Friday, June 01, 2007

Redwork and Bluework

One of my favorite pastimes is embroidery. I discovered redwork embroidery about 8 years ago and fell in love with it. I embroidered 2 of these glass towels about 6 years ago, and just this past week I finished 2 more while watching the 5 hour version of Pride and Prejudice.

For an extra touch, I crocheted an edging along the bottom of the redwork towels, using a number 10 steel crochet hook (tiny!) and pearl cotton thread. I have the thought of making a few of these towels into pillows. Hmmm... any other good ideas of what I can do with the towels? Of course, I could use them to dry glasses. :-)

Redwork was popular in the 1800's and it has seen a revival in the past 10 years or so. I have found many free redwork patterns online, and there are several yahoo discussion groups for redwork. A redwork primer can be found here. I recently read somewhere that Bluework was popular from about 1910 to 1930, and of course I had to embroider something, anything, in blue thread. I like it almost as much as I like the redwork.



  1. AnonymousJune 02, 2007 do beautiful work! I love my redwork apple towel. I probably won't use it to dry glasses but it will look very pretty in my kitchen.

    Thank you!

  2. Ruth, I love your towels!! Very cute! I am looking for something to keep me busy while we are temporary housing, I think I may have to do something like this!

    Thank you so much for having us for dinner. It was such a blessing to our family to meet yours!!!

    Love, Heather

  3. AnonymousJune 03, 2007

    Lovely! My favorite dishtowels are the embroidered ones I've found at thrift stores over the last few years. I've not done a lot of embroidery, but this seems like an excellent practicing opportunity.

  4. So very pretty! I have a tea towel embroidered with the same tea pot. My sister made it and gave it to me when I got married.

  5. AnonymousJune 03, 2007

    Where did you get your red stripe tea towels? I would love to find some blue stripe ones, and do some of the bluework. You have inspired me! :)

  6. Thank you all, for the comments.

    Heather, you should try embroidery---it's very relaxing and a lot of fun.

    Michele, I sent you an email about towel sources.

    Annie---I too love all my embroidered towels. Unfortunately, I use them for dishes and they wear out!

    Tammy, Did you sister use multi-colors when she embroidered the teapot? I'd love to see a picture of it!

    Julie, You're welcome! I'm glad you like it.

  7. Very nice embroidery. I love blackwork and am looking to start goldwork. I love needlework in general!

  8. great work...I have just started to embroider after not doing it for years...I love the look of the redwork too...

  9. Ruth~
    I love the fruit redwork! Where did you find the stiped towels?