Redwork is a simple form of embroidery using only red floss on muslin or white fabric. It is most often seen now in pillow shams that express sentimental statements extolling the virtue of hard work and good living—at high prices in antique stores.
It is also seen in Baby Quilts, table runners, hand towels, and wall hangings in books showing the history of embroidery. Common designs were baby animals, flowers, Mother Goose, and other literary characters.
The most common stitches are the simple running stitch, French knots and the featherstitch.
Fabrics recommended are cream or white muslin, or any even weave fabric with no pattern. Make sure you have enough muslin of one bolt to complete the piece-both back and front. Even though all muslin looks alike the shading can be different and noticeable when pieced together.
DMC floss 304 is the closest to the reds used in traditional work. The red used originally was copied from work done in Turkey (also commonly called Turkeywork) of madder-dyed thread on an even-weave fabric. All you need is colorfast red floss—enough to complete the design.
We recommend using a plastic coated embroidery hoop to hold the fabric. Be careful with metal—it could rust if the fabric gets wet. We use small hoops (6-8 inches wide) because we like to hold the work close to us. Plus with a small hoop you will move it from work area to work area often and by doing this avoid leaving hoop marks in the fabric. (Try to remember to remove the hoop when done for the day and roll up or fold the fabric—this also avoids marks.)
Needle size is usually any needle used for embroidery. Just be sure you can easily thread it. The idea with this is to be relaxed-not get frustrated trying to thread an impossible needle!
Jan uses a thimble but Jeanne usually doesn’t. Just a personal preference.
All of our patterns include easy to understand instructions for you to follow on tracing the pattern; how to stitch; how to put the piece together; how to wash; and the history of the design.
Jeanne and Jan have personally worked each design multiple times to ensure your instructions will get you the results you want the first time. We also give you an estimate of how long the stitching took us. (Jeanne is faster than Jan is!)