Tag Archive | ribbon

Friday’s Favorites: Scarves

I love scarves! And with the cold weather still out, I am constantly in search of that little bit of extra warmth and color. Being allergic to wool can sometimes be a challenge to find just the right thing for an outfit, so I am always on the lookout, and often I make my own accessories or re-style or revamp an already made item.

This chiffon scarf was a gift from my husband and daughter, along with a box of Godiva chocolates. How could you go wrong with yummy chocolate and my favorite color purple! I added satin rosettes and posies using the directions from my book Ribbonwork Gardens, by C&T Publishing.

This is a scarf that is entirely made from Hanah Silk bias ribbon. Several different widths were used, and stitched together on the sewing machine. The ruffled roses are hand-stitched, and are also made from silk bias ribbon.

This is a scarf that I knit, using yarn that was made from silk sari borders. It has a lively color combination, lots of colors and fun nubby sections. I made folded edge rosettes from hand-dyed silk velvet ribbon. The centers of the flowers are abalone shell buttons.

This scarf was purchased many years ago at Cost Plus, now it is called World Market. It is incredibly detailed with rickrack ribbon stitched into flowers, sequins, and beads! To top it off I made another flower from my book Ribbonwork Gardens, using ribbon that came off another box of Godiva chocolates.

Happy Stitching to you all, and Enjoy~ Chisten

Friday’s Favorites: Numbers and Measures

Measuring Up
Measuring Up Montage

The montage has a collection of a few of my favorite things. The jewelry pieces are just fun, with both new and old typewriter keys, and charms. The dog tags belonged to my mom’s dog when she was growing up, my dad won the medal in a model airplane contest for one of his own designs. Other images are my dad’s actual dog tags from WWII, coins (from my grandpa), a wooden nickel I got a Knot’s Berry Farm as a kid and more buttons.

Shown here is the bracelet close-up. I started with a very well loved, tape measure that belonged to my Grandmother. I paired it with grosgrain ribbon and a few buttons that I found at the thrift store. The small button at the right has my mom’s initials on it. When I found it I thought must save this for just the right project, I think that I did!

The first bracelet was found on eBay, it was made with vintage typewriter keys. The necklace is made from new two-hole beads, with typewriter symbols, that have been strung on a rayon cord. The last bracelet, is made from new charms, that are attached to a vintage chain bracelet.

Favorite collection of measuring devices

Numbers can be viewed differently by the way you present them, such as “I HAVE 5 weeds!”, or “I only have five weeds…”; vice versa: “I only have five roses…” or “I HAVE 5 roses!”… you get the point. Numbers can also relate to how much money you have, or how wide you are by the inches on the tape measure, or the accumulation of years that equal your life.

Measuring up can mean quite a few things as well. With New Year’s Eve looming, and resolution lists waiting to be written, for me it means gauging my accomplishments, successes and triumphs. Did I spend my time wisely, did I make a difference, did I contribute?

Whatever your answers are to these questions, I hope that you enjoy the days, hours, and minutes to come! Be happy creating or be happy creatively! Enjoy- Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Decorating with Lace and Jewels

I love to decorate for the holidays. I have quite a collection of lace, buttons, and old jewelry bits, and try to find ways to incorporate them into my holiday decorations.

The first tree here, is actually a metal jewelry holder, with a bowl to catch your loose bits of stuff. I have used it to display my collection of vintage mercury glass ornaments and garlands. I placed vintage tinsel garlands in the bottom of the bowl, then nestled a collection of vintage swan shaped clip-on tree ornaments around the base of the tree. I gathered together a collection of vintage dress pins and single earrings, and added these throughout the branches.

The Lace Cone Trees, are resting in a silver leaf tray, with a garland of bells wrapped around the base. There are two vases flanking this group, filled with vintage mercury glass ornaments and vintage glass beads. See my Tips and Tea on Tuesdays post December 6, 2022, for directions on how to make a cone tree.

The Lace Christmas Tree hanging at the top of the picture is comprised of bits and pieces of lace that had been a salesman’s sampler. I added additional pieces of lace, and some vintage buttons. This project is a free handout that I am offering to my readers as a gift, from me to you.

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Old Doors, Knobs, and Keys

I have always loved old doors. The more worn the better, because this signified that they had been used, traveled through, experienced. And then of course, I love the accessories that a door needs, such as door knobs and keys.

This is picture, was drawn by a friend. He drew it as a wedding gift for my husband and I. I framed it with this old music sheet, that I found on The Graphics Fairy.

The romantic in me thinks of castles, and knights and damsels in distress. So I to created an image of an old castle door that had been weathered, with a big door knocker, a brass knob and big hinges. I found this old, large key on eBay, and used it for the hanger. I also found a few old skeleton keys to add in here and there, and grouped them with my newer keys and heart shaped locks. The base is machine pieced and machine quilted. The charms, keys, and buttons are attached with embroidery floss.

This is a digital image that I created, using many images that I had found on Pinterest. If you like to look at photographs of old doors, windows and Greece may I suggest the artist Tolis’s Flickr photostream with this door as my favorite.

