Red Work

Redwork_3I’m learning to embroider–I absolutely love it.  This is this most peaceful little hobby I’ve ever found.  Here’s my first completed project, done in "red work" (named thus for obvious reasons–you can read more about it here).

I have a terrible hunch that the first time I wash it all that red thread will bleed onto the white hand towel, so I figured I’d better preserve it for posterity here, first.

(And by the way, no, I did not do that original artwork.  It’s a pattern that I ironed on the hand towel before back-stitching over it.  Since there are, unfortunately SIX MORE days in the week, I have a bit of the project yet ahead of me…)

Update:  I washed it, and there was no bleeding!  But next time I’m soaking the thread in the vinegar solution first.  Thanks for the suggestion!

Another update:  Here is a great blog for learning the basics of embroidery!

34 thoughts on “Red Work

  1. heather says:

    Oh I hope it doesn’t bleed. You did such a nice job. If it does, wash your thread in warm water and mild soap first next time.

  2. Janis says:

    You did a beautiful job. I may have to look into making some of these for Christmas presents. I love cross-stitching, so surely I can learn to embroider. I hope that it washes well and doesn’t bleed! Blessings to you!

  3. adrianna says:

    The work is beautiful. Counted cross stitch, I often say, “is my therapy.”
    The following is copied from a google site; you may be able to find more advice in a similar way:
    “Just note here, most modern reds are prone to bleeding. A friend suggested that you should soak your skein in vinegar and water for twenty minutes in order to “set” the color, then roll it in a towel to wring out excess water and allow to air dry to prevent bleeding.
    The critical factor here seems to be to keep your thread dry while working, so never wet your floss before you thread it!”
    Have fun!

  4. Amy says:

    Easier than that – just wash it on cold, without detergent, and put some vinegar into the washing machine when you wash it the first time. If it does bleed, there’s a product that will “grab” the dye out of the water, too, but I can’t remember what it’s called.
    If it bleeds, keep it out of the dryer. Find that color grabbing stuff and relaunder it before you dry it.

  5. kristen says:

    That is gorgeous! I need to learn to hand-embroider!
    Definitely get some shout color catchers for your wash when you first wash it.

  6. Heather says:

    Shout makes dye grabber thingys that you put in the washer. Not that any of MY cross stitch or quilt fabrics bleed….. πŸ˜‰

  7. Jan says:

    Where did you find that darling pattern? All I have found lately has a bunch of smarmy smiling kittens, or windmills. I love redwork!

  8. elizabeth says:

    And then there is underwear. My grandmother always used to embroider little ladybugs and flowers on hers and ours. In the spirit of special undies and family tradition, when my cousin heard about the GIANT undies I wore for a short time to avoid a surgical incision, she exacted her first embroidery project on an amazingly large pair of pink cotton undies especially for me. The subject was (of course, I would say, knowing my cousin, otherwise this might have been surprising, but she is oh-so, um, creative) a RED uterus with one ovary larger than the other and two little stars representing my children. Now that’s just the perfect gift to make one 40 year old feel loved… And funny, like I would get her sense of humor:-) They remain brand-spankin’ new and hang on display in my studio.

  9. Tammy says:

    Just soak it in a solution of 1/3 cup white vinegar to about a quart or so of water, for twenty minutes. Rinse, and let dry. It’s gorgeous!

  10. qtpies7 says:

    It is very cute! Wash the thread before using it, though. There are some products out there that absorb the color in the water to keep it from spreading to other clothes, you could look into that before washing it.

  11. chilihead says:

    That is just gorgeous! You’ll be happy to know I tried my hand at some finishing work and it was absolutely horrible. You must teach me the patience, Obi Wan.

  12. celina says:

    i’m totally in love with this project, never had heard of it…its simple, understated and i LOVE IT, oh oh….i feel a new hobby coming on…
    Celina in Canada

  13. says:

    This is beautiful!!! Is it done on a particular type of cloth? I do cross-stitch in my “spare time” and I really need another hobby (lol). Really – I’d love to at least try it sometime.

  14. Gretchen says:

    Beautiful job, Shannon. I have many redwork squares in a cat motif that my grandma did for me. I just need to sash, sandwich, and bind, and they’ll be a quilt. I’m not into cats, really, but my grandma had intentions of giving these squares to me (in the form of a quilt when I was 10) about 28 years ago, so I figure it’s okay if they sit in my stash for a little while yet. Hey…Drama Girl is 10 in a year–maybe I can shoot for making the quilt for her. All that to say–you did a beautiful job, and reminded me of “Grum”. She’s still kicking, and we talk about once a week. I’ll have to tell her about your blog. Wonder how I’m going to even explain the word, blog… πŸ™‚

  15. ~m2~ says:

    beautiful, shannon — i love redwork.
    before you know it, you’ll be looking at fabric for quilting…
    (oh, don’t think it can’t happen to you. it can, my sister. it can…)

  16. Navy Wife Wendy says:

    Thanks for sharing, I so need to take up this hobby! I have an Aunt who made me a set of these and they are all worn now….I’d love to make my own set and maybe even gift one. Thanks again!

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