And yet another use for ribbon...

It's true. I have the shortest attention span on the planet. I jump from project to project and from idea to idea. I sometimes have a hard time finishing what I start.
OK...check that.
Let's be honest.

*Much of the time* I have a hard time finishing projects. (It's why I was a bad bad bad secretary. I hate repetitive tasks.)

Consequently, hand sewing has never held any alure for me. I love to look at it and touch it...but the thought of spending months on a single cross-stitch project is just not something I can wrap my brain around. know I *love* ribbon, right? Well, a few months ago I found this treasure stash of silk ribbons at Michaels in the discount bin. Ribbon, on still my heart.

So, um, yeah. I bought a few...


Fast Forward, to last Saturday.

Last Saturday I had the good fortune to spend some time cropping at Scrap It! in Hermitage TN where an excellent page artist-Tammy Graves- works. Tammy showed me a layout that she had completed and is offering in one of her upcoming classes and it was breath-taking. Great color, well-balanced, artsy techniques and totally fun. I noticed that on the corners of some of the photos she had hand-stiched a row of small appropriately-colored straight stiches. It was, in fact, this small but powerful detail that sold me on the layout. The stitches added just the right spark to the entire layout and it's something I have never (in a million years) considered doing. I ordered a kit (I can't attend the class--it's during the week) and can't wait to complete it. (Incidentally, you can see Tammy's awesome layout at the store. When I signed up to purchase the kit, there were only a few seats left in the class but you might get lucky if you sign up soon.)

But in the meantime, I got to thinking about the corner stitching. I love the idea and just happened to run across the little bucket of silk ribbons while I was mulling on it.

Can you say "Light-bulb moment"?

Suddenly, I realized that I might enjoy stitching if a) I could do it with some measure of precision and b) I could do it with ribbon!

My real beef with stitching is that it's (until now) been imprecise. I like uniformity but I can never quite achieve it in free stitching. Which begs the question--is there such a thing as a stitching template?

Guess what?
There is!
Several, in fact, according to the all-knowing peas that I asked!

By using a template and a piercer to punch the needle holes into the paper before actually stitching, most of the imprecision is eliminated. For someone with almost ZERO stitching experience (not since my 9th grade home economics class anyway), I would have to say it's sailing pretty smoothly. You can see for yourself.

My first project--the red star was finished last night at about ten pm. From that time, until now, I have been ribbon-stitching e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in sight. This is so much fun!

American Traditional Designs makes stitching stencils. I ordered a few but in the meantime, printed the image an used it as a rough pattern. I also found a template (thanks to the peas) made by Timeless Touches called a *Fiber Friend*. It's specifically made for corners and easy-straight stitching.

On advice from a frugal pea, I used a plastic canvas circle as a template for this piece I am working on now. Because I am using 7mm silk ribbon instead of thread, the stiches have a bolder feel, however thread is next on my list of things to try. Tammy used several slips of floss, but I'm thinking of something a little bit heavier. I'll have to look into that in the next few days.

It's such an easy process:
=Find a template for the design.
=Using the paper piercer (or a really large thumb tack), transfer the design to the cardstock, one hole at a time.
=Thread ribbon into a large needle and stitch from hole to hole, up and down.
=When the design is complete, tie off the end and snip.
Currently, my ribbon stitching gear includes:
--a small cork board for anchoring and poking the piercer into.
--silk ribbons in various colors and sizes.
--large needle
--temporary adhesive.
--paper template or plastic canvas shape.
--cardstock, scissors and extra thumb tacks.

How fun! I'll post the results as sson as I am done. but it might take a few days, as I have to order some photos.

This is one project I will definately be repeating...well, with different colors and shapes, of course.

Ribbon stitching--it's a little different twist on silk ribbon embroidery...and a very neat addition to the scrap craft library that is my brain!

Happy Monday!

1 comment:

TracieClaiborne said...

Wow!!!!!! I just love this! I think I might try it soon. Thanks for a super-duper idea. You always get me excited about things. I love your enthusiasm. :)