Saturday, February 4, 2012

13mm Silk Ribbon Herringbone...A Tutorial

I've heard from quite a few people wanting to know about puffy ribbon here is how I do it!

To surround each heart in the 9 blocks in "Herringbone Hearts", I used 5.5 yards of ribbon to stitch the 40" around each heart.  Let's see.....that is 360 inches stitched!  Right as I was finishing up the last one, I took some photos to show you. 

This shows a stitch being made.  It is important to make sure that ribbon doesn't twist as you pull it through.

I just use my scissors as a laying tool, pulling the ribbon through with my left hand while tugging gently in the opposite direction with the scissors.  The laying tool enables you to keep some "loft" in your stitch. You don't want to pull the ribbon too taught, or it will flatten out.  The 4mm ribbon herringbone you see stitched along the seam lines within the heart was meant to be flat.

Pulling the needle through all those layers of cloth is made much easier using a pair of pliers.  My embroidery students all know I give out pliers in class for them to keep. ;-)

Whoops!  This is what happens if you don't pull your ribbon through all the way to the front and keep stitching: you get a loop and you've wasted precious ribbon!  So always check on the back that you've pulled your ribbon all the way, without making it too tight of course.

This is how I add the next length of ribbon.  I've cut off my needle from the previous length and left a "tag" end of about an inch (you don't need that much though.)  With my next length threaded and locked onto my needle, I pierce through the tag end, into the block (but not all the way through to the front, so this won't show).

I pull the ribbon through, and then pierce the very end of it with my needle.

After I've pulled it through, it looks like this.  Not beautiful, but there is no knot.  All these layers of ribbon lie flat, and don't have enough bulk to matter.  I am ready to keep stitching.

One more point I want to make: be careful that you don't pierce the ribbon accidentally as you stitch.  It definitely messes things up if you do, so give a care and make sure you have just gone through the block fabric, not catching any ribbon.
(By the way, back of the block has some fusible knit interfacing on it.  I always interface my blocks before I stitch on them.)

Coming down the home stretch here!  355 inches done, 5 to go....

And finished!
Ah..... my hands need a rest.
Now to join all the blocks together.  And yes, there will be herringbone over the blocks' seams where they've been sewn together, but not in ribbon, thank goodness.  Stitching with thread will feel like a breeze!


Rebecca Grace said...

This is beautiful, Allie! Do you do all your embroidered embellishing by hand, or do you ever use decorative machine stitches? For my last crazy quilted project I used a mixture of hand embroidery with decorative machine stitches (mostly sewn upside down with heavier decorative thread in the bobbin). I can't tell just from looking at your pictures.

allie aller said...

All by hand on this one... ;-)

Conni said...

That silk ribbon herringbone stitch sets off the hearts perfectly! This is going to be another beautiful quilt!

Pamela Kellogg said...

Allie! Thank you! What a wonderful border on that heart. I never thought of doing that but will be giving that a try! And thank you for the tip on using pliers. Never thought of that either. I'll have my mechanic husband get me a pair!

Marjolein said...

Thank you for showing this Allie!
Especially how you start and finish the ribbon.

Anonymous said...

Your stitching is so beautiful. I just love the way you put things together!!!!

WandarArt.Stitch said...

Allies, as always, creating a beautiful work, and always you are very kind people to help, inform, thanks you for your beautiful works, you're a long time on my blog, and it helps me more often look to you,Beautiful tutorial , thanks , I greet :)))

Susan Elliott said...

Oh that 13mm silky herringbone is the bomb! and so is that beautiful pink rose in the center...I can see this is heading in a very beautiful direction. You Inspire me to do a heart quilt one day...actually, you inspire me to do a quilt one day.

OK. You just plain inspire me.

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Deborah M. said...

Really beautiful. I want to make a crazy quilt heart - this is a great inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Lovely, can't wait to try it.