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Thursday, May 29, 2014


A Patchwork Garden Year Redwork Block of the Month
One lovely project we found at the Spring 2014 Quilt Market the other week is a Redwork Block of the Month program.  We've been searching for a nice Redwork pattern(s) for a while now, and we're just thrilled to have found this one.

It is A Patchwork Garden created by Kathy Schmitz for Moda.  She has created twelve 12" square blocks of fun designs - not too cute and not too sophisticated.  Additionally what we loved about this Redwork program is that it is not traditional redwork.  We're going to suggest that you use different shades of red Perle Cotton thread (or DMC floss).  The redwork embroidery will actually be done on a dark beige, or tan if you will, fabric that also has a crackled texture on it.  And then the pieced blocks surrounding the embroidery will be a mix of lovely graphic designed fabric of reds and creams.  The fabric will be from Moda's collection - A Patchwork Garden.

But what is Redwork, or traditional Redwork?

Traditionally the floss used is a DMC floss, usually color #321, but there have been some variances.  And once the red color selected, it would be used throughout the entire needlework.  Also the embroidery is usually done on a muslin and the pieced work surrounding the embroidery has been done using solid reds, whites and or cream fabrics.

The craft of Redwork is a style of decorative needlework that has been around since Victorian times, the late part of the nineteenth century.  It was a technique used to teach young girls their stitches that consists of embroidering the outline of designs onto a white or off-white background with a contrasting color thread.  It was also something the more wealthy ladies did, since they did not have to do "housework."

This simple, yet striking style is called Redwork for several reasons. Red thread is typically used in this style because the red color contrasts well against a light background also, during the nineteenth century when the style first became popular, artists could obtain a red thread that was "colorfast," meaning that the red coloring would not wash out or "bleed" onto the white fabric.  However this same type of needlework has also been done in blues and blacks as well. Today you might Redwork designs done assorted red colors to add depth or in a variegated red (or blue). We're rather excited about our new program!  It will begin October 2014.  We encourage you to sign up now in order to participate for our Patchwork Garden Year Redwork Block of the Month.

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