Free pattern for silk ribbon embroidery: Tulips

Although I don’t have time to do any ribbon embroidery, I cannot help thinking about it nearly all the time. It’s so beautiful outside, so many flowers in bloom, and at this time of the year I just naturally 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 might inspire you to start a new project!

Tulips are some of the most stunning flowers, and they are really easy to stitch with silk ribbons. The variety and colour combinations are endless, which makes the tulip quite a versatile flower to stitch as you can use any ribbons you have in your stash.

Sketching my design, I thought of pink variety and used colours similar to my Pale Magenta silk ribbon.

Tulips Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Follow the link to download a pattern. Use Adobe Reader to open the file. Before printing,  set 100% scale in printing settings.

Use any fabric that you like. For example, patchwork fabric is a good choice as it comes in different colours.

Embroider all the stems first. You can use either stem stem stitch or backstitch. If you use DMC or Anchor stranded cotton, stitch with two strands.

Work the flowers using ribbon stitches (click on the link to read the stitch tutorial) and do not pull the ribbon too tight. If the stitch is tight, you will get very skinny petals.  I suggest using 4mm-wide Pale Magenta silk ribbon for the tulips.

With ribbon embroidery always stitch bits that are further away first. For example, for each flower stitch the furthest petal first and then work another petal that overlaps it.  Finally, stitch the last petal that sits on top of the others.  See the diagram below that shows stitch order for each flower.

Tulips Silk Ribbon Embroidery Pattern

Work straight stitches for leaves (click on the link to read the stitch tutorial) with 4mm-wide Teal Green silk ribbon.  Make the straight stitches long to resemble the leaves. Again, stitch starting from the leaves that are further away first. You can let the ribbon twist slightly to create life-like effect. It’s good to have some stitches flat and others twisted, so you have the leaves that all  look slightly different.

If you prefer plane-coloured ribbons to hand-dyed, use a few shades of pink and green to make your embroidery look more interesting. Also, you can paint your fabric first with watercolour to create a nice background for your tulip garden.

Enjoy the spring and have a nice time doing some ribbon embroidery!

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