Monday, October 25, 2010
I learned how to embroider as a little girl. It is something I have always enjoyed. I have a set of pillow cases that I made for my grandma when I was 9 or 10 and I retrieved them after she passed on. Kind of crude but I've learned with practice.

I moved from simple embroidery to cross stitching and then back to simple embroidery...most specifically REDWORK. It is my very favorite. I want to share A Redwork Embroidery Primer for anyone who is interested in knowing more about Redwork.

Last year I was shopping my favorite thrifty store and found a zippered freezer bag FULL of skeens of red embroidery floss. I knew I could put them to good use and they were priced at only $2.00. So I purchased them, brought them home and stuffed them in a crafting drawer and moved on.

I had a few small projects I was working on but what I had in my embroidery basket was enough that I didn't need to seek out my thrifty purchase until recently. What a surprise I had in store for me. Not only was this beautiful, vibrant, red floss, it was from American Thread Co. (the Star Thread folks) and the skeens are marked 5¢ each. Oh, long ago was embroidery floss only 5¢ a skeen!

I am currently working on a little red sunbonnet sue for a apron pocket panel for a swap I am participating in. Shhhh...don't tell my swap partner!

Posting to:
Sue's REDnesday
Suzanne's Vintage Thingie Thursday
Debra's Vintage Inspired Friday
Laurie's Favorite Things


  1. I love RED work too. Have never tried it but hope to soon. I'm waiting for my left-hand embroidery book to come in the mail. Lefties need all the help we can get.

  1. Dani said...:

    you know how much I like redwork also...just finished the ornaments..I like the pattern..I have a complete set of embroidery patterns with that design..really darling.....

  1. Cindy Adkins said...:

    Oh, red work is gorgeous--and yours is so beautiful!!! Thanks so much for sharing it!!

  1. LV said...:

    I used to do a lot of embroidery and really enjoyed it. I have not been able to do so as my eyes just will not let me. I have so much embroidery pieces. I have them on everything in the house,

  1. I have never seen a prettier Sunbonnet Sue! Great design! I love redwork also - there's just something about all of one color.

  1. Diann said...:

    Hi Gail!

    First off, what a GREAT find in that bag of red floss!! Woohoo! And second, thats so much for the tutorial! I have been wanting to get back to doing some embroidery. Cooler weather makes me in the mood to do handwork like this.

  1. Cherry Chick said...:

    How awesome was that stash buy for $2. Even better since you so enjoy the redwork.
    Thanks so much for sharing with us on Rednesday.

  1. nancycreative said...:

    Beautiful stitchery--it looks so nice in red!

  1. Genie said...:

    Oh, my would I have loved to find all that RED embroidery floss. I use so much of it. Your girl embroidery is precious. I won’t tell a soul. Someone is going to be very happy when she gets it in the swap. Great Work.

  1. Sherry said...:

    Redwork is one of my favorite also. I have done a lot of cross stitch also but redwork or simple embroidery is the most relaxing for me at this point. Your project you are working on is great and I am sure your swap partner will love it.

  1. Kari Romo said...:

    I really enjoyed your post. I used to cross stitch when I was younger, but have gotten out of the habit. Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving that nice comment:)

  1. Your piece looks like it is coming along great...the red is so vibrant!! I cross stitch and am working on a project totally in blue!


  1. Embroidering is a wonderful hand art! I have never done redwork but certainly admire it greatly! I can't wait to see your lovely apron when it is done!

  1. kayellen said...:

    Whata wonderful project!
    Happy Rednesday~~my first time to join in the fun:))

    Kay Ellen

  1. PALATABLE said...:

    Hi Gail, thanks for the visit..Beautiful work, looks great..

  1. Julie Harward said...:

    I just love red work, I think it's really cute! :D

  1. CACHANILLA73 said...:

    Ah that embroidery job is looking good.!!! happy rednesday.

  1. Mimi said...:

    Beautiful work, anxious to see it completed.

  1. Gorgeous. I want to learn to embroidery; I did it quite badly as a child, so I should be able to pick it up and do better now, don't you think.

  1. Melody said...:

    Hi Gail! I am sooo happy you came by my kitchen porch today! I've been a follower of yours for a while now. Love the redwork pocket-to-be!between you and me..she'll love it..shhhh. In the last post I did before the porch one..I have a Southern Belle my Mom started as a girl, but she couldn't not give her black there went the redwork.
    Thanks for the compliment. I love least that's what they call it on HG. I've been a floral designer for 38 years in the real world at the family flower shop and visiual an important part of the shop. Sooo I enjoy doing window displays and vignettes all over the shop. We have 4 showrooms in and 1850's house so we gotta fill it up ;)
    We'll speaking of work I gotta get back to deliveries..those flowers won't arrqnge themselves LOL
    Type ya later,
    Melody @Brown Gigham Creations
    .....we're friends stitched togather by embroidery threads!

  1. bunny said...:

    Charming story and embroidery project. Never thought of using one color...hmmm.


  1. How wonderful! I think the thread looks great just sitting in the basket! I used to cross-stitch all the time. I quit many years ago, just got bored with it. Lately I've had the urge to pick it up again or something similar. I think I need a new project.

  1. Shelley said...:

    I think Red Work is beautiful and so much love and patience goes into hand stitchery...your is wonderful....blessings

  1. Sherrie said...:

    For all my treasure hunting, I have not found any Red Work. Of course, having said that, now I will. Thank you for stopping by as always and for entering my giveaway and being a follower. Thank you. I always try to educate and if not entertain folks that come by for a visit. Have a blessed day.


  1. Deb S. said...:

    Your red work is beautiful! Someone is going to be so happy to get your handy work!!! Will you post again and let us see the finished product?

  1. I love hand embroidered pieces! Your redwork turned out so nice! Your swap partner is going to love that!

  1. ~~Carol~~ said...:

    I've been wanting to try my hand at redwork for years now, so I'll definitely check out that primer! I love that the floss turned out to be vintage, and it's probably better quality than what we can buy now. Your Sunbonnet Sue is just beautiful!
    Happy REDnesday!

  1. Tammy said...:

    I have never done redwork but the more I see it, the more I admire those who do. I did a 20x20 serenity prayer cross stitch pattern when I was actively becoming sober. It took 5 years to finish. I was either too busy being busy or to slow to move it along any quicker. Either way, she is most prized posession! I do admire those who do the pillowcases. Gorgeous work. Tammy.. thank you for having me.

  1. Postcardy said...:

    I like your redwork. The primer is interesting too.

  1. Pam said...:

    I used to embroider YEARS ago. My mother taught me when I was little. I had forgotten all about it until I read your post. Thanks for sharing and reminding me. Now, I'm off to read the primer.

  1. Coloradolady said...:

    I love the redwork.....but then again, I am always drawn to vintage reds....great work. Happy VTT!

  1. Love the embroidery you are doing. I posted the winner of the truck contest my sisters and I had back in September. I also am having a give away for my 100th blog in just a few days so hope you will be able to come by for a visit. Debbie

  1. daylily777 said...:

    Your sunbonnet sue is looking good .Very interesting post and what a find on the floss.

  1. Ann said...:

    What a great vintage find, a bag of red embodiery thread. Your project looks fabulous.

  1. Bea said...:

    I love red work. I'm thinking of doing some red work on toweling and using it in my vintage kitchen as curtains.

  1. Hi Gail, I like the sun bonnet it is a cute one. Thank You for stopping by for a visit. Have a good day.....Julian

  1. I bought a table cloth with red work. New, not old and when I washed it all the red ran. I was so bummed. Don't know if it was the way I washed it (I hand washed) or if it was some cheaply made imported thing. I love what you are working on. Red and white are my favorite.

  1. Betsy said...:

    I love this! I could feel your excitement when you finally really checked out your thrifty find. I found things I had long forgotten about when I filled up my old/new dresser in the garage. Thanks for sharing

  1. Your embroidery is beautiful! I would love to try my hand at it one day.


  1. Kathleen said...:

    You do beautiful work! I treasure the gifts you made that I won!

  1. Olive Cooper said...:

    Five cents! I wonder when it was sold...your red work is lovely Gail. ♥olive

  1. Your embroidery is beautiful! The threads look brand new but the price has to make them pretty old. It will make the piece all the more precious.

  1. Marlis said...:

    I love your redwork!!! You are quite talented. I got my vase today, the incredible work of art. I am still not believing that I won that. Thank you again. It's soooo beautiful.

  1. Greenearth said...:

    What a special project.

  1. bj said...:

    I love your work so much. I do just a tiny bit of embroidery...nothing like yours, tho.

  1. This is amazing. You're so gifted. I'm just started to really getting into embroidery.It looks so beautiful when it's done beautfully. That's my problem at the moment!! I'm learning patience!!

    Oooh....vintage picnice baskets!! I have some of those too. I love using old things for great storage....seeing them have new life!

  1. Linda said...:

    Wonderful find on the embroidery floss! We have a lovely small redwork table cloth done by my husband's great-grandmother in the late 1800's~ it's a treasure to us. I hopped over from Vintage Inspiration Friday...I love your blog and am looking forward to reading more...I am a new follower! Oh, and thanks for the laundry detergent recipe!

  1. Sherry said...:

    That is super cool. I love that embroidery. My grandmother has some of the sweetest red embroidered pillows, just love them.

  1. Carol said...:

    Redwork! I've never heard of this. Now I realize that I have seen it and may even have some!

  1. Your work is just beautiful your very talented!!! I wanted to thank you for visiting and for your sweet comments, I really enjoyed reading them... Blessings~~~ Daphne

  1. Gail! I love redwork and I'm so glad you found all that lovely floss. I learned how to embroider as a kid too and then I cross stitched and now I'm ready to go back to simple embroidery. What a lovely post!

  1. Hi Gail, I think you are right... it is a persimmon! Good eye!!!!!
    xo Yvonne

  1. jAne said...:

    redwork is so beautiful and i've done just a bit of it - simple loveliness. :o)

    i remember when floss was 5 cents. sigh.


  1. I wish I was your swap partner. What a wonderful redwork design, and how amazing that you got all of that that wonderful red floss at such a great price! I used to do cross stitch, but when my eye sight began to go, I had to quit. I just love anything that is hand stitched. Thank you for linking to Favorite Things Sat. laurie

  1. Tammy said...:

    I love hand embroidery work and the red is so beautiful!
    A new follower...visiting from Debra's VIF!
    HAppy Halloween

    Tammy :-)

  1. Originally sold for 5 cts. - it has been around for a while. :) Nice find.
    Your work is so pretty.

  1. Lucky find - your embroidery looks great.

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