In 1983, appliqué icon Elly Sienkiewicz published a little square 12½” book with a red cover entitled Spoken Without a Word.
The photo-less, 68-page black-and-white book, which brought Baltimore Album block patterns and an infectious theory about symbolism to the modern quilter, quickly went through five printings and arguably served as a catalyst for the Baltimore revival that is still going strong. Today, copies of the original “Red Book” can be found listed on the internet for hundreds of dollars.
Exciting news! A little bird told me that Elly is preparing a new edition of this important classic! Spoken Without a Word: A Lexicon of Symbols with 24 Faithfully Reproduced Patterns from Classic Baltimore Quilts, 30th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, is coming out this fall!
The original book’s signature red color is threaded throughout the black-and-white engraving-like details of the new edition, now revised and reformatted to 8½’ x 11″ and 128 pages. The familiar original text remains intact, and the patterns remain untouched. What’s new and additional are glorious photos of newly made blocks, settings, and wall quilts, and a new foreword and afterword from Elly.
The new edition is available for pre-order on Elly’s website, Appliqué With Elly.
Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie