Monday, June 29, 2009

"Colonial History" Quilt ~ Ruby McKim

June 29, 2009
copyright, The Quilt Complex, 2009

American "History" in Old Quilts

In December of 1926, some newspapers began printing a series of redwork patterns designed by Ruby McKim. (The patterns were accompanied by text ~ someone's version of American "Colonial" history.)

Over a period of 24 weeks, women could trace these "themed" patterns, week-by-week, onto their own fabric and hand embroider the images, usually in red on white.

In 1927, "R H R" finished, initialed and dated her version of McKim's "Colonial History" quilt. (Right side, above photo)

The vertical "set," and the quilting designs (executed in blue thread) in this version are really unusual ~ and perhaps unique.

It is certainly the most successful presentation of McKim's Colonial History blocks we have ever seen!

To see more images of this quilt:


  1. Really interesting setting for those blocks. I have a few of those done in blue that came in a box from an elderly friend. Nice to have the history on the history blocks.

  2. I collected these designs from the Akron Beacon Journal in 1976.I was just married and a new mom. I was hoping to someday make them into a quilt. But more children came along and my workday got longer so this project got pushed aside. I recently came across them in my file cabinet but found that I was missing five designs.(#3,14,18,19&21) I want to make mine in redwork with navy borders. I can't wait to get started. Sherrie Akron, Ohio