Redwork Sampler

There is something so calming about stitching in a single colour. Thread after thread, it builds quickly; growing simply in your hands. And redwork has a long tradition: those charming, simple abecedaires that young girls created to demonstrate their skills have an enduring charm.

With this design, I again started with an antique in my collection, that I both honour and added to, in order to make it my own.

R. Schuricht

I have no idea who R Schuricht was, or where she lived. It is a European sampler, and I have a sneaking suspicion she might be Swiss. But that is just a guess: with so little to go on, she remains almost anonymous.

Her sense of design was remarkable though. Most of these redwork samplers are very simple: typically comprising a couple of alphabets and perhaps a geometric border or two, if you’re lucky. This one’s floral motifs and sense of symmetry set it apart for me, and I decided to dedicate it to all redwork stitchers: both past and present.

To take a different approach, I used a pale blue linen and a deep, bluey-red silk. I wanted to see how it would look in a way that brought out the design elements in a new way.

I hope you take this and play with it. Use your favourite red thread and your favourite fabric. It will look completely different stitched in bold, bright DMC on white fabric, or in the hushed tones of hand-dyed floss on antiqued linen. I can’t wait to see what you create!

The chart is available in my Etsy store and in stockists in Australia and the US.