Crazy Patch Heart

A couple of blogs ago, I wrote about crazy quilt stitches. Now, we'll put them to use making a basic [More]

Amazing Lace Bowl from a Doily

Untitled Document When is a doily not a doily? When you make it into a bowl! Start with the Lace Doily collection from Dakota Collectibles. First, create the butterfly doily shown here as a bowl. It's pretty neat the way this in-the... [More]

Great Gifts for Mom

Mother's Day is just around the corner. Don't panic if don't have any good ideas. Here are some [More]

All Water-Soluble isn't Made Equal

All Water-Soluble Stabilizers are Not Created Equal   That’s right – there are three main varieties: Lightweight (about 20 microns) – used for topping on lightly textured fabrics Mid-weight (about 35 microns) – used a topping on more deeply textured or plush fabrics,... [More]

Decorative Crazy Patch Embroidery Stitches

Embroidery machines revolutionized hand stitching. What once took days or weeks to prepare now varies from minutes to hours. Embroidery designs aren't the only things you can stitch out. Some of the easiest embellishments are made with decorative stitches. Regardless of your embroidery mac... [More]

Monograms Made Easy

Monograms are the oldest form of identification in the world, dating back to Greek and Roman times. First used as a form of currency in the barter system, monograms served many roles from indicating social status to serving as a signature for royals and artists. Perhaps most obvious, they identifie... [More]

The Skinny on Small Lettering

  Working with small letters can be frustrating. Chances are that you think your small lettering looks distorted, bunchy or just plain amateurish. The truth is, is probably not your fault. That’s right. Your good technique can only go as far as the data allows. In other words, if the fon... [More]

Keeping It Simple Storage Cubes Big and Little - Part 3

Tired of boxes yet?  I'm not.  I am hooked for sure.  This one is VERY simple. I made a bunch of these little ones in no time at all. Some for me and some for the girls schoolroom.  But this is the last one,  Here is my smallest storage cube: What you need: One 15&qu... [More]

Tips for Getting Inspired

It's the time of year when it's easy to get in a creative rut. Winter is almost over. Spring is almost here. You are tired of being inside, maybe even tired of sewing the same old stuff. There are many ways to get inspiration, most of which, can be done from the comfort of home at little or ... [More]

Keeping It Simple Storage Cubes Big and Little - Part 2

This sewing room organization may take all year at the rate I am going.  It's a great idea to give everything a "home" but I had no idea that I has so much stuff.  Anyway I said I would do a tutorial on different ways to make those little fabric cubes. I have to warn you that... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Storage Cubes Big and Little - Part 1

Organize, organize and organize some more.  I decided to give my sewing room a makeover of sorts.  The goal however, is to repurpose as many items as possible without spending much money.  Well, this could take all year -that is how bad my room is.  But as it comes along I will s... [More]

New Quick Font Lettering Eliminates Guesswork

Ever want to add a line or two of text to a project but didn't because it's just too much of a pain? Don't want to invest in alphabet libraries? Hate lining up letters? Tired of stitching fonts that don't turn out regardless of how well they are stabilized? Afraid to install (and lea... [More]

Embroidery Advisor Presents: Unique Sports Applique Alphabets

Sporting events have been around for a long time and as a parent you are more than likely going to be attending some of these events as your children are growing up.  Whether they win or lose the most important thing is how you look at these sporting functions.  To help you look as sh... [More]

It All Comes Down to Color

Color plays such an important role in our lives from what we wear to the vehicles we drive. As embroiderers, we have artistic license to experiment with color. The possibilities are virtually endless when you mix fabric and thread combinations. I'm using the same design in several different way... [More]

Best Stabilizer for Stretchy Performance Knits? It’s in the Bedroom!

I just want to pass on the latest trend in stabilizers that is actually a blast from the past! The new thin and stretchy performance knits with brand names like Under Armor and DriWick have given commercial embroiderers fits. After trying all available sources, they have turned to an “old sc... [More]

In-the-hoop Cookies

The girls love to play with the kitchen that their dad made for them.  Their play kitchen isn't [More]

Ann's Sweetest Heart Collection: Perfect for Your Sweetheart

Ann's Sweetest Heart Collection makes it fun and easy to create a variety of special valentines you can't find in any big box store. And, for a limited time, purchase the small, large, or full collections, and get a Valentines Sayings pack absolutely FREE. Intricate, yet delicate, the des... [More]

Get Organized and Save Money Doing It!

