Archive | November 2022

Ribbon and Ribbonwork Flowers, Leaves, and Trims

I love to work with ribbon, ribbon, and more ribbon.

These are examples from my first book, Ribbonwork Gardens by C&T Publishing. There are 122 realistic flowers, leaves and garden extras included in the book, with experience levels from easy to advanced.

There are over 14 basic techniques, some traditional and some that I have created especially for this book. There is a complete compendium with ribbon styles, selection and care, and troubleshooting tips with several gallery pages and examples sprinkled throughout the book for inspiration.

These are examples from my second ribbonwork book, Ribbonwork Flowers, by C&T Publishing. There are 132 flowers, leaves, and garden extras – each with complete instructions and colorful how-to photos.

I have created these components using new twists on vintage ribbonwork construction, as well as creating new techniques of my own. The book includes flowers, petals, leaves, flower centers, fruit, and stem designs. There are several gallery pages and examples sprinkled throughout the book for inspiration.

ribbonwork trims, ribbons, details, gingerbread trims

This is an example of my class, Gingerbread Details and Decorative Trims. Many of these edgings and trims use vintage techniques turning ordinary ribbon into detailed extraordinary couture trims. The simple techniques that are used to create these decorations range from folded, braided, wrapped and sewn.

Happy Stitching! ~Christen

Handmade Holiday Bazaar, at Creative Spark

Handmade Holiday Bazaar

The Cheer is Here. Create gifts, decor and more with holiday flair! Join a virtual extravaganza of crafting workshops with our expert, artisan instructors. You’ll learn how to make festive, unique handmade gifts and home decor. Watch live or recorded.

The four-hour virtual course is broken down into 10 total hours of instruction with 12 patterns. You will make beautifully curated gifts for everyone on your gift list this holiday season.

  • + Embroidered Ornaments
  • + Festive Birds on a Branch Lumbar Pillow
  • + Hand-Stitched Holiday Card
  • + Glasses Case
  • + Sugar n’ Spice Doll Apron
  • + Paper Piece a Santa Pillow
  • + Festive Art Quilts with Hand Embroidery
  • + Clay Flower Earrings
  • + O’ Christmas Tree Table Runner
  • + Hand-Dyed Gifts for the Holidays
  • + Enchanting Angel Tree Topper
  • + Winter Wonderland Candle

Happy Stitching! ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Fall Colors

14 3/4″ x 13 3/4″

Batik Galaxy by Christen Brown

This piece started with the a group of batik fabrics in dark mustard, teal, and cranberry/rust. The cranberry/rust fabric reminded me of the red ring around Mars, so I created a galaxy in the center of the piece, using a wholecloth reverse applique technique. The copper and antiqued brass finishes of the celestial-themed charms added an extra color element. This piece can be found in my book, The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

11 1/4″ x 12 7/8″

Umbria by Christen Brown

This piece started with four printed fabrics in rich browns, rust, and cranberry colors. I found a variegated perle cotton that picked up all of those colors. I then chose the remainder of the embroidery and embellishments to match the thread. Embellishments include vintage shell buttons, copper charms, and glass buttons that are sprinkled around the fiber and metal leaf trims. This piece can be found in my book, The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

17″ x 16 3/4″ (close-up)

Autumn Ribbons by Christen Brown

The base of this piece started with a linen napkin, and added bits of vintage lace that I hand-dyed with Colorhue dyes. I then added in loads of rust, orange, and brown flowers and leaves that I hand-stitched from Hanah silk bias ribbons. I used techniques that can be found in my book Ribbonwork Flowers by C&T Publishing. The embroidery was worked with perle cotton, Wildflower threads, and silk embroidery ribbon, using many of the stitches that can be found in my book Embroidered and Embellished by C&T Publishing.

24″ x 23″ (close-up)

Harvest Quilt by Christen Brown

The base of this quilt was strip-pieced using Hoffman cotton batiks, in rich autumn colors of rust, umber, cranberry, maple, and olive. The embroidery stitches are worked in perle cotton #5 and #8, Wildflower threads, and cotton floss. This piece was featured in the gallery section of my book Embroidered and Embellished by C&T Publishing.

Enjoy! Happy Stitching! ~Christen

Tips and Tea on Tuesdays

On Tips and Tea on Tuesdays, I will cover a topic and hopefully provide you with some tips that will be helpful! And just as an afterthought, tea may occasionally be a cup of Joe!

harvest timeTea today is jasmine, just sipping away, happy as a camper! Actually I don’t think that I would be happy camping as it was usually cold, and there was always a rock under my back. I think that now, I am more of a “glamper”, besides, where would I keep all of my stash?

Speaking of stash, I am often asked how do I store all of my fabrics, ribbon and trims, laces, threads, beads, buttons and more. Well let me tell you, I have a lot of boxes, and bags. I organize the “like” components together by color.

Tip: Storage

  • Fabric is organized by the type of material in cardboard or plastic storage boxes. I pre-wash all of my fabrics, but do not iron them until I start on a project.
  • Ribbons, trims, and cords are organized by material, in see-through plastic storage boxes. I take the trims off of any flat cardboard packaging, as the folds will eventually become permanent.
  • Lace yardage and trims are kept in plastic or cardboard storage boxes. I wrap the vintage laces first in acid free tissue paper.
  • Embroidery threads and ribbons are organized by material, in plastic zip-lock bags, then in see-through plastic storage boxes.
  • Beads are kept in plastic or cardboard boxes.
  • Glass, metal, shell, and fabric buttons are organized by material in plastic or cardboard containers.
  • Vintage plastic buttons are kept in cardboard boxes, so that the chemicals in the materials don’t deteriorate, breakdown, and of course smell.

Happy tea drinking and stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you have any questions or thoughts, just leave a comment! See Tips, Tricks, the Basics, for more helpful ideas.