I love using silk fabric for my embroidery, and if using ribbons, stitching with silk on silk looks lovely. Silk dupion is my frequent choice as it is available in many shop and it comes in lots of colours. It has lovely sheen, very pleasant to use, and not too delicate to have textured embroidery on it. It is one of those fabrics that is relatively easy to handle, and I would recommend it to those who would like to use silk for the first time.
Generally speaking, almost any fabric will work for stitching with silk ribbons. If your fabric is good enough to stitch with embroidery thread, then it should be good for ribbons too. You do not need any special fabric for silk ribbon embroidery. The only thing you need to pay attention is how tightly woven your fabric is. A tight fabric weave puts more friction on the ribbon and ravel it out. It is also much harder to pull your needle with a piece of ribbon through that sort of fabric.
It’s so beautiful outside, and with so many flowers in bloom, I cannot stop thinking about how nicely all those flowers would look as silk ribbon embroidery. At this time of the year I literally see everything through the ribbon embroidery prism.
As you may know I’m on my final year of the RSN Future Tutor programme, and it’s literally just a couple of months left till I graduate. I’m struggling at the moment to find any time for extra projects beyond what is in the curriculum, but I have a few ideas that I’d love to share with you. This embroidery mini tutorial might inspire you to start a new project!
Fly stitch is absolutely fabulous for embroidering leaves and feathers. It is quick, easy and very effective. You can stitch leaves of different shapes, and you can use just one colour or change your ribbon half way onto another colour to get more colour variation.
Since I joined RSN Future Tutors course nearly two years ago, I haven’t really shared any free patterns here. Although I have learned a lot during my time on the course and I enjoy it very much, I miss ribbon embroidery a lot. So I thought it would be great to design a pattern that will work for thread painting as well as for ribbon embroidery, and to share it with you. The design is inspired by spring flowers — daffodils, narcissus, crocuses, and grape hyacinths, and if stitched it could be a perfect gift for the Mother’s Day or Easter.
Meanwhile I finished another fragment of my ribbon embroidery ‘Garden Party’ last week. It is a stunning ribbon heart surrounded by graceful roses in delicate pastel shades. I love stitching Helen Eriksson’s designs, and this one was published in Inspirations magazine a couple years ago. If you missed my earlier posts, it’s a panel with nine different flowers, and I’ve done six of them already: forget-me-nots, wisteria, foxgloves, rose, violets, and hydrangea. It’s a very beautiful design, good for beginners and there are plenty of different ribbon stitches to try. I enjoy stitching every bit of it!
Since summer I have been working on the Garden Party embroidery rather leisurely, and, not surprisingly, new flowers have been growing slowly. I’ve started a silk ribbon hydrangea when the one in our garden was in full bloom, but couldn’t find time to finish it until now. I have been stitching two large pieces since September (I promise to share them later) and squeezing in one more project proved to be not easy. I know it’s almost Christmas time, and we are all into Christmas designs rather than flowers, but anyway you might get some inspiration from these shots for your spring or summer stitching.
The Garden Party has been designed by Helen Eriksson, and this is the sixth flower out of nine. If you missed my previous posts, here they are: forget-me-nots, wisteria, foxgloves, rose, and violets. Continue reading
Today I’d like to share a simple and very popular technique for folding silk ribbon to make a rose. Quite a lot of roses on silk ribbon embroidery pieces you’ve ever seen are made using it. The technique is called, unimaginatively, the Folded Rose.
One more flower is finished and that means only four left to complete Garden Party silk ribbon embroidery designed by well-known Australian designer Helen Ericsson. If you missed my previous posts about the piece, here they are: forget-me-knot, wisteria, foxgloves, and rose (click to find out more about each stitched flower). So today it’s time for gorgeous violets to be shared. There were two attempts to stitch the violets, I must admit. When I just started to work on The Garden Party the violets were the first flower I started stitching. Unfortunately for me I made a foolish mistake to pick out solid silk ribbons instead of spaced-dyed ones recommended in a supply list, and the piece ended up in a box with other unfinished embroideries quite shortly after it was started. It had spent there almost three years before I eventually got inspired to give it another go this time using hand-dyed silk ribbons. I don’t mind stitching with solid silk ribbons at all, but for some designs they just don’t work, this one being a perfect example. Solid violets looked quite flat and dull, and just one variegated purple ribbon has changed visual perception of the embroidery tremendously. I love the outcome. The violets are beautiful.
