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


Anonymous said...

Lovely! Thanks for the step by step pictures!
I always thought these ribbon flowers to be more complicated than what they actually are.

Rachel said...

The gauzy ribbons create a delightfully delicate effect - well done.

Sorry to hear you've been poorly - hope you are on the mend now.

Sew Bee It Clothier said...

Very well done! I love to envelope myself in silk ribbon embroidery but have never considered these organza ribbons. Thank you so much!
Be well very soon!
Alison in Tampa, FL, USA

Rachel Cotterill said...

I love those flowers - I don't think I've seen them done like that before. Gorgeous :)

Alex said...

That's come out beautifully. I really like the first flowers with the gathered up ribbon. A really interesting technique.

elisabetta said...

Ciao Elizabeth, grazie per la tua visita al mio blog. Molto bello il tuo blog di ricamo, anche a me piace il silk ribbon e l'ardanger :-)))). Ma io non conosco l'inglese, perciò non capisco le belle cose che scrivi...

Ciao e a presto

Elisabetta Sforza said...

Ciao from Italy!

Flora said...

Excellent work! Looks like a real garden!

Thanks for the step-by-step images that are very well taken to easily understand the technique.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

That is oh so sweet. Very pretty and looks fun to do.


Janice Kay Schaub said...

What sort of ribbon do you use. Here we do "silk" ribbon embroidery. I tried regular ribbon one time but did not have a good result. It looks like you have a fine ribbon and I love the look. Does it shred easy?


WOW ! I have never seen anything like this before. I am definately going to be playing with ribbons tomorrow. Thank you so much for showing us how to do it. Marion x