(These square images are a part of the panel...there are nine images all together)
Hello! I'm so excited to tell you a little more about my first fabric line, The Simple Life. Here it goes!
The Simple Life seed was planted with the concept of Redwork in mind. Since I love embroidery and I love red, it was meant to be and my mind began racing with ideas! I used to clip things I loved from my Country Living Magazines before the world went crazy with the internet and had pinterest!.. I still have my folder full of clippings and Redwork quilts are among them, as well as red and white decor. I've always loved that classic, crispy look of red and white. In fact, one of the first pieced quilts I made is an all red and white pinweel pattern backed in red gingham. mmmm!
In my line, I have created a panel that would resemble a finished Redwork style quilt top.
Here's a closer look at the one of the squares:
Redwork is embroidery done using red thread....'simple' as that! This art form is believed to have originated in Europe in the 19th century when a special dye process made it possible for the red cotton thread to be colorfast. This was an exciting discovery for women because now they would be able to embroider pretty designs onto linens that needed to endure daily washings. In addition, the cotton thread was affordable to the common person, unlike the silk threads that only the wealthy could afford. Suddenly, a popular trend was born and soon it made it's way to America! In dry good stores, 6" muslin squares that had been stamped with a design to embroider, were sold for a penny each. These were known as 'penny squares' and became popular for young girls to improve their embroidery skills. Completed penny squares were used to incorporate into pillows, quilts and various linens.
The design area on my panel squares are approximatley 6", just like a penny square. (The full square including polka dots or stripes is 8")
After Redwork had made it's mark, embroidery done in all blue, or all green or all purple or all any color, also became popular and it would take on the name of Redwork and be called, for example, Green Redwork or Blue Redwork OR just simply greenwork, bluework, purplework, etc...
When designing my panel, I knew mine would be Redwork, Aquawork and Pinkwork panels.
Here's a little peek of the pink and aqua...
Pinkwork Panel square
Aquawork Panel square
The panels are one full yard and will make a perfectly-sized baby quilt. You'll simply just quilt it up the way you like!
Although a 'cheater quilt' was the original thought for the panel, there are many different ways to use the panel and it's seperate peices. One thought for the panel is the option to embroider over the lines if you'd like to give it dimension and a handmade look. But at the same time, if you don't embroider over the lines, you still get that 'look' of Redwork. Aside from that, the options for the panel will be plentiful! When I actually get to sew with the panel, I'll be showing you some of my ideas. I am hopeful that I'll get to see some creativity from you too!
(please forgive some of the blurry photos....i promise your fabric will be crispy clear!)
I'm so fascinated by the whole Redwork movement, this wonderful tradition and art form of embroidery, so I hope that you liked the little history lesson. There is so much more information online if you like reading that type of stuff. (Just search 'Redwork'). I also hope it helps you understand a little more about my line and the thought process behind it.
Although I love everything red and white, I wanted COLOR in my line! It's pretty obvious around these parts that I love all things red, aqua and pink, so naturally this loveable color scheme was A MUST for me! My goal for the line was to be able to give new life, a new twist, to an oldtime favorite (Redwork) and mix it with fresh, modern colors and whimsical, vintage-style designs.
I wanted to experiment with my fabric, and since I don't have the real stuff yet, I put together a few little collages on the computer.
The fun of this line for me is having the option of doing all red and white projects, which would be in true tradition of 'Redwork', but then also to have the option of the colorful prints to mix in and change things up a bit. Either way, I'm excited about the possibilites!
And although I'm mostly girly in my designs, I did try to incorporate something for the little boys.
Some of my scaling is off here and there, so I apologize, but I was having fun and I thought these little collages would give you an idea of how the fabrics will look together.
As you can see, the little people in my designs are doing tasks from a simpler time period. Hanging the laundry, Feeding the chicks, Picking apples, Hauling the hay..... you get the idea. I'm not saying that those tasks are easy or simple....goodness, I can't imagine doing laundry without a washer machine or working a farm and hauling hay or feeding the animals that are needed for your own survival....anything but simple. However, they do remind us of a life that seems simplified. Not all the hussle and bussle that so many of us (me!) are accustomed to. At times it sounds peaceful to get away from it all and live a less complicated life and smell the air while hanging laundry to dry or better yet....hand stitch a quilt in a wooden rocker on the front porch of a big country house.....oh ya, i don't have that design, but it sort of was sounding nice. I'm sure it wasn't as simplistic as it may seem to us who don't live it. But we can dream right?
So anyway, I hope you get the idea of where my thoughts were wandering off to when I was designing this line. Yep, simplicity folks....The Simple Life.
And there you have it. Well...in the summer you will.
And really truly lastly, but definitley not leastly, Thank You Thank You ALL so much for the wonderful comments you have left me on my blog and even on Pinterest last week....it certainly made me feel so blessed and happy! If you actually read this whole thing, (bless you!) please take 25% off your order in my Etsy shop by entering the code LIFE25 at checkout. That will go thru the Sunday, Feb. 26th.
Lots of hugs,
I'm not a historian or an expert on the Redwork era. Just did some reading about it and tried to explain it to the best of my ability and knowledge.