Redwork Needlebook

Since finishing the Jenny Wren stumpwork I have been along to a class at my local Embroiderers Guild to start my next piece of embroidery. Our guild organises a wide range of embroidery classes throughout the year and I try to take a few of these when my work commitments allow. I particularly look for classes that use stitches that I either haven’t tried recently, or that use stitches, threads and techniques in interesting ways, and sometimes a class is just a great way of having a break from the real world.

I love that first opening a pre-prepared kit of embroidery supplies. Laying everything out, checking out the fabrics and threads, reading through the instructions, hooping or framing up the fabric.

This particular class was designed by Marlene Lambert from the Toowoomba Guild, and we were to stitch a Redwork Needlebook using traditional Jacobean motifs and a variety of Red cotton threads, with a little of a mid Tan/gold colour thrown in for contrast. One featured thread is a variegated Colourworks stranded cotton in a colourway that moves from nearly black to bright red.

I decided to prepare my working fabric, which already had the design drawn in, onto a slate frame just for the practice of dressing the frame. I make my own slate frames – this one is in Tasmaniam Oak – and at 60cm was just the right length for the supplied piece of linen. A couple of pieces of Calico stitched on the sides brought the fabric out to the right dimensions.

My stitching was well underway by the end on the class and I am really enjoying the variety of stitches in this design.


By Sally

Passionate embroiderer who loves to learn and pass on fine hand embroidery skills.


    1. Unfortunately I don’t get along to the Guild as often as I would like either, certainly not regularly. I find it worthwhile to be a member because we have a great library, a very informative newsletter, and an interesting range of classes which are mostly held on weekends so I can get a stitching fix, and of course it is a great place to find kindred spirits!


  1. Gorgeous stitching. I love the red against the calico – a match made in heaven! I’ve just started a white-work piece on blue fabric, it’s my first attempt at one-colour stitching, I’m a bit of a colour-junkie usually! Your piece is very inspiring and reminded me how important the variety of stitches is for mono-colour stitching.

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