I was drawn to Redwork because of the beauty in its simplicity. Many Redwork embroidery patterns can be found in books and freely downloaded from the internet. The patterns are usually, children, faces, flowers, birds, animals and fruit. One drawback is that all of the faces reflect one culture. To solve this problem, you can make your own pattern. Make a copy of a photograph and using a lightbox, tape the copy onto the lightbox (to secure it), tape your white fabric over the copy, and then trace using a pencil. If you do not have a lightbox, you can tape everything to a window and use the outside light to trace. You can use a simple stem stitch and add others, such as chain and feather, as the need arises.
The Redwork pillow shown above left is my first Redwork project. Another technique I like is called Stumpwork; it is raised embroidery with threads and wire. I used Stumpwork on the pillow and on The Quilt With Many Names.
The image on the pillow is my great grandmother, Margaret Maynard (1854-1942). Margaret was born a slave in Fitzgerald, Georgia. She told four things of slavery: 1. she had her own drinking cup; 2. she was sitting on a fence when soldiers marched through the plantation where she lived; 3. the soldiers said to her, "You're free, honey;" and 4. she refused to tell other stories, only that whatever bad thing you can imagine happened during that time.
Then the quilt began to grow around the middle block in a technique call “on point,” where blocks are set on the point of the block instead of its vertical or horizontal side. The wise/witch dolls came next, then the bubbling cauldron and then the Redwork embroidery of the young woman situated next to the magic sticks stirring the cauldron mixture. The young woman is depending on the wisdom of the wise woman to show her, her steady path.
Final words about Redwork. You can also do Blackwork, Greenwork or Bluework. Same rules apply. For example, in Blackwork, use black and white fabric and black embroidery floss on the white fabric.
The word Redwork has become a utility word, like pampers means disposable diapers and not necessarily the trademark product, Pampers. In these instances of Black, Green or Blue, you simply say Redwork in Black, etc.
I will share Redwork in Black, Green and Blue (in progress) in later posts. I’m also thinking about Goldwork and Purplework. Who knows? The possibilities are endless.
Whitework, on the other hand, is different. There are no variations, only white on white in white. The quilt on my bed is Whitework. Below is a sneak peek at Redwork in Green in the form of a quilted artist book.
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Well, that's it for this post.
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Quilting in the Key of C!