This year I am starting my crazy quilting series with some silk ribbon embroidery. Last year I focused on foundation stitches for seam treatments so this year I’ve decided to feature areas of crazy quilt blocks showcasing many of the stitches we discussed last year, some new variations and using ribbons! If you would like to review last year’s blog posts you will find them HERE.

What Is Silk Ribbon Embroidery?

Silk ribbon embroidery is an embellishing technique using silk ribbon and woven ribbons. Basic embroidery stitches are used to create flowers and decorative stitches.

It is not a particularly difficult technique but it does require a bit of practice. There are several widths of silk ribbon but I most commonly use 4mm (1/4 inch) or 7mm (3/8 inch). I use 2mm (1/4 inch) for French knot flowers. Check your local needlework shop for silk ribbon or your favourite online source.

How to Incorporate Silk Ribbon Embroidery To Your Project

Several years ago I stitched what I refer to as my medium dusty crazy quilt. I had previously stitched a dark crazy quilt and I wanted to experiment with a softer palette featuring muted colours. Each of the blocks in the quilt feature one seed packet image printed on fabric. I opted to add a cluster of silk ribbon work surrounding the image in the block shown above.

I started by tracing several lines covering some of the seams surrounding the seed packet image. This became my branch to which I added silk ribbon leaves using a 4mm width ribbon. My leaves are a combination of detached chain stitch and ribbon leaves. Any green will work but I chose a soft yellow/green which worked with my chosen palette. Once your leaves are placed, next comes the largest flowers. I chose some hand-dyed rayon seam binding which is a great choice for ribbon work as it dyes beautifully and is soft which allows you to create the shape you wish. I added a bead in the centre of these flowers and then started on my cluster.

The cluster was stitched by scattering ribbon roses in varying colours using a 4 mm ribbon. I then added French knots in various colours and sizes of silk ribbon (2mm and 4 mm).

Voila, your silk ribbon embroidery cluster is complete. Remember to vary the colour and sizes of your ribbon throughout for an appealing cluster. They are useful to use when you have various sewn seams meeting one another as they “hide” the seams. I hope you experiment with some silk ribbon embroidery.

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