I gathered this group of batik fabrics that varied from rust to brown, and thought, well this would make a cool door! I found these wonderful blue buffed celluloid buttons, which I paired with brass buttons, buckles, and both vintage and new keys. The rust and vintage blue ribbons just keep the colors flowing. The base is machine pieced and quilted, and the hand embroidery is worked in perle cotton.

If you like fairies, old doors, and wonderfully illustrated books may I suggest “A Knock at the Door” by Angi Sullins and Silas Toball.

All Friday’s Favorites posts.

Enjoy your day, go on an adventure through a door that you have never been through! Imagine, dream, knock and enter! ~Christen

Perky Pincushion: class/tutorial

Perky Pincushion: 1 lesson/$10

perky pincushionThis petite pincushion is the perfect size for your travel sewing kit. The base of the pincushion, flowers and leaves are made from grosgrain ribbon. A scissor fob can be made using the same flower and leaf that adorns the pincushion.

Skill Level Beginning: hand-sewing knowledge needed

Class Information

This class can be purchased at any time, there is no set schedule. The class can be ordered by contacting Christen: thestoreonthecorner@gmail.com. She will send you an invoice through PayPal.

Once the class is paid for, the supply list and handout/s will be sent out.

A high-speed internet connection is recommended, and you must have basic computer and internet skills. You will need to be able know how to download and save a document to your computer’s hard drive, open it, and print out a copy.

You can contact Christen with any questions pertaining to the class/class information throughout the length of the class.

Class fees will not be refunded.

Happy Stitching! ~Christen

Stitched Adornments

Vintage Floral Embroidery

Vintage Floral Embroidery

Floral embroidery is a descriptive term that was used for both thread embroidery (silk, wool or chenille); and ribbonwork flowers (a piece of ribbon or fabric that was stitched with a needle and thread). The flowers were arranged in sprays, or as a single bud on men’s waistcoats, ladies gowns, shawls and other accessories. Popular stitches for the embroideries were satin, long and short, and stem. The chain stitch that could also be worked with a tambour needle is often used as the only stitch in the design.

Ribbon work flowers such as aerophane or crepe floral embroidery (used in the late 19th century) had the details of leaves and stems stitched in with thread embroidery. The ribbon, a thin silk gauze or crepe would be cut then gathered with stitches to form each petal of the flower. Narrow silk “China” ribbons were available in shaded colors, and were first used in ribbon work floral embroidery. This narrow silk ribbon could also be threaded into a large eyed needle and stitched into flower shapes (usually a straight stitch) with added silk thread embroidered accents. The combination of ribbonwork flowers and silk ribbon embroidery gave the design dimension. The top image is from a satin purse, with the ribbonworked flowers and leaves of stitched chenille. A gift from my husband for my birthday, probably circa early 1900’s. It is incredible in person.

Vintage Floral Sewing Bag

Vintage Floral Sewing Bag

The second image with the whimsical floral vignettes was made, I believe as a sewing or knitting bag, but I use it as a purse, circa 1940’s judging from the fabrics used. Some of the flowers are made with ribbon, some with fabric scraps, some with added felt details. Primitive embroidery and beading were used to enhance the floral sections. I found this lovely treasure on eBay, and I adore it.

Happy Stitching! ~Christen

Recycled Blue Jeans and Denim Fabric

JEANS, when did you get your first pair? I grew up wanting to be the “ballerina” in Elton John’s song “Blue Jean Baby”. I can hear you singing, “can’t you see her, tiny dancer in the sand”.

In high school I embroidered jeans and work-shirts for friends and family. In fact the reason that I now wear a thimble while stitching is from being poked so much by working on the heavy jean fabric. I have recycled a pair or two (that did not fit anymore), and used them in various projects. I also like to work with denim fabric (sold by the yard), because it provides a nice firm base to work on.

“Blue Jean Baby” is stitched onto a pant leg, from a pair of old jeans. I removed the pocket first, and used it and the pocket from the other leg in the examples below. I appliqued a lace heart, and many hand made flowers into the heart vase. I added vintage and new beads into the centers of the flowers. I embroidered ribbon down the side edges using traditional embroidery stitches. The little cat (made from a quilt from 1880’s) was a gift that came along with an eBay purchase, and Marcia Marcantonio is the creator. Thank you Marcia, I think that your gift is quite at home here.

“Butterflies and Snapdragons” (a pocket from the pants), was featured in my book Ribbonwork Gardens, by C&T Publishing. The middle embroidery was worked on another portion of the jeans. “Flower Child” (a pocket from the pants), was featured in my book Ribbonwork Flowers, by C&T Publishing.

These two pieces begin with the same pair of jeans (cut from the other pant leg), and one of my favorite fabrics, the vintage floral print that the hearts are cut from. The heart shapes are bordered by a dyed leaf trim, and are surrounded by silk ribbonwork flowers and leaves, and silk ribbon embroidery.