It's just a number on a calendar, but the new year usually brings with it a desire to regroup and reorganize. Tired of looking for designs you know you have but can't locate? It just isn't any fun anymore. With the sheer number of embroidery designs amassed, the task of organizing them... [More]
Ruching and Embroidery Equals WOW!

Ruching and Embroidery Equals WOW!


Everyday I see new ideas every where I turn.  If it is not a new thread, it is a new machine, if it is not a new design use, it is a new stabilizer.  Here is an idea that I thought was really great. 

Combining ruching with embroidery to create a three dimensional item.  Here is the photo of the finished project and then I will apply the same idea to my own take on the idea.

photos courtesy -


This is a really fun way to create a one-of-a-kind item for a little girl or even an anniversary item.  I think that the idea can be translated into any other design that you might have that is an appliqué or a space for putting the ribbon in place.

This is what I mean -

I am using a rose that has been a favorite of mine for a long time.  It is simple and yet very detailed.  I embroidered the design with the knowledge that the rose would be covered.  I hoped to  be able to match the curves of the rose and with a little practice, I think I could.  However, that was too difficult to try for this first attempt at the use of ruching.

 Next I looked through my stash and found some gold lame (pronounced la may) that I had left over.  There wasn't much of the material, but with lame, a little goes a long way.  Whatever you chose to use, you need to be sure you have a way to 'set' the edges.  In this case, I used the 'heat seal' method.  You use a lighter or matches and gently touch the edge you want to seal.  Try this on ribbon, fabric or anything you want to seal.  It is surprising how easy it is to seal the edge.  If you touch the edge, it cools quickly, you will feel an edge so that you know your fabric will not ravel.

According to the directions given in the design by the digitizers, use a piece of fabric about 4" by about 10" and fold it in 3 sections.   


 I then basted that and created a ruffle.



All I did after that was to make a lose know in the lame. How easy is all of this so far??


I took two of my ruffles and arranged them on the rose. I tucked in the raw edge of the ruffle and GEE - what a great yellow rose!  (My favorite!)



A few well placed stitches to hold it securely and I was done.  Since the lame keeps its shape, I can put this rose on nearly anything like a tote or t-shirt or anything that does not eat or move.


Here are some thoughts on options:

  • You could use thin to wide fabric or ribbon to create different looks.  A thin, gathered ribbon in the middle of a sunflower would be great.
  • You could make the piece of fabric as long as you like.
  • I have seen others make ribbon roses and rosebuds, that would be a great addition.
  • How about using it on a design on a tote and then cover the straps with the ruffle?
  • You could use multicolor (or multi pieces) of different fabric and have a crazy quilt type of look.
  • You can add embellishments like the designer did in the top photo.
  • You could use this for grass on a landscape scene.
  • This would be great to use for sunshine.

I think the ideas are endless for one of a kind items.  I would love to hear what you might or did use this idea with. 

Comments (8) -

villalady118 4/9/2011 11:47:30 AM

Beautiful. The wheels are turning for this idea!!  villalady118

carolhaaksma 4/9/2011 8:54:10 PM

This is a unique idea.

I have some gold lame left over from a 50th birthday party, so I will experiment with this, and also some green, similar type.

Carol Haaksma

It is fun to find a way to use some old piece of fabric.  I really hope someone will take some quilt scraps and create a long ruffle using multiple pieces of divergent fabric.  How cool would a flower of many colors be?

If you do so, put a photo in the Forum and return and tell us about it.  I just don't have the wonderful items a quilter would.


I like the rose as well!! where it comes fromSmile?


Susan - I love that rose!  I must have used it a dozen times already and it was a FREEBIE!

I wish I could remember where I got it. . .  

However, AnnTheGran  has some wonderful roses available.  Look at this one:">

It is inexpensive and really great.


Terrific idea, gets the creative juices flowing. Thank you.

Maureen, from Australia.

Thank you Maureen - That is why I do this blog.

Believe me, I am no expert but I do like to find unusual things to bring to you and me.  

Welcome - from southern California, USA.


susiesembroidery 5/18/2011 2:15:23 PM

Thank you. What a lovely way of using some left over material and still create a master piece. I love your new rose. Susie.

Please login to comment