Whilst it’s summertime I’m busy dying ribbons in order to be fully stocked for a high sale season that is coming. However, it doesn’t mean I put away my stitching, and I managed to finished two more flowers from the Garden Party design. The problem is that I could hardly find a time to take decent photos of my progress, in fact, I’ve been planning to write this post for a couple of weeks. It’s only today that I have finally got an opportunity to take my camera out for shooting.
The rose is planted in the centre of the Garden Party pattern (by Helen Ericsson) as a reminder of which flower is the Queen of all flowers. I like the technique that is used to make the rose. As you see the middle of it is a folded rose attached to fabric and then surrounded with stitches. Who will disagree that silk ribbon embroidery is one of the most beautiful ways to create roses?
We’ve got three huge rose bushes in our garden. They are beautiful, standing stately upright, splendid blossoms fill the garden with rich fragrance, and it’s a pleasure to spend time there. There are no climbing roses though, we don’t really have a space to grow them, so I’ve come up with an idea to ‘plant’ one on a wall using silk ribbon embroidery technique.
Whilst drawing up the design I thought ladders must be popular among gardeners. They are beautiful, especially vintage ones, and they look great supporting climbing plants. Continue reading
This is a fabric print of vintage postcard that I had in stock some time ago. I always checked them before adding on my website. Sometimes I stitched over a tiny piece of print just to fulfil my curiosity and check out how it would look like if embellished with ribbons. However, once I started stitching on this postcard, I just could not bring myself to stop until it’s been completely done.
It’s absolutely stunning postcard, I love that cheeky musician puss hypnotising birds. Look how stunned they are with its beautiful play. Totally paralysed!
I’m quite a beginner in gardening and have never grown foxgloves. All I know about them is that they are incredibly tall and bumblebees love them. So when I started stitching my next flower from ‘Garden Party’ design I thought it wouldn’t be my favourite one. I’m also usually sceptical about scaling down large plants for miniature silk ribbon embroidery, as, let’s be honest, it is very hard to make tiny piece that still got enough detail to look life-like. After all, two already finished flowers — forget-me-not and wisteria — are quite rich in detail, the foxglove should match them to feel in place. With these thoughts and somewhat skeptical attitude I made the first bright pink foxglove (or it might be a hollyhock) and immediately fell in love with it as soon as it was finished. There are so much details in this small embroidery. You don’t notice them when you see the whole picture, but you do recognise them whilst stitching. And the flowers are so bright and crisp in colour — everything that I love.
It’s common to stitch foxglove flowers with ribbon stitches, that’s why I reckon it might be a mistake in a magazine where I got the pattern from and it’s a hollyhock as a matter of fact. Anyway, I like Helen Ericsson’s choice to go for the gathered flowers. They might look not as an identical copy of real foxgloves, but the stylisation is absolutely charming, and the flowers are strikingly recognisable. They remind me of a cottage garden.
I’m still very enthusiastic about completing Garden Party design by talented Helen Eriksson and here is one more plant finished — a wisteria. It’s the second flower out of nine, the first one is forget-me-not that I’ve shared earlier. The whole panel is worked in silk ribbon embroidery technique, and what I love about it most is that finishing each flower takes no time at all and all of them look very realistic indeed (at least on photos in a magazine with stitching instructions). I wasn’t sure when I just started stitching the wisteria that my embroidered version would look real-like, but as soon as finished it, I totally fell in love with it and there’s no doubt in me that it’s highly recognisable.
At first I thought that suggested silk ribbon would be too pale for the design, but surprisingly its subtle variations worked well here, so I didn’t consider any other options at all. I used the darkest ribbon sections for upper parts of the bunches and the rest for lower parts as were recommended in the magazine.