“Country Hearts” Wall Hanging was featured in my book, The Embroidery Book, by C&T Publishing. Each square was cut from the same pair of jeans, and I used the vintage rickrack trim to cover the raw seams. The embroidery stitches are worked in perle cotton threads. The embellishments include vintage tatted lace, ribbonwork flowers, vintage buttons, and glass beads.

“Denim and Dresden” is featured in my book, Creative Stitching, Mixing the Old with the New, by C&T Publishing. I used jean fabric for the base of the piece, and I think that it compliments the vintage feed sack fabric so nicely. The embroidery is worked in perle cotton, cotton floss, and vintage tatting threads. The embellishments include yo-yo’s and vintage buttons.

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you are looking for inspiration or ideas, check out my PDF Classes and books.

Gathering the Goods

Materials

Fabrics made from cotton, denim, linen, moiré, felt, and silk are all suitable for embroidered and embellished projects. Choose solid colors, subtle cotton prints, or abstract designs such as batiks or dyed fabrics.

Lace, appliques, and hankies can be used to create a design or focal point on the base fabric. Ribbons, trims, and cords can be used to create a design, or to cover a seam. These can be machine or hand-stitched to the background and used as part of the design or used to complete the edge of a project.

Embroidery threads and ribbon choices can include perle cotton (#5, #8, #13), cotton or silk floss, silk embroidery ribbon (2mm, 4mm, or 7mm), or metallic threads. Embellishments can also make a statement, such as buttons, beads, charms, sequins, and found objects. Choose as many color groups as you have for your fabric, adding in additional colors as needed. If you are working with a solid color base, then use as many color groups as you want.

How Much Do I need?

There is something to be said about having a well-stocked creative stash to work with. These components don’t go bad, and you never know what you might need! The list below will give you an idea of the amounts that I typically gather for a small 10″ – 15″ wall hanging.

  • Fabric: Small amounts like fat quarters are enough for a base however 1/2 yard or more may be required for the lining and binding.  
  • Felt squares either synthetic, wool or wool blend can be used to back a wall hanging.
  • Lace fabric and appliques: 1/4 yard of lace fabric and/or 2-10 appliques (the amount will depend on the design of the project).
  • Ribbon, lace, trim and cord yardage: 1-3 yard lengths should be sufficient (the amount will depend on the design of the project).
  • Perle cotton, floss, and/or silk embroidery ribbons: 1 ball or skein of each color in your project.
  • Seed beads sizes 6°, 8°, 11° and 15°: 1 package or tube of each color of your project.
  • Larger beads, buttons, sequins, charms and other embellishments: choose colors that compliment the project (the amounts will depend on the design of the project).

Stablizers

The type of stabilizer, and the amount will differ depending on the project.

Fabric Base: 100% cotton muslin is used for foundation piecing on strip and crazy pieced bases.

Interfacings

  • Heat-N-Bond light is used to fuse one fabric to another.
  • Misty Fuse is used to fuse a piece of lace to fabric.
  • Sheer weight, feather weight and mid weight fusible interfacing are used to create a firm background and to stabilize the fabric base.

Finishing Foundations and Fillers

  • Décor Bond is used for projects that need a thin, firm stability to hold the shape of a project.
  • fast2fuse is a double-sided fusible interfacing that comes in light, original and heavyweight versions and are used to give stability and to hold the shape of a project.
  • Poly-fil stuffing is used to give dimension to a form such as a pillow.
  • Timtex Light and Heavy are used to give stability and to hold the shape of a project.
  • Warm and Natural craft batting is used to give the fabric base a firm but softer dimension or can be added to create a padded look to the project.

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you are looking for inspiration or ideas, check out my PDF Classes and books.

National Sewing Month

Day 10

Question: Do you have a favorite pincushion, or two? Here are a few of mine.

perky pincushion

Perky Pincushion is a class that I have taught both locally and at the International Quilt Show Festival in Houston. It is a fun little project, that requires very little time, with a fanciful result.

Strawberry Scissor Fob and Red Roses Pincushion and is similar, but has different flowers, and of course, the strawberry fobs! This piece and the instructions for the flowers and strawberries can be found in my book, Ribbonwork Flowers by C&T Publishing.

The above pincushions all start with a ribbon base. The first three can be seen in my book Ribbonwork Flowers, with the instructions to make all of the flowers. Bonbons were gifts that I made, for the dedicated editors of my books.

Happy Stitching~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 5

Question: Do you like to recycle old clothing, or use something in an unexpected way?

Country Hearts 1, 2

The base for each of these small wall hangings started with a pair of old jeans. The heart shape is cut from an old birdcage cover, that my mom made for our parakeet Tweetie. There is a hand-dyed piece of lace shaped as a vine on each, and all of the flowers are made from Hannah Silk bias ribbons. Additional embroidery was worked with silk embroidery ribbon.

Blue Jean Pockets

These two pockets came from that same pair of jeans. I embellished both with crochet appliques that my mom had made. The first has a rococo trim, ribbonwork flowers, buttons and additional tatted flowers. The second has ribbonwork flowers and leaves, and vintage glass buttons.

For information on making your own ribbonwork components, see my books Ribbonwork Gardens, and Ribbonwork Flowers, by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching~Christen