Redwork Embroidery

The Art of Embroidery-Redwork Embroidery

An Introduction To Redwork Embroidery

In the late 1800s, redwork embroidery history was really big throughout America. People loved using this technique in bedding and other items. However, it wasn’t until the 1940s that it started becoming more common in embroidery. Coverlets were still very popular, but now people also wanted them in plainer fabrics. This made the design much easier to use.

Red threads were originally made using a technique known as “embroidery by hand” or “hand embroidery”. Hand embroidery used colored yarn or silk to make designs onto fabric. This technique is still used today. Eventually, new techniques were developed to create different types of stitches, including machine embroidery, where the embroidered fabric is attached directly to another piece of material (such as a shirt) and quilting, where pieces of cloth are joined together to create larger shapes.

Penny Square Designs were popular during Victorian times. Quilters back then used them as a cheap alternative to expensive fabrics. Redwork quilts were also made using Penny Square Designs. Historical Quilts contain many pictures, but many of these images were drawn by hand. In order, the following illustrations are examples of this style:

1)    Children 2)    Stem 3)    Lace
4)    Animals 5)    Cross Stitch 6)    Reverse Stitch
7)    Flowers 8)    Single Running 9)    Double Running
10) Nursery Rhyme 11) Blanket Stitch 12) Block Stitch
13) Historical Pictures 14) Picot Edge 15) Zigzag
16) Running Stitch 17) Fan Pattern 18) Picot Edge
19) Chain 20) Feather 21) Straight Stitch
22) Double Running 23) Running Stitch

Redwork embroidery is an ancient art, but it declined in the 20th century until it was brought back as an embroidered item. Machine embroidery is now being used to make redwork items. Penny squares, quilts, and household items can be adorned with redwork.

Modern redwork embroidery designs are generally outlined designs and are not filled in. Stitching out these designs quickly makes them perfect for quiltmaking and stippling. Use a layer of batting underneath the stabilizer before stitching out the design for an amazing quilting effect.

Today’s redwork embroidery designs are called blackwork, green work, or blue work depending on the color of the thread used to stitch them out. You can experiment with your various threads, sewing out designs using white or cream-colored threads on dark fabrics for more interesting results. Generally, a lighter thread color makes the design easier to see, but if you do it the other way around you’ll get some pretty impressive results, too!

Try using different threads, or try using different colors. Redwork quilts are great because they aren’t filled with details. The heavyweight thread won’t ruin the pattern, but it could be heavy enough to make it difficult to stitch. A heavy thread won’t affect the fabric texture.



Always test your ideas and designs before sewing them onto fabric. Make sure the recommendations given by the designer are appropriate for the thread sizes and needles you are using. You should also test your designs on a smaller scale first, so if the design doesn’t work as planned, you can alter it accordingly before sewing it onto the actual garment.


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