Welcome, thank you for visiting. Yes, I promised to get back on track today, but, in looking at the beautiful chiffon embroidered dress that inspired this ramble, I realized I was going to deny myself an opportunity to vent on an area of crafts that is so terribly ignored. That is…..ribbon art.
Ribbon art/embroidery is the perfect craft for anyone, like me, who needs immediate gratification in their work. I use pastels, not oils, for this same reason. Because the ribbon is so thick, in such a few stitches, you can cover a large area. Why this craft isn’t discussed more is totally mind boggling. I have used ribbon art in a variety of craft areas.
Quilting, for instance, I helped my church develop what I call ministering quilts for people who are sick. The idea first began when a member of my church was diagnosed with cancer. The quilts have art work from various members painted on fabric squares, but also, the person’s favorite verses, songs and hymns. To make the fabric squares with the hymns and verses more interesting, I added ribbon art.
I have also used it to rehab clothes. I managed to spill Clorox on a pair of linen pants, and ended up with bleached areas. You guessed it, I used ribbon art to hide the areas.
Anything you can use a piece of fabric for, you can include ribbon art on. And, in fact, I have seen some enterprising souls make their own fabric out of the ribbon---oh wait!—that was me…(check out my blog on Christmas stockings)
The look can vary with the type and style of ribbon you use. My experience is that I have been able to make all ribbon that is not too thick, wide, and does not have wire--work. The real question is the care required for the ribbon. This is where the functional aspect of the ribbon art comes into play.
Traditional ribbon art is done with silk ribbon. It is beautiful…there is no question, because the silk is strong, it can be made very thin and still have a full body. It is also course and therefore, shapes you form hold together well. The problem is that it is not cheap and, restricted to garments that will be dry cleaned—Although--having said this….do check a sample to see whether your ribbon is color fast. Some silks wash beautifully, it just depends on the manufacturer.
Being thrifty, and having a different use for the art, I gravitated to satin polyester, 5 rolls for a $1.00. These do a nice job. They don’t look the same as the silk, but have a decorative look that is uniquely theirs, and also pleasant. The satin finish makes the roses or leaves a little slippery, but there are ways to make it work.
I have been especially committed to the satin ribbon for the quilts, because they are subject to hot water and frequent washes, and need to last…which I am pleased to say, they do.
Next week I will show you a few, very simple, no fail stitches that can help transform your look. Until then, you might want to pick up, or collect a few things.
Actually, very few, that is another wonderful thing about ribbon art, all you need to start,is a needle, ribbon and something to sew on. Please note the size of the needle eye to the ribbon. The ribbon in the example is 1/8”, and you will want to get an eye large enough for the ribbon. Normally for larger ribbon, about a 1/4”, I will use a tapestry needle. The advantage to this needle, is that it has a large eye, but is thin enough to not make too large a hole when going through the fabric.
In looking for your ribbon, make sure to read the back of the spool for care instructions. The spools of ribbon I got from JoAnn provide these international instructions. And since knowing what the symbols means are not intuitive, I have provided a translation, from left to right.
I hope you will join me next week ready to give the ribbon art a try. It is a great tool in your crafting arsenal to have, and a skill very easily mastered. Until next week, God Bless.