Traditionally the main stitch in Redwork was used to outline the designs and was the Stem Stitch or Outline stitch. The Satin Stitch was used sparingly to fill in small enclosed areas. The Backstitch or the Split Stitch was used to cover tight curves and occasionally to outline the designs. The Straight Stitch was used to cover small straight lines. French Knots were used for eyes, strawberry specks, and any other place where a small dot was needed.
To begin your Redwork project, first trace the design lightly on the muslin with a sharp lead pencil or water soluble pen by placing the design under the muslin. A light box makes this easier, but taping your design to a window will work, too. Clover makes a pen that makes a fine white line which can be erased or removed with water. If you prefer, you can trace your design with pencil or pen onto tulle or nylon netting, then lay the tulle over your fabric and trace through the tulle using a white pen or chalk.
Whether you use a hoop or not depends on how you stitch. If you stitch with your hand below the fabric, push the needle to the front, then transfer your hand to the top and push the needle to the bottom, you should use a hoop as that type of hand use won’t put as much stress on the tautness of the fabric. If you keep your hand on top of the fabric to make your stitches, then not using a hoop may work best since this places more stress on the fabric’s tautness. If you choose to use a hoop, be sure to remove your project at the end of each session to avoid hoop marks. Usually you will thread your needle with 2 strands of floss. One strand is used for very delicate outlines while 4 strands gives a bolder coverage. Embroidery needles should have a large, long eye and a sharp point. A size 9 is a good size for all Redwork