Monday, 15 October 2012

A Little Ribbon Embroidery

I've had a couple of Crafty Ribbons kits in my kit drawer for a while now and have been meaning to get them worked up.  However, when looking at the designs, I couldn't help but feel that the best hadn't been made of its potential.  This is the 'original', what do you think?  You get a small square of black fabric to work it on and, yes, it's plenty big enough for the design, but really nothing like big enough to put in a hoop.  In fact, although this is my fourth kit of this brand, I've never once used the fabric supplied in the package owing to its over small size.

I decided that the first thing to do was to create a new background and, as I had three small projects in mind that I wanted non-plain backgrounds for (including another kit by CR, the colour choices for which make me wonder how they could bring themselves to put it into production....), I decided to have a go at a bit of painting.  Below are the materials I thought I'd use, meaning to do natural, landscapey sorts of things with them.

And below again are the materials I actually used!!

This is what the piece of fabric with the three painted sections looked like when wet.  Notice that I wet the whole area I wanted to paint first so that the colours merged and spread out well on the fabric. 

And this is what it looked like dry - considerably lighter.  As you can see from the tubes of paint photo, I've used watercolours and I really should have remembered how much lighter they dry.  Having said that, I didn't really mind the change too much as I've made the mistake of having an over-poweringly painted background before.  I also learned that Sap Green' dries with quite a hard edge (as does Permanent Rose to a degree) - something to look out for another time.

The middle of the three was the one intended for this ribbon piece as I wanted to give the impression of a pot of flowers in a yard with a wall/fence (the brown-ish colour) and some greenery (the green spots dropped into the brown whilst still wet), on a paved area (the grey at the bottom).

The embroidery itself took around an hour and, as it was done in evening light and was a quick stitch, there are no WIP photos this time, but here's the finished piece, mounted in a card and looking a lot nicer, I think!

Do you agree?  I do like the general design and love the plant pot button - in fact I'm planning to get hold of a few, probably from the Crafty Ribbons booth at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show, presuming they'll be there.  So that part was good, but I think the black background, to say nothing of the awful slightly blurred and totally 'flat' photograph on the kit was a big no-no.  Not surprisingly, I got this as part of a sale on their website - discontinued kits.

PS, In case anyone's wondering what's planned for the other two painted backgrounds, the simple answer is nothing.  I found the green on the left hand one just too vibrant and felt it didn't go with the ribbon piece I had in mind and the right hand idea just no longer works for me.  I was going to do a small sampler with a crazy quilt appearance as a support for my catch-up on TAST.  I still quite like the idea, but don't think this one worked and so will consider trying another one soon.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2012


coral-seas said...

A hundred times better than the original :-)

Erica said...

What lovely results! I think you are terribly brave to even attempt it! I would be scared to death to ruin the linen. Beautiful, soft results!

Wendy said...

It looks really pretty. I bought a small ribbon embroidery kit, intending to give it a go, but I couldn't get past the spiderweb roses which was the first part to stitch!

Rachel said...

Yes, altogether better. Watercolours do tend to dry very light, but in this case, that's probably just as well!

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

The painted background is a big improvement, it gives more dimension to the piece. I would be scared to try it, I'm not much with paint.

Emily said...

The reason you got a hard edge is because the water carried the color to the edge of the wet area. If you don't want the hard edge, just wet the fabric all the way to the edge.

Also, you can put more paint on there for stronger colors. It's not a problem.

It turned out lovely as you did it, perfect for the flowers!

Sparklyjools said...

No competition with the original. I like your subtle approach - a very pretty finished item!

Isabelle said...

your flowers are lovely, and your explanations for how to paint fabric are very interesting.

letslearnembroidery said...

This is truly a work of art!

The Sparkly Fairy said...

I saw this on Craft Gossip and had to have a look. I love the background - what a fab idea x

KrankyMax said...

Love your ideas. Makes a very pretty background for your embroidery.

magicmoonmusings said...

So pretty, this was a lovely experiment. What is that beautiful stitch?