Collections Up Close

August 20, 2010


Filed under: What's New — Lori Williamson @ 5:04 am

Shevlin Redwork - DeerShevlin Redwork - Bird Bath

Linda McShannock, objects curator, recently brought to the Acquisitions Committee a Redwork embroidered bed cover which was subsequently added to the Society’s Collection. Redwork is an embroidery style prominent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries  and is currently experiencing a resurgence of interest.

This is a signature spread made by the “Busy Bees” of Shevlin, Minnesota in 1908.  Each block was individually made and contains a different motif surrounded by family names. The designs are a sampling of embroidery motifs readily available and often used for tea towels, aprons or dresser scarves. Before acquiring this spread, the Collection contained only a small sample of Redwork, mostly towels; this is unusual and exciting because of its size and provenance.  The quilt came from the Olaf Olson family of Shevlin.  Often signature quilts were made for a fundraising purpose within the community, we may not know why the “Busy Bees” made this spread, but their embroidery preserves a moment in Shevlin’s history.

Shevlin Redwork - Whole

View of Shevlin, 1915.Shevlin, 1915

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs