Traditional patchwork patterns vary depending on tradition and place of origin. Patchwork, or piecing, involves cutting fabric into shapes – usually geometric – and joining them to create new designs, both simple and complex. In the Victorian novel The Mill on the Floss (1860), George Eliot’s tragic heroine Maggie Tulliver complains that she can’t see any reason to cut up a perfectly good piece of cloth just to stitch it back together again. The reason quiltmakers do this is because the process allows them to make glorious patterns using the concepts of art: shape, scale, or, most importantly, color and color value – the contrast in shading between light and dark. The contrast of red and white provides an intensity that is perhaps the brightest contrast possible.
From the book “Red and White Quilts: Infinite Variety” by E. Warren, M. Gordon and J. S. Rose
You can find more pictures and a review at Book review: “Red & White Quilts: Infinite Variety” by Elizabeth V. Warren with Maggi Gordon