I mentioned awhile back that my camera/computer connection and I were having an argument.
I solved it by switching the connection cable from a USB hub to a USB port at the back of my computer (hint – removable hard drives don’t seem to like USB hubs either.)
I am finally able to show pictures of the finished RosesnPansies Silk Ribbon piece that I made for my friend Sally that have been sitting on my camera for the last couple of months. I’ve been scanning the pieces from my latest Butterfly project, tho I knew that I’d need to be able to use a camera for it pretty soon.
Sally has long since received it, and says that she loves it. I’m very glad because I tried hard to make it in her tastes.
The last time you saw it, I’d laced the piece onto padded stiff cardboard.
When Rachel of VirtuoSew Adventures visited me at Christmas, we talked about how we both thought the piece needed more space around it. The flowers filled up so much of the piece, not leaving a lot of ‘air’ around it. It felt crowded.
So, (mourning the effort I’d already made in lacing it onto board), I laced a bigger board with another, darker purple fabric. No padding this time.
I glued the piece on top of this, using Helmark 450 Quick Dry Adhesive (an Australian product from an art supplies shop).
This worked very well. I had thought that trying to blind stitch the very edge of the padded board onto the unpadded background board would be difficult, if not impossible to do well, so I went for the glue.
I then glued on some braid onto the edges of the back board (hey, I was onto a good thing with this glue, tho it felt a bit weird to glue something, not sew it on).
The braid is composed of three thick pieces of lovely shiny copper satin ribbon, braided together.
I got this from the unlikely sounding on-line and store frontage shop called “Darn Cheap Fabrics”. http://www.darncheapfabrics.com.au/
I would have liked enough braid to go around all 4 edges of the piece, but sadly, I miscalculated and wasn’t prepared to wait for more to come through the postage by that stage.
For other Australians, that store has a few nice trimmings there that might be worth checking out.
So the piece could be hung easily, I used Ruth O’Leary’s clear directions from her blog entry
I added on little pockets at the top of the back of the board. This meant that Sally could hang the piece simply with a piece of dowel/wood/whatever through the pockets, attach a string to each end, and hang the string from a picture hook. She’s framed pieces I’ve done for her in the past, and this time, I wanted to save her the cost.
You can see the ends of the braid at each end. I couldn’t finish it any more neatly, short of putting a little cover of purple material on top. I wasn’t too worried, since it was the back.
The braid wanted to unravel very badly, so I glued the ends and added a few stitches for security, then glued down the whole braid. The braid was flat, not round, so it was easy to glue down. A round braid, glued – ugh!
So – there you go. My first big ribbon embroidery project. I’ve still got some daisies and a sunflower to do, for two other thankyou presents for friends.
Silk ribbon embroidery isn’t hugely my thing, although I do like playing with the lovely coloured silk ribbons, especially the variegated and wired ones. The technique is a bit “Great-Aunty” for me. But it does have the advantage of being quick. Or at least, a lot quicker than stumpwork/goldwork/16th/17thC embroidery.
Archive for the Category » Roses and Pansies for Sally «
I mentioned awhile back that my camera/computer connection and I were having an argument.
Yay! I just spent two afternoons working hard, and I’ve finished the embroidery.
Regarding the empty space, I filled it with leaves from both sides.
Thankyou so much for all of the advice
I ended up leaving that long rose leaf, because it was broken up by having some pansy leaves being placed on top of it.
I liked the suggestion of inserting a butterfly (and thanks Yvette for the suggestion of the use of organza for it’s wings), and embroidered one on one side.
It ended up being a bit close to a rosebud – if only I’d put the body 3 or 4 mm further down.
It’s antennae are made of this strange thread I had. The best I can describe it is being coated with iridescent purple foil. I think it’s used in scrapbooking – it was just something I had lying around. If anyone knows what it is called, I’d be interested. It’d be handy to have in some different colours for some odd jobs like this.
The purple iridecence works well to bring out the general purple-ness of the piece.
The antennae aren’t very well coiled because I couldn’t find my tweezers for the life of me, so I could only use my fingernails.
I got the pattern for the butterfly from the a piece at Fan Photos from Di Van Niekirk’s Silk Ribbon Embroidery,
Now to take it off the frame and back it…….
Finally, some decent photos!
