by Rita Vainius
Ritter's style of embroidery and what it is specifically designed
for, perfectly complements our Special Family Celebration theme
for June. Her company is named "Whiteworks Heirloom Christening
Judy has been married to the same wonderful knight in shining
armor for 24 years, has 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren.
Gardening provides the biggest inspiration for her embroidery
designs and suggests endless ideas as to color choice and form.
But Judy believes that everything can speak to you about design
if you want it to: floor tiles, stained glass windows, coloring
books, antique needlework, and the shapes of clouds. She emphasizes:
"The more interested you are in designing your own work,
the more you tend to translate anything you see into possibilities."
Another favorite pastime is reading fantasy novels, especially
those featuring dragons - here's where having your very own Sir
Launcelot comes in handy!
has engaged in sewing for over 30 years, but it wasn't until
about 6 years ago that she happened to channel surf to a PBS
program of Martha Pullen's which got her hooked on heirloom sewing.
Judy finds it to be an especially elegant and creative outlet,
where "anything goes" and results in gorgeous, long-lasting
garments. That show changed her life. Judy elaborates: "
Dress design is a lot of fun... I'm developing my "Ritter
Kritters" pattern line, and I find that embroidery makes
a big difference in the appearance of a garment. This means a
lot to the final appearance of a gown, and when the work is done
by someone in the family, that garment is a treasure!" Judy's
primary passion is for sewing , but the embroidery work she adds
once the garment is made, is the perfect embellishment and the
element which gives each that extra special touch which makes
it truly unique.
considers her design style to be traditional and frequently uses
several "trademark" stitches: Portuguese stem stitch,
padded satin stitch, raised fishbone, bullions and cutwork. She
adores Waterlilies, her all time favorite thread, because it's
silk and leaves such a gorgeous sheen when she does any kind
of satin stitch, a stitch she uses over and over on just about
everything. She is also partial to Wildflowers as it works up
quickly on a lot of designs and she finds Watercolours great
for couching! She continues: "I tried experimenting with
the whole 3 plies of Watercolours and found they couch down beautifully
by machine. My husband was impressed too, and he's a tough critic.
So, a new idea was formed, since I usually do all embroidery
by hand. This was a treat."
Judy sells her gowns through mail order and has recently has
added a website on the Internet. Hre creations have never been
exhibited elsewhere before, since she was both too shy and too
modest. Lucky for us, that's no longer the case! In addition
to the styles of gowns offered, Judy welcomes customers who want
to design their own by choosing their own combination of design
elements such as fabric and thread type and color, skirt, bodice
and sleeve style, choice of motifs for the embroidery, type of
hem, addition of ruffles, lace trim, panels or inserts, neck
edging, pintucks, puffing strips etc. The combinations are virtually
Description of Whiteworks Gowns and Bonnets:
The ecru "Pinafore" gown is Judy's own
design, using the first in her line of "Ritter Kritter"
patterns. Made of ecru, "linen-look" cotton batiste,
it's embroidered with Opal Waterlilies thread for the lower and
smaller cutwork designs, Snow White Watercolors to outline the
punchwork crescents and Opal Wildflowers on the larger cutwork
The "Casey" gown is made of heavy cotton
satin batiste and sports a long lace-edged ruffle, machine embroidered
roses, un-gathered sleeves edged with lace and lace inserts in
the front bodice.
The " Michaela" gown is sewn from sheer
cotton batiste and features a lace-edged ruffle, a mock portrait
collar surrounded with lace-edged ruffles and embroidery on the
bodice and puff sleeves.
The "Kyle" gown is a variation on Judy's
most simple gown style ("Robert"), with added touches
of lace on the bodice and sleeve caps, pintucks and touches of
Bonnets shown in the grouping include a puffing bonnet,
smocked bonnet, hanky bonnet, T-bonnet, pouffe French bonnet
and plain cap bonnet.
For more on Judy Ritter's designs, check out her website at http://www.white-works.com or contact her at Whiteworks address: 5220 Rt 6, Rome, OH 44085
phone: (440) 474-4009 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org