Sunday, June 28, 2009

Silk Ribbon Embroidery, SRE

Silk Ribbon Embroidery ( SRE )
has been practised since the 17th. Century.
It fell out of favour for some time, BUT since the late 1990's is back in style.
These days there are many types of ribbon to choose from, with a wide variety in colours, textures and widths. Silk is the most suitable because of it's soft texture and shapes well, but other types can be effective in different situations.
One of the options you have is Cascade House Silken Ribbon ( 4 mm. only ) made from cow's milk.
Protein is extracted from casein that is finally woven into a ribbon. It looks like silk,
feels like silk and
stitches like silk at a slightly lower cost.

When you are first learning this technique, use a fabric with a weave that will allow the needle and ribbon to pull through easily. I find for my beginners that a linen is the best to use, the threads move aside well and still looks effective. On a more advanced project you cannot beat Dupion Silk.
The look with the Silk Ribbon and Silk Fabric is rich and luxurious, and the colours *********
You can use satin, cotton, organza, velvet, denim, moire and other silk blends, but take care as
the threads pull in some fabrics.

( eg. Spider Web Rose with Ribbon Stitch Leaves )

You may be a person who requires a kit, pattern and supplies all chosen for you, OR
you may find inspiration around you. Once you start on SRE, it is amazing how it can open your
eyes to flowers, nature and art you see each day. You may find ideas in a book , your garden,
scrapbooking pages, ceramic tiles, in a piece of fabric, or on a greetings card.

Crazy Patch / Quilting is a blank palette just waiting for the addition of S R E.
adding an extra dimension to your work. With the addition of embroidery stitches,
embellishments such as lace, buttons, beads, transfers, sequins etc. you have
a beautiful way of creating your own style and design.
This to me is a more useful and enjoyable way of learning new stitches than in our
school days with a sampler. You can go wild with colour and choices.
For inspiration visit some of the chosen sites on the side bar of my blog.

I know there are a lot of scrapbookers out there
( sorry I am not one - only from lacking in time)
but ribbon embroidery can also be applied here. The embellishments that you are purchasing can be handmade with so many more options just from scraps you may have in your kitty. Five Petal Flower is one such flower. 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ribbon Stitch, Daisy, Examples

Daisy Ring - Ribbon Stitch

Ribbon Stitch 
( Japanese Ribbon Stitch )
A basic stitch that enables you to create a wide variety of 
flowers, leaves even insects.

Can be executed with ribbons from 2 mm up by adjusting 
the size of the chenille needle to suit.

If needed using a water soluble marker create a inner circle and
out ring to assist with the needle placements.

Thread your needle, bring the needle
up to the front at the point of the first
stitch.  Move the needle under the
ribbon to straighten as much as 

Place the needle in the centre of the ribbon, at the length that you require your petal to be.

Pull the needle through slowly, I place my left ring finger on the ribbon at this time.

This helps to not pull too tight and enables you to stop
the length of ribbon twisting.

Should you want the petals to be rounded at the tip, use your
fingernail for shaping as you pull the ribbon through.

If a more pointed petal tip is needed, pull the needle and 
ribbon to the right and away from the worked petal. 
Continue around the full circle, placing a bead or french knots in the centre.
Notice the change once this is 

Making a folded stitch, is a simple case of inserting the needle to the left or right edge 
of the ribbon, thus it twists
a little as you pull it

The addition of buttons
and bee in Silk Ribbon.
in 4 mm. 
Daisy Buds are a simple
cluster of Ribbon Stitch
and a grouping of 
Ribbon Stitch in green
shaped as a bell. 

Ribbon Stitch Hints and Variations

Moulding the shape of the petal:
Rounded petals are achieved by holding the ribbon down with
your fingertip and shaping the ribbon outer edge around your nail
as you are pulling it through. 
( Also prevents you from pulling too tight ).

Pointed petals- by holding the ribbon stitch firm with your finger, pull the ribbon
through and pull it to the right  ( go gently until you get the required tip ).

Pulling the ribbon to the side or downwards a little will give it a small curl or place the needle through to one side of the ribbon will create a folded ribbon stitch.

Enjoy your time working with Silk Ribbon, but remember you are imitating nature, and even nature has imperfections in its work.

Carol Daisy

Friday, June 19, 2009

Starting & threading the needle

 Please take a few minutes to read these few hints, before starting your first project.
 Hopefully it will make your first effort trouble free.

In order for you to try your hand at Detached Chain this is MY way of threading the needle,
and a few hints.
You will need a Chenille Needle for Ribbon Embroidery which has a sha
rp point and a long eye. 
They come in sizes 18 - 22 and can be purchased in a mixed pack. 
The lower number 18 being the largest needle. I prefer size 20 for working with 7 mm an
size 22 for 4 mm and under.
A mixed pack will cover all your needs while embroidering, no matter what size ribbon 
you are using.
Keep in mind that the wider the ribbon the larger the needle point  is needed to create 
an opening in the fabric.

Do not have your ribbon longer than 30 cms. it will fray from constantly going through the 

fabric and  you will notice that the latter stitches will not be of the same quality as the first ones.
ALWAYS CUT YOUR RIBBON ON AN ANGLE to stop fraying, also aids in threading
the ribbon through the eye of the needle.
Here is a good habit to get int
o when you begin. I stitch the ends into the back of the fabric
at start and end. I know there are other ways to do this, but personally I find this gives the best
finished product. By attaching a piece of pellon to the back of your work area, you have a base
to stitch your ribbon ends and a softer surface to work with.

