Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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A Richelieu Rehash – Design & Resource


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Good morning, and Happy Monday all around!

Whenever I get sucked into the vast Rabbit Hole of exploring old needlework publications online that are in the public domain, I get captivated by the images especially.

Often, I end up tooling around with adapting old designs into something that could work for surface embroidery.

That’s what I did with today’s topic. I came across a fabulous Italian publication about Richelieu embroidery, and the next thing I knew, I was playing around with one of the designs in the book.

Richelieu Rehash: Hand Embroidery Design

This particular book is Grosso Richelieu (Grand Richelieu!) by Adele Della Porto, available online for perusing and as a PDF download through Antique Pattern Library, here.

Whether or not you read Italian, it’s a fabulous publication, with plenty of images that can serve as inspiration and even instruction.

If you’re not familiar with Richelieu – which is a form of cutwork traditionally worked in white – you can find plenty of information about it on Needle ‘n Thread. I’ve written about it quite a few times.

Richelieu Rehash: Hand Embroidery Design

I started playing around with one of the designs in Grosso Richelieu, re-imagining what I might do with the design if I were to adapt it more for regular surface embroidery, as opposed to Richelieu.

I never got far beyond the “playing around” stage, but I thought I’d share it with you today, in case you want to try your hand at adapting or playing around with it, too.

Richelieu Rehash: Hand Embroidery Design

There’s a lot you can do with designs like this, especially if you like to spend time doodling and adjusting to your liking.

I put together this particular experiment in a PDF for you to download:

Richelieu Rehash – Embroidery Design

When preparing the PDF, I ended up doubling the design with the mirror image, just in case you prefer one direction over the other. I’m still toying with the whole structure of the thing, but overall, I like those bold flowers and leaves that are the focus of this design. I may adjust the “framework” a bit someday.

In the meantime, I hope it gives you something fun to play with!

Looking for More?

You can find a whole bunch of free hand embroidery designs here on Needle ‘n Thread, if you’re itching for something to stitch but don’t have a design to get started.

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(2) Comments

  1. The way those flowers are drawn it gives a lot of room to get the correct coloring to look three dimensional, kinda sorta. Thanks for this artwork, Mary!

  2. Thank you for alerting us to this publication. I didn’t know ‘Il grosso Richelieu’ (‘Fat Richelieu’?), but it seems to be an interesting variation of ordinary Richelieu. The flowers and leaves are filled in with satin stitch – I had never seen that before. There is no end of things to be discovered in needlework!

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