If you feel like I’ve suddenly taken a leap since you last saw photos of the piece – I actually posted an entry earlier today, that had been sitting in my Drafts folder for a few days. That’s about adding the stems back in, and a few adjustments I made.
I have a question that I’d like advice on/
I’ve been busy adding pansy leaves, and the final copper pansy today, and the piece has advanced quite a lot.
There is an empty space running down in a diagonal line at the top there……
Do you think it needs filling?
What with? More leaves? A curlique (with the green silk with 3 french knots, and the couched memory thread?)
I think I’ve got enough flowers…..
A close up of the area in question :-
The bottom of the design will be finished with another pansy bud on the opposite side to the existing one but a bit further down, and a couple of bunches of pansy leaves.
The bottom is much lighter weight than the top, with that curlique that is currently unattached being the end of the design.
All advice much appreciated!
I had a basic design problem with Roses and Pansies that was bothering me.
This is how the piece looked the last time I blogged about it – I’d just removed the 3 major light green stems and calyxes (deciding they didn’t go with the olive leaves), removed some of the olive variegated leaves to decrease the ‘visual noise’, and inserted a copper spiderweb rose.
My problem was that the red and blue pansy fully overlaid the stem running up to the Vintage Ruffled Rose, so the stem looked like it was attached to the pansy, not the rose.
I’ve put an arrow against the relevant stem, as well as against the offending pansy.
The answer? Remove the pansy, obviously, to give the stem a clear run up to the base of the rose.
So here’s the piece, with the stems re-done in a dark green, and that stem clearly runs to the base of the Vintage Ruffled Rose. (Sorry about the colour contrast – it’s a grey day out there. I have fiddled with the settings without much luck)
I did a few other things while I was at it :
- added another couple of buds in the centre (taking it up to 5 buds), to fill up the space a bit more.
- inserted tiny stitches into the layers of the Vintage Ruffled Rose, to make to spread out a bit and lay a bit flatter. I think it looks better this way, if you compare it in the above two photos.
- inserted tiny stitches into some of the pansy petals, to get them to sit better.
- added padded calyxes to the roses and the rosebud, with the exception of the copper spiderweb rose. It didn’t look like it needed one.
- added the calyx back to the pansy bud, this time in the right green.
- added a French knot to the base of each major stem, to make it more obvious that that was the base point of each of these stems. (see photo above)
- made and inserted the first pansy leaf. In the wrong green tho– it’s too emerald. (Hey, it was 10pm by then and I’d been working for hours!) I have a more olive French Wired ribbon to hand, and I’ll simply replace it.
It’s there on the left, peeking out from under the pink and green/copper pansy.
There are going to be a lot more of these pansy leaves to act as filler, without giving the eye more to work on.
I’ve also taken a dislike to that elongated rose leaf (in variegated olive green) that the buds hang from, just below the Vintage Ruffled Rose. I might shorten it and switch it around so it’s coming from the copper spiderweb rose, and put some pansy leaves next to the pink and red pansy.
My favourite bit is this pansy bud – it’s so delicate!
I’m also happy with the way the colour variegation for the 5 buds in the interior worked out.
My plan now is to
- fix the colour of that pansy leaf
- fix the ‘long rose leaf’ situation, and
- work anti-clockwise from the purple/yellow pansy at the top, and add in extra pansies, (including a copper one to balance the copper colours already in the piece), pansy leaves, pansy buds and an extra rose bud, down around to the space below the Vintage Ruffled Rose. It’ll be mostly foliage as there are already lots of different colours.
- Then I’ll work on the bottom half of the piece, which is much sparser, consisting mostly of pansy leaves.
Do you get the impression that this is a bit of a ‘trial and play’ piece at all? Not having done much ribbon embroidery before (certainly nothing this big), not having worked with variegated colours before…..I’m really enjoying it. I’m pleased with the way it’s coming out.
This was Roses and Pansies :
I had a discussion with a couple of embroidery friends (thankyou Rachel of VirtuoSew Adventures) and we agree there was too much going on
- the shot blue plus red = purple shot silk background
- the variegated leaves in Olive wired ribbon
- the variegated flowers
- the different greens used for the stems.
So …. the stems got it in the neck. They are going to be replaced with an olive (if the ribbon Ever arrives from America – apparently the lady’s clerk is sick and they are a bit behind).
