Vintage Redwork Embroidery
Embroidery,  Gift Ideas,  Hand Embroidery,  Home Decor,  Inspiration,  Machine Embroidery,  Valentine's Day

Vintage Days of the Week Embroidery Designs

Vintage Days of the Week

days of the week embroidery cover

embroidery designs for handwork & machine

These sweet vintage Days of the Week embroidery designs are now available at Designed by Carol Ingram, this collection contains ten designs that include a motif for each day of the week, Valentine’s Day, Flag Day and Home Sweet Home. The vintage designs are illustrated in Redwork, a classic style reminiscent of 19th century hand-embroidered household items.

Days of the Week embroideries by hand


After the Industrial Revolution, when red dye, specifically “Turkey Red, was imported from Europe, red thread was widely used to embroider various household goods, napkins, tea towels, pillowcases and more. Redwork designs often depicted children, toys and animals, chores, state birds and flowers.

Wash on Monday vintage Redwork design

Embroidery patterns were often provided with magazine subscriptions or printed in various newspapers. They were typically simple designs that featured stem stitches, French knots and satin stitches, which were easy enough for children to learn, too.

Redwork remains a popular embroidery style today, as it reminds us of generations before us. Now we can embroider these types of designs using our embroidery machines, making even quicker work of the embroidery process. But, if you prefer to work the designs by hand we bundled the Hand Embroidery patterns together, too.


Each of the designs fit into a 5×7 hoop. The recommended thread is Sulky Rayon 942-1263 Red Jubilee.

Redwork thread for vintage embroidery designs

However, these designs also lend themselves to a heavier weight thread, such as 30 wt. Cotton Blendables® in 733-4007 Red Brick.

days of the week redwork designs

Look to our Embroidery Blanks to find various tea towels, hand towels, pillow blanks and more to display this lovely collection.


This project can be done using one 50-yard spool of the Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Petites in either color 712-1169 Bayberry Red or 712-1035 Dk. Burgundy (or the color of your choice). 

The hand embroidery designs come with a full-size design template in black and white, to print onto Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch Stabilizer for easy transfer.

Stick 'n Stitch Package


Print the chosen design onto a sheet of Sulky Stick ’n Stitch. Set the printer to “draft” or the lowest ink setting. Be sure to print at 100% on the fabric-like side of the stabilizer sheet.

Cut out the motif, leaving approximately a 1” border beyond the design perimeter. Remove the paper backing, and then stick the stabilizer to the fabric right side where desired.

Thread the hand sewing needle with one or two strands of Sulky Cotton Petites Thread, beginning with any color of the design. (One strand of thread equals two strands of traditional embroidery floss.)

Embroider the design using your favorite hand embroidery stitches, such as backstitches, fill or satin stitches, French knots and so on. Leave long thread tails at the beginning and end of each stitching sequence.

Grab our FREE Hand Embroidery Stitch Guide for how-tos of some basic stitches.

When stitching is complete, weave the thread tails through the stitching along the fabric wrong side; trim the thread ends.

When stitching is complete, rinse the embroidery under cool running water until the stabilizer is completely dissolved.

Roll in a towel to remove excess moisture, and then let dry. Press lightly from the wrong side, avoiding the stitches with the iron if possible.


Although Sulky Threads are colorfast, it’s a good idea to take these tips into account when embroidering dark threads, specifically red threads on white or lighter fabrics and materials.

Think about red dyed cotton threads, and other really deep/dark colors, like you would a brand new T-shirt of those kinds of colors. While the manufacturing process does include rinses, it does not get all of the excess dye out. So, when you “wash” them, you need to use profuse amounts of “cold” water in order to carry the dye away from the fabric quicker/better.

Do NOT just soak the item in water or spritz the finished embroidery with water to dissolve the Stick ‘n Stitch and/or leave the wet item to sit and dry. This is possibly the worst thing you can do with darker threads. Imagining soaking a brand new red cotton T-shirt with water, then laying it on a white towel or sheet. You’ll get red dye all over! This is essentially the same and is no different with any other thread brand.

To avoid this, use lots of cold water and then dry the item quickly to avoid saturated dyed threads contacting lighter fabric for long periods.

If the red dye does transfer to your fabric, Grandma’s Spot Remover or Fels-Naptha stain remover bar works wonders to remove the excess dye. (Those are affiliate links and we may receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through those links.)

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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!