I have started the ribbon embroidery on my challenge project for my embroidery guild. But, I have never tried ribbon embroidery before, so I have been seeking out what resources I can to help me along. Today I am sharing a few of the things I have been finding helpful.
First, the book that made me think I could do this is Ribbon Embroidery with 178 Iron-on Transfers by J. Marsha Michler. I found it on sale for two dollars at a shop in Wisconsin when I was on vacation a few weeks ago. I considered it a serendipitous find.
The book is primarily a collection of patterns, but there are some basic stitching instructions in the back of the book. This book made me feel like the project was doable, but the stitching instructions were pretty sketchy and I needed more help to get started.
While visiting my local public library, I stumbled upon the A-Z of Silk Ribbon Flowers by Ann Cox. This book has tons of lovely photos and shows how to create a few basic stitches step-by-step. But, I feel this book is more geared towards an intermediate stitcher in ribbon embroidery. The projects in the book are gorgeous, but they involve things like handpainting the fabric backgrounds and the silk ribbons to achieve some of the effects.
Ann Cox has written many books on ribbon embroidery, however, some of these titles might be better for the beginner:
- Beginner’s Guide to Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Ann Cox
- The Handbook of Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Ann Cox
But, even with the two books, I still needed help. I was still confused about some basic things, and the books didn’t seem to cover my beginner questions. For example, how do you secure the ribbon on the back of the fabric? (Just tie a knot.) How do thread the needle with the ribbon and prevent it from just sliding out with every stitch? (Answer below.)
So, started searching for video tutorials. I love the Craftsy site for online art classes, and Craftsy does have a Ribbon Embroidery Tutorial class. I thought about plunking down some money for it, but I decided to search YouTube first.
Jackpot! I found a few videos on YouTube that showed me exactly what I wanted to know.
Professor Pincushion only has a couple videos dedicated to ribbon embroidery, but they are both great. The “How to Make Ribbon Roses” video showed me how to start my thread, how to thread my needle, and how easy it was to make a great-looking rose with ribbon. Both the videos below gave me the confidence to get started and stop worrying about trying to do things perfectly.
Another stitcher on Instagram told me about Crafty Attic. She has at least a dozen videos showing how to create various ribbon embroidery projects. One is below, but search for Crafty Attic on YouTube to find many more. They are all really good, too.
Wednesday I should have some progress to show! Until then…happy stitching!
Great resources here, I might even try some of this!
Yes, do it! It’s not as hard as it looks. :)
These are brilliant and beautiful! Looking forward to seeing your project.
(I love how youtube is great for those first ‘shallow’ learnings. Helps me try things to decide if I like them enough to dive deeper and invest in them.)
Yes, exactly — the videos gave me just enough information to give me the confidence to start, even if I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect.
That’s very exciting! I can’t wait to see your progress :)
Ribbon embroidery is something I haven’t tried – so will follow your progress with interest.
I’ve only recently started silk ribbon embroidery, a couple of suggestions… officially you don’t use a knot, I do sometimes! Only use short lengths of ribbon and I find it better to use a pretty big chenile needle, that way the ribbon is less damaged being pulled through the fabric. To stop your ribbon pulling through sew through the tip of the ‘tail’! I found Di Van Niekirks videos on youtube very good, I’ve got one of her books too which I’m working my way through to embroider a panel.
It’s easier than it looks, enjoy :-)
Thanks! Yes, I figured that tying a knot was too good to be true, but it does work 😊. And, yes, I’ve been trying to keep the ribbon lengths to about 12 inches or so — that does help!