And I’ve reduced the number of Olive variegated leaves.
You’ll notice an additional small (copper/green) rose on the right, and that the copper pansy has moved to the bottom of the piece. I’m not sure if the rose will stay or not. It needs some more copper up the top left to balance it if it does.
The calyxes are also now missing – I’ll redo them in the new olive.
I’d done one of three combinations that appear on the piece – a curved line of stem stitch followed by 3 French knots, in fellowship with a piece of olive memory wire (the match is much better IRL).
Also, SilkLover very kindly gave me some Pearsall’s Silk wrapped on cardboard. I’ve used it for the little lines that come out of the grouped purple buds. It’s a pink/peach colour that just shines – it lights up the whole piece. I just love it!
I’ve been busy (when I can) making embroidered Christmas cards for some friends. (Tho my rule is – if I’m also making a piece for them, as listed in my last post, they only get a normal printed card, not both)
Just simple flowers in SRE (Silk Ribbon Embroidery) on white silk, designed to be placed in the 6 x 7.5cm aperture of some white 3 fold aperture cards that I’m also waiting to arrive. I’ll show photos after Christmas.
I won’t go into a discussion of the stitches used, unless someone wants to ask a question about how something was made.
It’s really starting to come together. I think the use of the DMC and perle thread (fairly flat) looks really good against the dimensionality of the flowers.
Of course, the photos don’t show the dimensionality. I’ll have to do a few shots from the side.
Pity that second picture is a bit fuzzy – it shows the colours well.
My favourite new bits are the copper pansy, and the yellow/purple pansy bud (near bottom, left – the one opposite it is a rose bud)
(an entry/series worth reading!) there’s a photograph of a goldwork beetle. (Needlework News featured the site today)
This beetle looks to have a ground that is exactly the same silk I’m working on.
But it’s a better photo (I’m terrible at photography!) so I thought I’d show it. Thankyou Scrappie Annie (the artist) and Mr X, (for showing the photo) :-
I’ve also fixed the second vintage rose’s black thread web lines from showing.
Instead of re-doing it, I used tweezers and nails to manipulate the ribbon to hide the thread, and put in a single tiny stitch to hold the ribbon in place.
Thankyou for the sweet comments on my last post
The skeletal stems are done, obviously. Whipped straight stitch for the main one (with all the curvy bits) and stem stitch for the other two, in 4mm ribbon.
Area done so far in close up…..
The two roses are on – the one I showed in the last post
and the new one I’ve just done
I really really love the second one (I like the first one too). The second was very easy, and done in Hanah hand dyed ribbons – a folded centre then spider webbing. The colours are so soft and vintage. (Pattern from A-Z Ribbon Work).
I over’ed when I should have under’ed, so have a black thread visible on the right, so I’ll have to unwind it and re-do it,
And the pansies are working well. Easy, but fiddly. Rayon bright yellow for the centres.
The green wired ombre ribbon from Vintage Vogue is magnificent. I’ve put in heaps of leaves, and intend to do lots more like that. I’ve put in another order to Vintage Vogue, and want to buy all Janet Stauffacher’s colours in 5/8” and 1”. They are only $2/yard. Their gloss just stands out so much – wonderful ribbon.
(so there’s the Vintage Vogue ribbons, and Rennaissance Wool I want to buy…… plus a few from Silk Mill……perhaps I should go buy a lottery ticket)
I’ve had viral and bacterial bronchitis for the last 5 weeks, so have been doing just one leaf or flower every few days.
I haven’t fixed the lacing yet. That’s too much like hard work in my current condition. But I will do it – hopefully before I progress too much futher. At least most things at attached at a single point, rather than being lines of stitching on the ground.
As Mary Corbet said – one of the good things about ribbonwork is the you can achieve a lot of affect for relatively little effort.
The top has yet to be filled in, and all the leaves and pansies and buds further down the stalks…….
For the design, I selected a free design from Di Van Niekirk’s free design page
It’s not there now – she must have changed them.
Here it is – with my scribblings all over it – the poor thing :
I haven’t an unmarked copy of the original “Misty”, unfortunately.
Misty was intended to be embroidered with daisies – and I wanted 2 big roses and the rest of the flowers to be pansies, so I had some modifying to do there.
It involved a bit of weight adjustment in the design, having 2 bigger flowers instead of having the flowers all the same size.
