Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I *Heart* Redwork

In recent months, I have fallen in love again with hand embroidery. Oh, we were never "on the outs" with each other, but I got busy with other hobbies to try, responsibilities to attend to, books to read, momentary random talents to attempt. But hand embroidery was the first type of sewing I learned to do before I even touched a sewing machine, and I've been reminded of how much I enjoy it. I once embroidered two sets of pillowcases - you know, for my trousseau :-) - then I handed them over to my grandma who crocheted an intricate border around the bottom. Kind of old-fashioned, huh? Well, I'm so glad I have those treasures now.

Anyway, how many of you have heard of redwork? Basically, it's a form of hand embroidery that traces simple illustrations using two strands of red embroidery floss. Simple, right? Of course, you can use other colors, but they would be called *name of color*work. When redwork came to America from Europe, it was called Turkeywork since turkey red was one of the few colorfast colors at the time. A little stitching history...use it to impress your friends.

(I can think of so many people I'd love to make this family tree for, and one of those people may or may not be myself)

I love the look of redwork. The use of one color of thread kind of makes the picture speak for itself, and the simplicity is charming. I started this project just after Thanksgiving and was going to make it into a stocking but later decided to frame it. It's kind of Christmas-y but not necessarily, and I just may find a place to hang it year round. Someday when my daughter has her own room, maybe I'll design it around this picture.

When I frame embroidery projects, I like to use Martha's tip for ironing linens with embroidery to make it nice and smooth and also make the design really pop. This frame didn't come with a cardboard insert, so I wrapped the fabric (with a layer of thin quilt batting underneath) around the glass that did come with it. I'm not sure if I like it yet since the frame is kind of modern, so I'm thinking of taking it apart and sewing on a scrappy pieced fabric border and get a larger frame. What do you think?

Well, I'm off to cozy up on the couch for a little stitchin' time.

1 comment:

  1. hey! you finished it! It's perfect. I love it. Maybe a wider frame....don't know. Good job, Jen. You inspire me!