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Learning the Technique, and the Colour Scheme

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5 September 2010

Learning the Technique, and the Colour Scheme

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 :
Thanks Kathy!
(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
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.!/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!

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Anonymous Rachel said...

Love the shot of the pile of ribbons! Such gorgeous colours to be working with...

Regarding colour schemes - get a few interior design magazines and analyse how those schemes are put together, and you will soon get the hang of it!

Monday, September 06, 2010  
Anonymous shirley said...

You will just love SRE..I adore the ribbons. I have done a fair bit of it over the years, and if you can find a book by The complete book of Ribbon Embroidery by Heather Joynes it is good. Jenny Bradford, and of course Judith Baker Montano have written helpful books.

Carol Daisy is one of the best and her descriptions are excellent.

Monday, September 06, 2010  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thankyou Shirley and Rachel :-)

Shirley, I've gotten some Jenny Bradford on interlibrary loan request - WildFlowers and Australia Flowers - they look lovely on Amazon.

I'll get more on ILL when I'm allowed more ILL's! (My request list is full :-(

Tuesday, September 07, 2010  
Blogger Kimberley said...

I have the Artful Ribbon as well, and years ago made a cute little handbag with a gorgeous rose that i learned how to make from that book. I will have to take a pic and post it so you can see!

Friday, October 15, 2010  
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011  

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