April 9, 2010
The Avid Embroiderer
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Ribbons have been a part of embellishments, decorating and crafting ever since man first figured out how to tie a knot. That was about 45 minutes after man discovered fire - I think he wanted his amore to be pretty in the glow of the flames.
Ribbons are the easy to use. Like a paper clip, there are minimal instructions needed to use them after you know how to make that knot.
There are so many interesting things that you can do with a bow. I did find a fun site, Gift Basket Business which is hosted by Shirley George Frazier. If you want to know how to make a great, standard ribbon bow, you can find it at this easy to understand and replicate bow video.
Embroidered ribbons are a little different, but can be adapted to create some great variations. Here are just a few that I figured out. I know you will think of many others. Please feel free to share that information with us!
As you may already know, I only use Badgemaster stabilizer for my Free Standing Lace (FSL). I also use the brayer after I have rinsed my FSL because it creates a very flat embroidery surface. If you iron embroidery to get that smooth surface, you will lose some of the three dimensional effect of embroidery. As you can see, Badgemaster comes in the professional size as well as professional quality.
OK, I am creating a ribbon that will be used for Autism Awareness Month, the current month, April. It is a design from Emblibrary and specifically created with the puzzle pieces, indicating the puzzle of Autism.
When I decide to create a project for my blogs, I do tests to avoid making mistakes. Since I had done over 100 of these ribbons, using just the stabilizer, I figured I did not need to do testing. Guess What? I learned a lot from doing this blog as you will see.
My first ribbon is using just the FSL method. As usual, it is laid out to make the most of my stabilizer. If I were only going to do a single ribbon, I would still place it as far to the left (or right) as possible. I might add some other FSL designs that I like to have so that I use up the stabilizer. I give those 'samples' to people to show my work. If I don't use another FSL design, my stabilizer will have a lot of scrap left over. I use that either in a smaller hoop or with a small amount of water, patch it to a piece that is too narrow to make a good as new piece of stabilizer. That is just one of the great qualities of Badgemaster.
The second ribbon includes a piece of ribbon that is 3/8" wide and attached to the hoop with double sided tape at the top and bottom. As I did that ribbon, the movement of the machine did cause some shift of the ribbon. However, I don't think anyone can find that shift. I worked it back during the first pass, and it is just fine. Additionally, it will be in a loop, so it won't be noticeable. And, better still, after making a starting cut to the edge of the ribbon, I simply tore away the ribbons. If there was a little piece of the stabilizer left, I just trimmed it. Badgemaster can really take the rugged handling.
The next ribbon is some trim leftover from Christmas. It is 70% cotton, 30% metallic and at nearly ¼" in diameter, has a three dimensional feature. I will leave more of it on either end of the embroidered ribbon so that I can tie the ends. That will make this ribbon extra special.
I did hold it for the first pass. That is only a little under two minutes, so it is not too bad. This was my first try with something so thick. It is not perfect, but I think I will be able to make it better with each try.
The next ribbon will be nearer the same size as the embroidery. All that is needed there is correct placement and it is ready to go. I will have a red ribbon in that case. Despite careful measurement, it is off a little, but I like the edge it has given to me. As usual, a small error ends up being an interesting edge! I never assume that an issue with the project is fatal. Unless the work is torn or knotted up, there is something that can be salvaged from it. If it is ruined, it won't be my first nor my last bad project. I just move along to the next, exciting project.
Lastly, I am using a grosgrain ribbon that is larger than the pattern. I recall that the Forum had a question about how to keep the ribbon from ‘curling.' After trying to use the grosgrain several times (before), I came to the conclusion that there is likely no answer to that curl. This time, however, I placed 3 pieces of regular tape across the ribbon at close intervals! I removed the tape just as the stitching was nearing it. It is straighter than the others, and seems to be less curly. A little curl to a ribbon is, again, not a concern; it is a detail that makes the ribbon more interesting.
Using the adhesive tape was the best way in the final analysis!
Here they all are, all done:
All that concern about the ribbons being centered was for nothing, they look terrific.
Here they are in various positions. I left the stabilizer in the ribbons because it does not show and adds to the strength of the ribbon.
BONUS INFORMATION: The ribbons I used were 'heat sealed' and will not fray. I cannot say that about all ribbons, but these did great. I used a flame and placed the (test pieces) just as close to the flame as I could without them coming into contact with the flame. With a little practice, they heat sealed themselves. The metallic cord would not heat seal.
Remember, a style is just that - one style. When you play with project, your outcome may vary, and frankly, I hope you share that interesting ribbon with us!
If you want to make them endless and/or free standing lace, you can check out my version of continuous embroidery and Free Standing Lace at my blog on those subjects.
I have attached the meanings of the colors of ribbons for your information. From Anti-Terrorist to Violence, you can make your ribbons support your favorite cause. (Look under tags)