Fabrications – Straw Flower Blossom (part two)

Once your first circle is completely stitched with embroidery floss, choose a secondary color of floss for your second scrim circle. I chose antique white. Fill this circle with stitches exactly as you did with the first circle.

Stitched Embroidery Floss

Don’t worry if your stitched “V” shapes vary in size. This only gives a more natural look to your flower.

Individual Scrim Flower Layers

Aren’t these little flower layers delightful? I can picture them used individually as flower appliqués embellished with some beads, a button, or French knots in the center. Since you can paint the scrim any color you like and choose from hundreds of floss colors, the variations are virtually endless.

For the flower center, you will need some thin ribbon. I chose two neutral organza ribbons. Silk would also work well. Thread a tapestry needle with your ribbon of choice, place your two flower circles one on top of the other, and pass the needle through the layers from the top side. Bring the needle back through the layers, returning to the top side. Pull to adjust the ribbon and then clip it. Repeat as many time as you like until the center is full of ribbon ends.

Ribbon Center

Since the scrim is so loosely woven, the ribbon work is relatively easy to stitch. However, as the center begins to fill, it helps to hold down the previous ribbon ends (as you stitch) so that they’re not pulled out of place.

Completed Flower Center

Mark a small circle on a piece of craft felt and cut.

Craft Felt Backing

With a light hand, cover the felt circle with fabric glue and position it on the back of your flower.

Backing and Brooch Pin

Allow the glue to dry and then attach a brooch pin to the center back. Your flower embellishment is now complete.

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N. Rene West
Time Treasured

How To Make Ribbon Trim to Match Your Projects

Hairpin Lace Maker

Do you know what this is? To be perfectly honest, I had to go by the craft store where I originally purchased it to find out myself. I often shop with an eye as to how something can be used rather than what the manufacturer intended. In this case, the picture above is of a hairpin lace maker. I’ve never made hairpin lace and I doubt I ever will, but I have found a great use for this simple little tool.

Notice the holes on the red side pieces. The metal tubes can be adjusted, creating several different widths. When I saw this tool hanging next to the crochet hooks, I knew I had found the perfect trim maker!

Here is how I make special ribbon trims to coordinate with my designs. First, I decide how wide I want my ribbon and adjust the metal tubes on the hairpin lace frame. Next, I tape the end of the ribbon to one of the metal tubes near the red tube holder but not so close that it will interfere with the presser foot.

Secured Ribbon

With ribbon end secure, I now wind the ribbon around the tubes, overlapping each ribbon about 1/4″. When I reach the end, I tape the ribbon tail to the red holder.

Wrapped Ribbon

Secured Ribbon End

After checking the ribbon to make sure there are no gaps, I then tape twill tape along the entire length of the wrapped ribbon. Do not cut the twill unless you only need your trim one length of the tubes. Just let it hang over the edge.

Twill Tape

I set my sewing machine on a straight stitch at 2.5 mm and use a bobbin thread that matches my ribbon. With presser foot raised, I carefully position the ribbon so that the twill tape is centered under the needle. With my left hand, I pull gently pull the ribbon towards me (just a little) so that the needle comes down right before the ribbon starts. It’s a good idea to take a few securing stitches.

I then sew all the way to the other end of the ribbon and take a few more securing stitches.

Sew End to End

I now remove the red tube holder from the end where I began and slip the sewn ribbon off of the tubes.

Remove Red Tube Holder

When I come to the end, I replace the red tube holder and start the process all over again, securing the loose ribbon with a small piece of tape. (Do not cut the ribbon from the previous length; just tape it.)

Slide Ribbon Off Tubes

When I have completed wrapping the ribbon, I take the twill tape that is hanging from the previous length and tape it end to end and sew down the middle once again.

Rewind Ribbon

Begin Second Length

I do this over and over again until I have the length that I desire. I then locate all the gaps, fold them right sides together, pin, and sew a seam close to the ribbon. After the gaps are taken care of, I dab a little fabric glue on each seam extension (the little loops I just sewed) to flatten the twill tape.

Sew Gaps

I now have a beautiful piece of ribbon trim that perfectly matches my project design!

Completed Trim

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N. Rene West
Time Treasured

Fabrications – Along the straight and narrow path

Ribbon Braid

For this little bit of fiber play, I chose a ribbon and a fabric that were just meant for each other. After stabilizing the fabric, I picked out a fuchsia rayon thread for the needle and a regular sewing thread for the bobbin. Additionally, I changed to an embroidery needle and put an open toe foot on my sewing machine.

To prepare the fabric, I marked diagonal lines 3 inches apart until I had a crosshatch design on the surface. Next, I set my machine on a straight stitch (3 mm) with needle in center position. Also, I turned on the needle down function. I eased the upper tension just a tad. To make things a little easier, I used 2 balls of ribbon yarn so that I didn’t have to cut lengths. I didn’t want to come up short at the end, nor did I want to waste a lot of this ribbon.

Ribbon Tack Down

The process for forming this braided embellishment is slow, but it has a certain rhythm that I enjoy. First, you place two ends of ribbon on top of each other until they form a horizontal line. Take a few tack down stitches to secure the ends. As soon as the needle leaves the ribbon, count 2 stitches and stop. Raise the presser foot and fold the ribbons forward, moving them into a vertical position.

Folding Ribbon Forward

Next, take the right ribbon and cross it to the left while crossing the left ribbon to the right. They should be snug against the needle and forming a horizontal line again. Do not pull the ribbon tightly or you will create too much tension.

Crossing Ribbon

Now lower the presser foot and take 4 stitches; stop. Take the left ribbon and cross it to the right while crossing the right ribbon to the left. Repeat this process until you finish the row. Sew all rows just as you did the first one and you will end up with a beautiful piece of fiber art ready for further embellishment or the perfect fabric for some special project.

Complete Ribbon Work

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N. Rene West
Time Treasured