Option 1 - My preferred way. Less pull on the ribbon and if you get in a sticky situation,
this can be unthreaded or loosened off.

Thread the ribbon through the eye of the needle

Pinch between fingers to stop it coming out of the eye
the eye through the ribbon at needle length

Pull cut end through and tighten ribbon length until it is firm.

Option 2 - Has shorter tail, but you may need to cut the ribbon if  the needle gets caught up.
Thread the ribbon through the eye of the needle, leaving a tail.

Take it through until you can put the eye of the needle through the ribbon

Then take it up to the needle and tighten the other end.

Prewash the Ribbons before beginning your Embroidery.  Most Ribbons are
Colourfast, but at times there can be just 1 length that is not.
It is much safer to do this, than to risk ruining your finished embroidery the
first time it is washed.
Wash in a mild detergent and lukewarm water.  Rinse well and gently 
squeeze out remaining water.   Lay flat to dry or hang up to dry, try
not to have knots or creases.

Pressing Silk Ribbons, always have the iron on the Silk Setting.  Lay the iron
flat on the Ironing Board and slowly pull the ribbon between the iron and 
ironing board. ( Lately I have been using a hair straightener on the appropriate heat)

Silk Ribbons should be stored away from direct light with no sharp creases.

If you feel that the ribbon is not going to lay flat, use the eye end of a needle
to smooth and straighten it out.

I hope this is of some help to beginners and maybe a refresher for those who have been away from Ribbon Embroidery for awhile. Remember these are my hints, coming from my experience spent with this craft. I can only give you a guide, but with practice you will develop your own methods.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lazy Daisy Stitch , Detached Chain

For those of you who have used this stitch before will know how EASY and  VERSATILE this stitch can be.
When working Lazy Daisy Stitch in ribbon it is known as Detached Chain.

Firstly the Lazy Daisy in Thread:

Loop the thread around the needle and pull it through. 
You now have a link, forming your first petal. Take the needle through to the back, just below the loop.
This anchors the petal down. For the next step come back up close to the first and repeat.
Continue in this manner till you have a full circle and completed flower.

The thread is brought through from the back of the material and re-inserted as close to this point as possible ( ithout catching the needle through the thread ).
The length of the petal is determined by the distance the needle is taken through.

Loop the thread around the
 needle and pull it through.

You now have a link,
 forming your first petal.

                                                                            Take the needle through to the back, just below the loop.                                                                                             This anchors the petal down. For the next step come back up close to the first and repeat.

Detached Chain in Silk Ribbon

Detached Chain Stitch is done in much the same way.
It is best if you only use between 2 and  4 mm ribbons in this stitch.
The wider ones are not suitable to shape the petals.
The material may be held in an Embroidery Hoop or free in the hand.
If using a hoop the stitching will be in stabbing up and down manner.
It is too difficult to take the needle across.
Your fingers will soon testify to this.
When using the ribbon I personally prefer the ribbon to be flattened out and smooth.
This gives a fuller petal. Whereas if you leave it with a twist that is
what you get in the petal. Take your finger into the loop before pulling it
through and straighten out the ribbon.
Take it a little slower than if you were working with thread,
and you will have more control over the shaping of the petal. 

I have included some examples of what you can achieve with this simple stitch:
The flowers I worked on this carry bag are all Lazy Daisy Stitch with a few french knots added for the centres and base.The different effects are obtained by changing the size, colour and directions.

Ribbon is used to make up this Flower Spray in Detached Chain, and the buds and leaves are done in the same stitch.

Just look what you can do with Hand Dyed Ribbon.

Detached Chain has been added to the
leg hem of a pair of jeans and beads added as you go.

Australian Wildflowers in SRE.
The Centre flower is called Flannel Flower using 
7 mm. Silk Ribbon.
The only difference here is the Detached Chain is completed with a Bullion Wrap and a straight stitch 
of Sage Green 4 mm Silk Ribbon on the tips. 
( For instructions go to Leaves in SRE)
The Smaller pink flowers are Boronia and the French Knot
clusters are Wattle.

Carol Daisy 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Blogging Here Goes

 Welcome to Silk Ribbon Embroidery

This is a totally new experience for me and look forward to what may be in the future world
of blogging. As a Rock Vegas ite, life here is quite pleasant. We do have the best of the Country
and City Life. Close proximity to the Coast as well. Sub Tropical so our weather at most times
is mild, but the last few days has been a bit of a surprise with our temperatures going down to
5 Degrees. Only for awhile though before the sun warms us. We are known here as the Beef
Capital ( Beef Expo 2009 ) has just finished last month.
I have developed a passion for Ribbon Embroidery over the last 5 years. At first it began from
creating and selling my work, but now it is about encouraging others to take up this easy, quick form of embroidery.
Really how difficult is it to put aside some time to sit and stitch, you won't believe how addictive
it is to actually create something with your own hands. In this economic climate, people are
starting to realise how therapeutic craft can be. Why not become one of them.

Carol Daisy