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.
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.
Daffodils, narcissus, and crocuses on this pattern for embroidery
I invite everyone to join and stitch this pattern with me. I will be posting my progress on my Instagram (link), and will be delighted to see yours. There are no rules to follow. You can stitch ether the whole pattern, or just a part of it. You can use any materials you want, I do not want to limit you just to ribbon embroidery. If you more comfortable with threads, use just them. Any embroidery techniques are welcome: surface stitching, thread painting, applique, stumpwork, or any other. Pick your own colours for threads or ribbons and fabric. Challenge yourself and create a unique piece!
I’m totally in love with my new textile postcard. It’s stitched on one of those fabric backgrounds I stock. I’m still not sure if it’s a cherry or an apple blossom. First I thought it’s an apple, but pink stamens made me a bit suspicious and now it looks more like a cherry for me. Anyway, flowers of both species are similar in shape and it’s the same way to go about stitching them. I used my favourite silk ribbon embroidery technique to brighten up the print.
Britain is in daffodil bloom and even in my shady garden the flowers have opened. I have not met a person who doesn’t love daffodils. They are pure sun and its so much joy to walk past yellow flower carpets. Daffodils are truly messengers of spring, and when I see their strong stems and leaves that show over ground, I know Spring is almost here, and the most beautiful season of bloom is ready to come.
Here is a tutorial on how to easily embroider beautiful daffodils with silk ribbons. The tute is well suitable for those who have not tried silk ribbon embroidery before, and want to give it a go.
To stitch the daffodils, you’ll need:
- Two pieces of cotton fabric plain or patterned. I used Moda fabric bought in a quilt shop.
- 4mm wide Yellow Sun and Light Emerald hand-dyed silk ribbon, one three meter-long skein of each
- 2mm wide Gold Yellow silk ribbon, one three meter-long skein
- Chenille (size 18) needle to stitch with ribbon
- Embroidery hoop
- HB pencil to transfer a pattern onto fabric
Thinking of February it’s hard not to think about Valentine day and hearts. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Valentine card embroidered with silk ribbons, and I thought it would be an interesting challenge to design one. I love such sort of challenges when there’s a need to create something for a specific occasion using specific techniques and materials. It gives my brain an exercise as it’s not an easy task to make a nice design that doesn’t take lots of materials, time, and effort when someone makes one trying to follow a tutorial afterwards. So… I hope you like it and if you haven’t yet tried stitching on a piece of card, this is a perfect opportunity to give it a go 🙂
To make a card like this, you’ll need:
- A4 sheet of photo paper. Choose one that is thick enough to make a card (260gsm will be good) with satin finish. I bought mine from Ryman. Make sure you get photo paper, not just card, as colours will look dull on normal card;
- 4mm wide Citrus, 7mm wide Deep Carmine, and 2mm wide Hydrangea hand-dyed silk ribbons;
- sewing or embroidery floss in red;
- embroidery needle to stitch with floss and a chenille (size 18) needle to stitch with ribbon;
- scissors or a roller cutter with a ruler;
- single sided and double sided adhesive tape.
I played with 2mm silk ribbon today and stitched a lovely tiny bunch of snowdrops! The tallest flower is just 4 cm high. It turns out that smaller bunch is even easier and quicker to embroider that ones I stitched with 7mm and 4mm silk ribbons a week before (I posted a tutorial earlier if you missed it).
Silk Ribbon Tutorial – Tiny Snowdrops
This time I got lazy and didn’t transfer the patten onto fabric, so I didn’t follow the steps of my own tutorial strictly and went the other way round. The flowers were stitched at first, not stems and leaves as it is said in the tutorial. It’s quite easy to start with flower heads when there isn’t any layout on fabric. I worked flowers as described in the tutorial, but used 4mm white silk ribbon instead of 7mm one. For some snowdrops I stitched three petals, for others just two. Then I worked calyxes on top of each flower with 2mm wide Pastel Green silk ribbon and a straight stitch again as it’s suggested in the tutorial.
Snowdrops are one of the most lovely woodland flowers. They’re beautiful spreading in white endless carpets making our walks in woods so much more enjoyable. I love how rich green shades of their leaves bring forward white delicacy of flowers. It’s amazing colour combination that is easy to replicate in silk ribbon embroidery. There’s only one stitch needed to create real-looking flowers. It’s a straight stitch with 7mm (1/4 inch) wide silk ribbon for petals and 4mm (1/8 inch) wide one for leaves. Follow this easy tutorial to embroider a bunch of those beautiful flowers.
To stitch flowers like these, you’ll need:
- Two pieces of cotton fabric. You might like to paint a background on one of them with watercolour paints like I did.
- Six-strand embroidery floss in green
- 4mm wide Dark Spring Green and Avocado Green hand-dyed silk ribbon, one three meter-long skein of each
- 7mm wide White silk ribbon, one three meter-long skein
- Embroidery needle to stitch with floss and a chenille (size 18) needle to stitch with ribbon
- Embroidery hoop
- HB pencil to transfer a pattern onto fabric
Thinking of stitching Christmas tree with silk ribbons? Here is an easy project to give you an idea how to use ribbons for Christmas stitching. The piece is quite quick to make, and it’s a perfect project if you’ve never tried silk ribbon embroidery before. There are only two stitches here: backstitch for a trunk and brunches with embroidery floss, and straight stitches with silk ribbon for a realistic tree finishing.
Christmas tree stitched with silk ribbons
After I finished working on the first tutorial I just could not stop playing with spider web roses, so I ended up with another cushion! This time I arranged roses in a circle and added felt leaves among them to get the depth of a rose bush. I didn’t think twice about finishing, as my first cushion needed a pair. I followed my own steps by attaching strips of green fabric around the ribbon flowerbed and making the second cushion in similar style. This one is turned out more vivid and rich in colour, but they both make a perfect pair on my sofa. If you have been contemplating giving your sofa a fresh look, this could be a great pattern to start with because stitching the ribbon roses is quick, and sewing the cushion is even quicker!
Earlier this week I posted a tutorial on how to make straight stitches with silk ribbon, but I think you would agree that nothing is more boring than practising a new technique without a pattern or even an idea of what you’re stitching. Personally, I hate the thought of polishing a skill if it don’t end up in a nice piece, which I can frame and proudly hang on the wall. So I came up with an idea of making a series of posts with small, nice designs, that will give you a hand in learning basics of the silk ribbon embroidery. These designs will be easy in making, which is handy, for example, if one needs a gift at short notice.
There already has been posts about stitching spider web roses and finishing the final piece in a cushion. Now here’s next tutorial for mastering the straight stitch. I am going to show how to embroider a tree with silk ribbons.