Redwork? I don’t even like red!

And now you know the truth: red is not my favorite color.

Redwork is a traditional form of embroidery that was popular from the late 1800s until the 1920s. Red cotton thread was cheap, and wouldn’t bleed, so it could be used in a variety of practical applications like quilts, napkins, towels, etc.

There are a lot of traditional pictures for redwork, and a lot of websites host collections of patterns meant to be used together as a quilt or else individually. I, however, am not traditional. I like to take the craft of my forebears and make it my own. Below is all the various redwork I’ve done for multiple swaps. Most the time I based the pattern off the recipients likes.


Wee Baby Goat from Andrea Zuill. I love Andrea’s blog, Badbird’s: Musings of a small angry bird! Her art is right up my alley: simple until you get a closer look, irreverent, and utterly delightful! A lot of my patterns for redwork come from her.

Goaty was among some of the first embroidery I ever completed. No shame in it, but I can see how I’ve grown. Number 1 thing I’ve learned: double up the fabric if it’s thin. I don’t like how you can see the messy back!


Speaking of messy backs…! Buffalo by Andrea Zuill, messy stitches by me. I like how it turned out overall, and my partner was happy (which is always what really matters!)


Chewbacca! (aka someone gained some confidence!) My partner liked Star Wars, so I googled “free Star Wars coloring pages”. Pro tip: embroidery patterns are just line drawings. So are coloring pages. I embroider a lot of coloring pages!


I had to include this shot because look how blurry his shoulder is. Apparently my camera used face recognition to focus on his face.


Platypus by Andrea Zuill. He was a quick stitch and actually sent onto our redwork swap coordinator to use as an angel (If someone neglects to send and is unreachable, they’re called a “flaker”. Coordinators will “angel” swaps or arrange for someone else to angel, meaning they will send the items instead of the flaker.)

great love

Do small things with great love by nanaCompany. I stitched this with a broken toe. The toe didn’t affect the stitching, but the narcotics I was on certainly did! I won’t go into detail, but this embroidery was an effort. I should do it again, to give it the attention it deserves!


Rooster coloring page. Another quickie for a girl who collected roosters 🙂


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