Sunday, April 26, 2009

Redwork-Block 1, Pig

Redwork has been making a comeback lately, I was surprised to see so much of it at the fair last year but there it was, machine embroidered. I don't have anything against the new machines that can do everything except kiss your husband, but I was a little deflated to read they are machine embroidered.

Redwork is a kind of embroidery picked up in the 1880' to the 1920's, it replaced the Victorian era of crazy quilts which had faded out. Woman were willing to pay extra money for what was called "Turkey Red" floss because it was the only color that was colorfast, thus redwork was born. Blue colorfast came along in 1910-1930, blue embroidery with blue is called bluework, green floss is greenwork. The only exception is black and that is work done with a single black strand, stitched one way (horizontal or vertical), the rest of the pattern is done in red. This work is called blackwork. By far though, redwork is the oldest.

I'll have more history on redwork as we go along because I want to talk about my project. I started with this cute little pig pattern figuring it was easy and it was....., I tranfered it the way I usually do, trace the outline with pencil then after facing down on fabric, scribble with hard pressure on the back of the pattern. This method has been effective for me since I was in high school.

The first step to redwork is the running stitch, it takes most of the time in a redwork project but still, quite easy.

You'll notice masking tape on my fabric, it's meant to prevent fraying but I ditched it after this block. Sometimes peeling the tape off can cause unraveling itself and since these are simple projects, they will be handled far less than others and really don't need the temporary binding.

After the running stitch, you'll need to weave in and out of each top stitch in a spiral manner. This is the outline stitch. Sometimes redwork includes the satin stitch and the backstitch. You'll see the satin later on down the road but I almost never use the backstitch.
Isn't my pig cute? They all are cute, it's hard to pick a favorite. C&G Design


Susie Jefferson said...

What an amazing piece of history that I never knew! And how nice you are hand-stitching - I'll be visiting again to see how your adorable pig turns out. What fun!

Cinj said...

That is so cute! It makes me wish I knew how to cross stitch. So many others do it, I bet I could figure it out if I really ried. Maybe next winter....

tina said...

I've seen this kind of work around. I had no idea of the history but really do appreciate learning about it. Are you going to get to the paint history of the 70s? What was that called again Mom?

lola said...

I'm glad you posted the history of this beautiful art. I really like it.

Jean said...

Very cute pig and I had never heard of this but found it to be very interesting.

Tina, not too sure if the spelling is right but, Artex.

Boy, that was a slug fest yesterday, glad the right team won.
However I bet the Yankee fans would not agree with me. LOL

Kathleen said...

Congratulations Dawn! You are the winner! I hope you love this box of goodies. It will be in the mail to you tomorrow. I had a great day today. The weather cooperated, and there was plenty of cake and ice cream to go around. Thank you for your good wishes. Love this redwork. The pig is so cute. I've done a lot of counted cross-stitch in my day, but not much of regular embroidery. I was not aware of the history behind redwork...very interesting, Hugs, Kathleen

Debbie said...

I love that Dawn and I am constantly learning from you! I am just starting to embroider as you know so this is so helpful! Hey I have a surprise on my blog for you so check it out my friend!

tina said...

Congrats Dawn!

Dawn said...

I know, I'm so excited. The net was down for about 6 hours and I guess half the state today. Really weird. So I started clapping for myself, if anyone had been in my livingroom they'd looked at me sideways.
Hi Susie, I hope you'll come back. I seem to be having plenty redwork coming.
Ciji, I think you'll be able to do this, you can do your christmas stockings you can do this.
Hi Lola, must be hot, hot, hot, in Florida.
Hi Mom, I saw it twice, I stayed upto see it, then Joat's watched the end of it yesterday. Didn't matter they are still repeating it on every game it seems. Hubby gave up to early. Never do that where the red soxs are concerned.
Thanks Kathleen!
Debbie, I'll pickup my award tomorrow, pretty award button!
Tina, all set for Tuesday, just need the usual. Do you think I can invent Absorbine jr Bubblebath? Some of that would be nice right about now!

wormandflowers said...

AWWW! That's so cute!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

I love doing redwork, your post is inspiring me to get my needles out again!