Also, I found that I needed to ‘put my own stamp’ on the design. There’s something in me that isn’t very good at just following along.
The very first thing I did was make my Vintage Vogue Rose I’ve never done Ribbbon Embroidery before. I didn’t know how big my Vintage Rose would turn out to be, having never done ribbon embroidery in my life. It is the centrepiece and biggest flower in the design.
So I decided to make it first, then adjust the design to fit.
After making the Rose, I blew up the design to fit it and then traced some components of the design onto an A3 sheet of tracing paper and re-drew other flowers, buds and leaves.
This is what I ended up with :
To give a brief idea of what I’ll be embroidering :
The funny wobbly-line flower up the middle/top is the Vintage Vogue Vintage Rose.
There’s the second rose a few inches below that.(drawn with more wobbly circles). It will be from A-Z Ribbon Embroidery – a Folded Rose/Spider Rose Combination.
The Pansies are a pattern from Vintage Vogue as well. There’s a similar design in A-Z Ribbon Embroidery.
I’m doing stuffed rosebuds (from Vintage Vogue designs, also covered in A-Z Ribbon Embroidery), and pansy buds – for which I’m using the Cherry Blossom bud design from A-Z Embroidery.
There are 4 sizes of leaves – I’m doing a different type of leaf design for each size.
There is the main stem (It’s thicker, and marked with lines across it, running down the centre of the design), two minor stems, then bud and leaf stems, ‘flies’ (which end in the 3 dots) and tendrils.
The 3 stems will be done in 4mm ribbon in two different stitches.
The bud and leaf stems will be done in DMC thread.
The ‘flies’ (that’s just what I’m calling them – flying threads) will be done in a few strands of DMC thread and then end in French knots.
I plan to do the tendrils (for example, the curly one right at the bottom of the design) in wire – probably buttonholed over with thread to make it the correct green – I’ll have to experiment a bit with that.
The ground is some Thai silk. It’s purple with tiny blue slubs in it, and also woven through with an orange/red thread (which you can see in the one of the photos below – of the back of the frame). It’s more of a Royal Purple IRL – the photo is a bit washed out, and the shine isn’t being picked up.
The silk is at least 40 years old, and a present for use on special project/s, from my dear friend Kit *wave to Kit*.
Di Van Niekirk advised me to use backing material of the same weight as the ground, so I simply used a second piece of the silk. (Thankyou, Di)
I found the design was too big to fit into my second Ever-Tite frame. (My big one has my historical sampler in it)
I’ve only ever used Ever-Tites and hoops before. I didn’t have a hoop big enough for this project.
I do have a couple of big ‘normal’ rectangular frames, so I grabbed one of those.
I also grabbed Shelagh Amor’s book on Crewel Embroidery, which had instructions on how to lace a ground into a frame (I could have chosen several books, but I happened to grab that one, and the instructions were good and clear)
I made several mistakes/changes in the lacing
- The iron wet a corner of the material when I was ironing it. I think I should have waited until it dried before framing up, but I didn’t. I don’t know if this will effect the embroidery or not. (The wet material might have stretched more than if it were dry?)
- The book said to mark the centres on the frame and the centres of the design. I used a different method because I wanted the design to cover a fault in the material.
- The book said to attach twill to the material and then the twill to the twill that is attached permanently to the long edges of the frame. I didn’t have any twill, so I doubled over the two layers of satin, to give 4 layers. I reckon that’ll be strong enough to hold the tacking and lacing.
- I ended up with the silk ground showing a ‘dip’ in the grain after I laced it. This is the biggest thing I’m worried about. The book mentions that the grain needs to be straight.
It’s tacked straight at the long sides, but the lacing on the short ends of the rectangular frame pulls it tighter at the corners of the frame than in the middle, so you can see the grain curving up, dipping down in the middle, then curving up again at the opposite corner.
I’m not sure what this will do to my stitching once the piece is released from the frame’s tension. It’s not a big dip – but it’s there.
The photo below shows the silk and it’s ground pinned to the twill on the long sides of the frame :-
You can see the grain here – it’s straight. (As well as the wet patch where the iron leaked).
The back of the frame, showing the doubled over material (2 layers of silk) and the red thread ends :-
I forgot to take a photo after doing the lacing but there’s one below that shows it.
