These ribbon flowers are all about layers: layers of stitches and colors. Stitching layers of the simple ribbon stitch creates the texture that reminds me of the petals of a flower. Using ribbon that’s been hand dyed from Thread Gatherer varies the color randomly as the ribbon shifts from one shade to the next, just as the petals of flowers often do.
The first two flowers on the left have completely different shades in them in comparison to the second two on the right. This is completely random and one of the things I like best about using overdyed fibers – ribbon or thread. The unpredictability of the color placement seems to give the stitches life.
One tip I learned from the book The Handbook of Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Ann Cox about stitching flowers like this is to twist a few of the ribbons once before completing the stitch. You can see that the two petals in the top left of the photo have a twist in them.
I began by imagining each flower as a clock face. The first layer of petals were stitched at 12:00, 4:00 and 7:00. The second layer at 1:00, 5:00 and 8:00 and so on around the shape. I varied the length of the petals and the amount of tension – some of the petals are ‘poofier’ than others. To finish each flower I added a French knot in the middle.
On the second set of flowers I added a few lazy daisy stitches underneath the ribbon stitches for added texture. While I like the idea, I think I need to do more and slightly longer lazy daisy stitches using the silk thread so they can be seen better.
The combination of textures and colors make this piece such fun to work on. There are quite a few more flowers to stitch and my only concern is that I might run out of ribbon!