75 1/2” x 78”
Deborah Harding Redwork Collection
Photo by Fumio Ichikawa, all rights reserved Michigan
State University Museum
Deborah Harding began her exploration of redwork as a means to
satisfy her curiosity about a redwork quilt she purchased at a flea
market. Deborah's subsequent collection of textiles and research
materials on redwork culminated in the publication of the seminal
work on the topic.
The Deborah Harding Collection acquired by Michigan State University
Museum/Great Lakes Quilt Center in 2001, consists of twelve redwork
quilts, ephemera related to redwork, Harding's research files, and
other embroidered pieces, including splashers, chairbacks, laundry
bags, and a child's doily. All of the quilts in the collection are
featured in Harding's book.
The embroidered blocks of this "Nursery Rhyme" quilt includes
depictions of nursery rhymes, the Hudson River excursion boat "Henrick
Hudson," a trolley car, ethnic caricatures, girls in sunbonnets,
fruit, flowers, the Sphinx, and a house. Several of the designs
are repeated as many as three times. The quilt appears to have been
stitched by several different hands. Harding theorizies that many
of the blocks were made by children.
By Mary Worrall, excerpted from American
Quilts from Michigan State University Museum.