My Personal Favorites
Here is a small collection of my favorite work:
I am changing my list from five.
I will tell the story of each as I post it. For several, I have told the stories many times, others this is the first time.
This is my Redwork Kitty Sampler
Redwork Kitty Sampler
A Rainbow of Red Kitties in...
Orange, Yellow, Green Blue and Purple
Yes, Redwork is red, but it can be any color, so long as there is enough contrast between the thread color and the ground color.
You can also monkey with value changes, using lighter threads in parts and darker threads in others.
Here's one example: see the borders immediately above and below the kitty? Change these to different values within the pattern, perhaps creating an overdyed effect.
If you ever wanted to fiddle with color in a non-threatening way, Redwork patterns like this one are an easy way to start.
Cotton Floss vs Silk
I have followers who write to me and say, why do you use cotton floss instead of silk?
I do mix them all the time and I have followers who write saying they made changes: they converted all cotton floss in my kit to silk.
I think cotton and floss serve different purposes. If you look carefully you will see that cotton is harder and flatter -- and often cleaner in its line. I use cotton for faces, for someof the details in a face and often for hair.
Silk is so lush and it plumps up and melds together with a softness that is beautiful. I love silk for patterns in clothes where everything blends together in a soft and round fashion.
These Redwork patterns like Red Kitty rely on a clean crisp contrast and I think floss is a great choice. If one were to meld the patterns with color and value shadings, I would change to silk.
Here's an illustration: look careflly at the different bands on Red Kitty; then use the tabs to go 'BACK' to Lovely Pussy Cat Sampler where I stitched the Double Running Kitty Wallpaper. Notice the difference: I wanted the wallpaper to meld into the background and the line to be less crisp: besides a soft color, I stitched this wallpaper in silk.
Bottom line: both cotton and silk work well, choices depends on purpose.
Red Kitty's History
One of the problems of growing older is losing people and sometime ago I lost a favorite friend. It is hard for me sometimes to visit Red Kitty because Red Kitty reminds me of her, even though she was a doggie person.
So why does Red Kitty remind me of my doggie person friend?
Because one day she and I made the rounds to quilt shops. This was long ago when Redwork first enjoyed a revival in quilting and I remember we stood in front of an impressive display of Redwork quilts and said to each other: wouldn't they be wonderful in needlepoint also.
Shortly thereafter, I drew and worked Red Kitty. Other Redwork designs followed, and Redwork, particularly Red Kitty, always makes me think of my friend.
Is Redwork Just Blackwork in Red?
Are the two interchangeable? I guess they could be, they certainly share much in common, mainly a single strong color, strong value on a contrasting ground, but the spirit seems different to me.
I think of Redwork as country designs, Blackwork as more formal.
Does this stop anything? Not really. Here is Redwork Kitty turned into Blackwork Kitty.
Black yes, but I think of this Kitty as Redwork Kitty stitched in Black. A good experiment, but to me this particular design looks better in colors.
Be sure to scroll down
Is Redwork Just Blackwork in Red?
Redwork Kitty's Mystery
Here's the Mystery: can you find what is wrong with Red Kitty. People have asked me over the years, why did I stitch this the way I did. I haven't a clue (it remains a mystery to me, a total Mystery.
Favorite part of Red Kitty: how do you like my Sampler Band of Kitty Faces?
Redwork Kitty's Advantage in Today's Stitching World
Red Kitty does have one big advantage: all she takes is a piece of ground fabric, some skeins of floss and a matching ball of pearl cotton. In a world full of very expensive projects, Red Kitty is easy on the pocketbook.
That is one advantage but there is another more important one: if you are timid about straying from the designer's recommendations but wish you had a bit of courage to venture forth and try something different, Red Kitty is such an easy and therefore encouraging project to try.
Essentially the design is a a Kitty in the middle (more or less) of a series of bands, any of which could be changed easily to a more favored stitch or pattern.
And there is no easier design to use as an experiment with color.