was made during the first few months of the Covid pandemic shutdown. Roderick says about the quilt, “I kept hearing how ‘we are all in this together’ and I was considering other ways we are all united as peoples. I started researching and discovered the human need to make marks, created language, and find shared cultural designs is universal. I chose red and black as a reference to calligraphy, language, and life.”
Transition by Julie Reuben @b_plus_q
Reuben muses, “As I age, I find myself meditating on change. We begin as one thing and gradually become another. Pieces join together and form a path. I tried to capture this as the triangles change from orange to red.” Despite the sharp points scattered across this quilt, the asymmetry of the overall design creates a peaceful flow for the eye to follow.
Not Your Daddy’s Log Cabin by Leslie Swearinger @leslieswearinger
This quilt was made in a David Sirota class using his “no more tears” paper-piecing technique. Swearinger’s log cabins have a mesmerizing effect. The negative space creates an interesting curvature to the blocks that elevates the overall design.
You can find these red quilts and more inCurated Quilts, Issue no. 19: Red. Purchase your copy today!
By Brittany Bowen Burton