Tuesday, 30 August 2011

COMPLETE change of mind!

Friends of our are celebrating their golden wedding on Friday and, well, you just can't get that go by without a card, right? I thought I'd use Mary Corbet's charming tudor style rose and work it up in yellows and outline in gold. Here's the pattern traced and the threads selected:

And I was going to mount it in a nice, square, gold card blank. Was going to look stunning!

However, as soon as I'd got a few little bits of the darker yellow in, although the colour looked great, I simply wasn't working it well and wasn't really in the mood for that type of work..... So, out it came from the hoop, it got put away for later use (I still love the idea and my colourway for it, so I hope to come back to it some time later on), and I got out my pastel pencils and ribbon collection. This is the result:

A BIG change in direction, huh??!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Simple ribbon work flowers

Here's a small ribbon embroidery design that I did about 2 weeks ago (and have only just worked up the courage to edit and upload all the photos!). I took plenty of in-progress shots so that it could be a little bit of a tutorial. The design is one that is no longer in production, 'Garden Gate' by the UK company Crafty Ribbons. I bought it in an end of line sale about 4 years ago, but they do have some nice ribbon embroidery kits still on offer. Nice designs and good instructions.

First we have the gate design itself worked in plain old backstitch and the spiders web inserted using straight stitches of varying lengths.

Here you can see how to 'thread up' the ribbon. Using a normal embroidery needle and a co-ordinating colour thread, go in and out of the ribbon alternating edges. The thread should already be coming through the fabric at this point really.

Gather up the ribbon into a little flower....

...and secure with another stitch just next to the flower, making sure the stitch is hidden underneath and that any scrappy ends of ribbon are taken to the underside as well.

Moving on to the leaves and this time you thread the ribbon through a chenille needle (about size 20 should be OK, depending on the width of the ribbon). When you make the gathered flowers, you just need to cut enough ribbon for each bloom. With the leaves, you can cut enough for several as the ribbon will go in and out a few times before getting tatty.

A simple straight stitch creates a nice looking leaf.

The add some more straight stitches, this time in stranded cotton or coton a broder to create the impression of grass and some French knot flower centres and this part is complete.

Moving onto some larger blooms to be created in ribbon stitch. Again, thread the chenille needle with enough ribbon for a few petals and come up through the fabric. Go back down, not beyond the ribbon, but through it to create the folded back look....

...that you can see here.

Add in a few more to create full flowers, some straight stitch leaves and also French knots using white ribbon as a flower centre and that completes this side.

Here's the full thing shown slightly at an angle so you can enjoy the three dimensional aspect to good effect. This piece was then mounted into a card.

Hope that's been of interest to some of you. I'm no ribbon work expert, but a number of folk do come here after searching for 'ribbon embroidery', so I thought a picture post would go down well.=)

I haven't been doing much stitching of late thanks to yet more bugs and nasties (I've come to conclusion I'm a germ goddess and the dratted things love me and want to nestle close....), and I'd like to get some mending and altering done soon, if possible, so as to clear the decks (literally!!) for more interesting things later on.

© Elizabeth Braun 2011