Tracing the Design
My next step was to trace the main stem, the 2 minor stems and the outliers onto a second piece of tracing paper.
By ‘outliers’ I mean the design elements that were at the outermost edges. For example, the rosebud on the top leftmost side. These helped me place the design onto the ground. The main stem gave me the right bottom ‘limit’.
I wanted the design to be a bit off to the left and down from the centre of the frame because there is a white spot, which seems intrinsic in the silk, but looks like damage – and it really shows against the purple. I wanted to ensure that it was covered by an element of the design.
That’s why I used the ‘outliers’ instead of using centering marks on the frame and ground.
I then layered the frame, some white dressmaker’s carbon, and the skeletal tracing, pinning the two pieces of paper down to the ground in the frame.
Putting a hardback book underneath and using a biro, I traced the 3 stems.
I’m thinking that just having the 3 stems marked onto the ground is enough.
I can build the flowers, leaves etc around the stems.
I’m used to the type of embroidery where you draw the design onto the ground and you embroider straight onto it.
In ribbon embroidery, you fold/gather/ruffle various widths of ribbon and there’s less control over the final size, especially if you haven’t done any ribbon embroidery before!
I didn’t want to draw the flowers, leaves etc and therefore commit myself to exact placement of those motifs. Who says the size of the leaf I’ve drawn will be the same as the leaf I actually make?
I’ll make each element to be as close in size to the drawn design as possible – but I don’t want to end up with having to shift design elements to fit together as I go and getting confused because of a marked design (never mind any design marks left showing at the end).
I ended up with this :
Note that you can see the curving of the grain in the above photo.
Placing the Vintage Vogue Ruffled Ribbon Rose on the ground ……
(why, oh why did I have to get a colour shift in this photograph?). The rose is purple-red, and complements the ground colour nicely. It’s not pink as it appears above, although it does have those white lines on the edges.
I have yet to attach the Vintage Vogue Rose to chiffon and then attach it properly – and get a better coloured photo!
That’ll be the next post.
If you think I should re-lace the ground because of the bowing, please do tell me. – And how to avoid the bowing.
Ok, I’m a bad bad blogger. Slap my paws! I’ve done quite a bit on Sally’s Ribbon Embroidery Project, and have several entries I need to write up – so watch this space in upcoming days as I catch up!
To save typing, SRE = Silk Ribbon Embroidery
REP = Ribbon Embroidery Project.
This is my very first REP, made for my friend Sally as a b’day present.
She specified that whatever I made, it was to be in purple, royal blue and maroon.
The Colour Scheme
I found this neat tool on the internet.
It shows a colour wheel
You click on a colour from the wheel and it will show a monochromatic colour scheme for that colour on the right hand side.
You also have the choice of showing complementary, triadic, tetradic, analogic and accented analogic colour schemes based on your selected colour.
I choose a Royal Blue, and clicked through the schemes.
I found a maroon and purple on a single one of the scheme : (I forget which one)
I’ve annotated (with a neat image tool that I’ll blog about) the colours that I want to use.
Sally didn’t want pinks, so I avoided them and the peach colours.
And another type of scheme gave me the right sort of greens, for the leaves of the flowers (I did mention I’m doing her a bunch of flowers, right?)
It was then a simple matter of colour matching on the screen from these palettes against screen displays of variegated/ombre ribbons I could buy.
I did pretty well. I didn’t end up with as much blue as I’d like, but I sure have plenty left for another project in a similar but not quite the same scheme *grin*
This colour scheme tool was useful to me because, although I can *mix* paints to achieve a certain colour, my experience with colour in embroidery to date has been working with an established colour scheme. I don’t know how to put colours *together*, apart from the obvious. (Another skill to learn :-). I know I could do much of it by hand if I had a colour wheel that included teriary colours.
I used Kathy’s great idea/instructions for handmade rolled felt bobbins to roll my ribbon onto :
(OK, I’m yet to iron the ribbons and wind them onto the bobbins I’ve made so far…., and need to buy more white felt.)
Learning about Ribbon Embroidery
There were a number of sources that I found invaluable.
In no particular order :
Carol Daisy’s website :-
(scroll down for the labels on the right hand side)
Carol Daisy shows step by step instructions and photographs for a number of SRE stitches and an amazing number of flowers. Highly recommended!
