09.06.08

Timesaving Silk Ribbon Embroidery Techniques with River Silks Ribbons

Posted in Ribbon Embroidery Tips/Techniques at 6:09 am by Administrator

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Jean from River Silks and she was most kind in passing along these timesaving techniques for silk ribbon embroidery with River Silks hand dyed silk ribbons. Applying Jean’s ribbons and methods to my own CQ silk ribbon embroidery, I was tickled to discover that I wasn’t just spared time squinting through needle threadings, but had less ribbon waste, (Yaay!) And in case you’re wondering, these techniques don’t just apply to canvas needlework.

STARTING AND STOPPING

The fact that River Silks silk ribbon does not run permits us to develop techniques not possible with other silk ribbon, ribbon like materials or threads.
This starts with threading the needle. You can dispense with your needle-threader! Also you will not need to fold the ribbon to try to wedge it through the eye. There is an easier way.

THREADING THE NEEDLE:
Use a piece of 4mm ribbon 2 to 3 feet in length. Cut the ribbon on the diagonal and put the point of the ribbon through the eye of the needle. Pull the ribbon through about 3 inches. Now put the needle through the ribbon at about a half-inch from the point of the ribbon. Pull on the long end of the ribbon to secure the ribbon to the needle. This called the “Needle Eye Lock Stitch”.

We have chosen not to use an “away knot” as it is unnecessary with River Silks ribbon. There is an easier way.

SECURING THE RIBBON TO THE CANVAS
Bring the needle up through an empty hole where you want to begin. Pull the needle and ribbon through the canvas leaving about a one-inch tail of ribbon on the back of the canvas. With a finger press that tail flat against the canvas.
Go back down through an adjacent hole passing through both the canvas and the ribbon tail. Try not to stitch through your finger!
With your finger still pressing on the tail pull the needle and ribbon through the canvas and keep pulling until the ribbon is secure on the canvas. Check the back of the canvas to see that there are no loose ends. This is called the “Canvas Lock Stitch”.

I RAN OUT OF RIBBON. NOW WHAT!
When you need to add more ribbon to continue stitching or to change color or width of ribbon use this easy technique. Select your new piece of ribbon and secure it to a new needle using the “Needle Lock Stitch” described previously. On the wrong side of the canvas cut the ribbon you had been using (removing the old needle) leaving about a 1 1/2 inch tail. Hold that tail and pierce it with your new needle and ribbon very close to the surface of the canvas, keep pulling the new ribbon leaving another 1 1/2 inch tail. Put that tail over the next hole that you want to stitch and put the needle through that new tail and the canvas. Keep on pulling until secure. Turn the canvas to the right side and continue stitching. You may trim those tails to a half-inch as desired.

Silk Ribbon Embroidery Tips & Timesaving Techniques – Using River Silks Ribbons

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:05 am by Administrator

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Jean from River Silks and she was most kind in passing along these timesaving techniques for silk ribbon embroidery with River Silks hand dyed silk ribbons. Applying Jean’s ribbons and methods to my own CQ silk ribbon embroidery, I was tickled to discover that I wasn’t just spared time squinting through needle threadings, but had less ribbon waste, (Yaay!) And in case you’re wondering, these techniques don’t just apply to canvas needlework.

STARTING AND STOPPING

The fact that River Silks silk ribbon does not run permits us to develop techniques not possible with other silk ribbon, ribbon like materials or threads.
This starts with threading the needle. You can dispense with your needle-threader! Also you will not need to fold the ribbon to try to wedge it through the eye. There is an easier way.

THREADING THE NEEDLE:
Use a piece of 4mm ribbon 2 to 3 feet in length. Cut the ribbon on the diagonal and put the point of the ribbon through the eye of the needle. Pull the ribbon through about 3 inches. Now put the needle through the ribbon at about a half-inch from the point of the ribbon. Pull on the long end of the ribbon to secure the ribbon to the needle. This called the “Needle Eye Lock Stitch”.

We have chosen not to use an “away knot” as it is unnecessary with River Silks ribbon. There is an easier way.

SECURING THE RIBBON TO THE CANVAS
Bring the needle up through an empty hole where you want to begin. Pull the needle and ribbon through the canvas leaving about a one-inch tail of ribbon on the back of the canvas. With a finger press that tail flat against the canvas.
Go back down through an adjacent hole passing through both the canvas and the ribbon tail. Try not to stitch through your finger!
With your finger still pressing on the tail pull the needle and ribbon through the canvas and keep pulling until the ribbon is secure on the canvas. Check the back of the canvas to see that there are no loose ends. This is called the “Canvas Lock Stitch”.