Vintage Vogue :
Vintage Vogue has a number of unusual patterns for flowers and leaves in her blog that I have not seen elsewhere.
Her wired Vintage Rose is the ‘feature’ rose in my design.(I’ve already made it, and I love it). I will also be doing some wired Ruffled Leaves, and trying out a Ruffled Pansy or two.
Her shop sells French Wired Ribbon. I got these
at 5/8”, for the feature Vintage Rose, and the Ruffled Leaves.
She also sells sepals. (Tho I’m going to use sequins or French knots instead).
The Artful Ribbon – Candace Kling
This book is chock full of great ideas.
There’s a whole page of suggestions of what to use for stems.
There is a lovely picture showing what variations you can get using one variegated ribbon orientated in various directions, to achieve different looks for a pansy, given it has two top ‘faces’ (petal), two side ‘faces’ and a bottom ‘face’.
However, her instructions are of the “a few words and a black and white diagram or two”, which don’t happen to suit me. I’m a ‘step by step’ person.
I hope to master (understand, even) “Man in His Kimono ~ Long Lapels’, “Man in His Kimono ~ Budded Centre”, “Man Overlapping His Coat ~ Calyx with Stem” and many others – all of which are leaves, one day. I look forward to it, because they look great! Many more variations than I’ve seen elsewhere (so far)
I think this is a book worth having, although a lot of it is a bit hard for beginners. (Me, anyway)
A page from the book, picked totally at random :
A-Z of Ribbon Embroidery
Ok, I like step by step instructions with pictures, and that’s what this book has.
However, I’m a bit disappointed in it, after loving Country Bumpkin’s A-Z Goldwork so much.
There is a basic number of stitches and very simple flowers(and some more instructions hidden in the projects, later in the book) and then the projects.
I don’t actually like a lot of the projects. Some seem a bit clunky, a bit predictable. Some are lovely, of course. And this is absolutely IMHO of course. SRE teddybears I do not like.
I will be referring to the book, however, for the clarity of the stitch instructions (although Carol Daisy’s are just as clear they are not all the same stitches).
A page from the book, picked totally at random :
A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork – Di Van Niekirk
I emailed Di, as she has two similar books – both on SRE and Stumpwork as part of her range of books on SRE.
The one that isn’t “A Perfect World” is simpler. She advised, given my experience in stumpwork, that I go with the more “A Perfect World”, so I’d say most people reading this would be suited to that book as well. If you can make a detached buttonholed leaf, you’ll be fine.
Both books are based on a panel made up of diamonds, each diamond being a different ‘scene’ of flowers. You can buy the panel, which is pre-printed with watercolour-ish background colours that fit in and under your work, or simply use the instructions to make the all or any of the flowers from a panel on your choice of ground.
She has a website at http://www.dicraft.co.za/
The Freebies pulldown is well worth checking out. The Hints and Tips are great, and there are stitch instructions and lots of free patterns.
I’m using one of the patterns (slightly modified) for my project.
She also sells ribbons that she has hand dyed herself, and a range of specialist SRE needles (it’s really really hard to find a size 16 Chenille ribbon, used to sew with the wider ribbons – none in Australia that I could find)
She also has information about the pre-printed panels, her kits, books and DVDs.
She also has a Facebook page that is full of pictures of SRE pieces done by herself and other people. http://www.facebook.com/#!/divanniekerkfanpage?v=wall&ref=search , a stitch gallery (single drawings), and some stitch instruction videos.(9 videos)
There are a whole lot more stitch instruction videos by Di on YouTube.
Her use of stumpwork really makes the work comes alive, and she is definitely my favourite SRE artist.
An image of a clover flower (from her facebook photo album, from the “Fairies” book)
I think the randomly picked pages give a good representation of the sorts of designs in each book.
My pile of ribbons for the project :
That gleaming olive ombre ribbon to the left is the Vintage Vogue wired green ribbon – the colours of those ribbons are really intense.
The others are Hanah hand dyed ribbon, which appear a bit washed out in the photo, giving the pile a more pastel appearance than it really is. There’s a little YLI ribbon in there as well.. (It’s about impossible to choose colours of YLI ribbons from the screen – the little colour palettes are just tiny). And some of Di Van Niekirk’s hand dyed ribbons.
Next post – the design!