I RAN OUT OF RIBBON. NOW WHAT!
When you need to add more ribbon to continue stitching or to change color or width of ribbon use this easy technique. Select your new piece of ribbon and secure it to a new needle using the “Needle Lock Stitch” described previously. On the wrong side of the canvas cut the ribbon you had been using (removing the old needle) leaving about a 1 1/2 inch tail. Hold that tail and pierce it with your new needle and ribbon very close to the surface of the canvas, keep pulling the new ribbon leaving another 1 1/2 inch tail. Put that tail over the next hole that you want to stitch and put the needle through that new tail and the canvas. Keep on pulling until secure. Turn the canvas to the right side and continue stitching. You may trim those tails to a half-inch as desired.

07.06.08

The Sane Rational for Crazy Quilting…Beats Valium!

Posted in Why we crazy quilt at 6:53 am by Administrator

Plenty of CrAzies come and go in our lives…CraZy events, CrAzy moods, CrAzY days, CrAzY people…LOL…Did I mention relatives?

But for many of us, crazy quilting is an activity that restores a very special kind of sanity into what might otherwise be a stressful if not crazy day. Of course there are the CQ Nay-Sayer’s…those who dare not stray from the comfortable order of perfectly matched scant 1/4″ seams and carefully planned quilt patterns (which for any of us has it’s seasons & purpose in life as well), lest they not be “really quilting”. I’m comfortable responding to those Nay-Sayers who tell me CQ isn’t “really” quilting or is too visually haphazard because there was a time when (blush), I too was one of them.

My best and favorite response is to mention that there’s a great deal of planning that goes into the selection, collection, and application of gorgeous fabrics in a crazy quilt. There’s also a great deal of creativity, knowledge, practice and yes, even SKILL that many CQ’rs gain over time in the methods of selection and application of lovely ephemera (and or embellishments), delicate appliques, and intricate hand and needlework such as ribbon roses and timeless embroideries. Be it a fast & easy patchwork of faded denims or carefully needled heirloom linens, CQ is an art form like any other. The creative desire comes from within while the hand and the mind learn with practice. Perhaps that is why it can offer such a sweet respite after a hectic day. Many times I’ve heard other CQ’rs say they don’t need to sew a single stitch to enjoy the relaxing rewards of crazy quilting. They simply open their stash and admire their gorgeous collection of fabrics and dream of all the pretty things their creative heart songs long to sing. Fingers touch fabric and find soothing textures while eyes take in the calorie free sweets of a luscious raspberry red velvet, cotton candy pink satin or a particularly yummy glistening chocolate brown. It’s a respite we all deserve without care or concern for perfectly mitered corners, adherence to another’s directions or the rotary blades repetitious sighs through layers of carefully measured fabric strips. To heck with nestled seams, at least for now. Dreaming of embellishments takes us even further into our little moment of much deserved bliss. Ahhhh. Hand dyed Venise laces and Victorian fans…one can dream…

Then the phone rings and the dog leaves a gift on the carpet.

Such is life. But we had our moment of CQ therapy..Nothing CrAzy about that!

P.S. Have YOU hugged your stash today??? WYB, MiMi

06.14.08

About Silk…Thinking about this truly homespun fiber

Posted in About Silk at 11:46 pm by Administrator

Sitting here sipping my tea & eyeballing this lovely basket of silk it just occurred to me that our Creator was most thoughtful in his pairing of the fruit tree and the worm. By contrast they might seem at odds with one another. But not really…Just as the fruit gives our eyes vivid pleasure, the tastebuds a juicy tickle and instant nourishment to the body; it’s a busy homely worm (who happens to love his fruit tree) who spins the glorious fiber that we humans have treasured nearly as far back as the days of Eden.

As Silk Lovers it’s likely we’ve all done our homework and learned about such things as The Great Silk Road, how silk was valued and traded much like gold by various cultures over time, and how it’s produced in differing measures of quality by various species of silkworms. And just like all things great and wonderful, as lovers of textiles we’ve come to see how technology’s given us a multitude of means and methods in imitating the lustrous qualities and silken touch of this earliest of truly homemade fibers. Rayon and polyester are common on the market today and appreciably available at minimal cost to sewer’s and crafters; but it’s still the lowly silkworm we turn to when seeking the highest degree of fiber quality, steel-like stength (why else is it still used in parachutes and sutures?) and for the most soothing of comforts to the touch and the eye. Yep, that lowly little worm with his insatiable hunger for mulberry leaves has taken us a long way. It’s no wonder we still trade silks with fellow crazy quilters, spend hours at the store or computer looking for just the right mix to perk up a quilt or bag, and go to great pains embellishing these treasured silky morsels of shimmering protein. If the ruby red apple on the tree was our first experience with “eye candy”; silk must have been the close second.

So with my tea mug empty and bedtime near I’m padding off with this happy thought…What might first appear as ugly or even oppositional in contrast to another just might have equal merit and worth in the bigger picture (or even a quilt!), — even if first not apparent. Time delivers the test of a true treasure. Nothing CrAzy about that.