Friday, September 28, 2012

Ribbon Daisy Tutorial (part 2 of the polar bear saga)

The polar bear is slowly coming along and it looks nice so far but looks a bit haphazard.  It takes a bit of time before the ribbon doodling settles down and looks more together as spaces are filled in.  Part of doodling is learning new techniques while filling in or striking out in a new direction.  Usually I like to try new ribbon flowers in a corner somewhere in case it needs to be pulled out or covered over. 

The ribbon daisy I made almost needed to be pulled out but with some work and a bit of hiding it was saved.  I got the daisy technique from a wonderful ribbon work and ribbon embroidery book by Mary Jo Hiney called "Romantic Silk Ribbon Keepsakes".  Everyone serious about ribbon art should read this book, the illustrations are very helpful.  The book also has some fun projects.

To make the daisy you will need some 4 or 7 mm ribbons, the thinner the ribbon the more petals you will need.  For this tutorial I used 7mm ribbon.  You will also need a strong needle like a small doll needle for sewing through the fleece.  A more delicate needle small, thin, strong with a small eye will be used to sew through the silk ribbon.

Step 1

Thread the small needle with a thread matching the color of the daisy ribbon.  Take the silk ribbon and hold it in your hand creating a loop.  This will be one petal so the larger the loop the longer the petal will be.  You can measure it if you like.  I just held the ribbon between my finger and thumb and made the loop as small as I could without dropping the ribbon.  Do not cut the ribbon off your spool it will make it easier to work attached.

Holding the petal loop.
Step 2  With the small needle and thread pierce the ribbon end leaving a short thread tail.  Bring the needle around the ribbon's side and stitch through the front to the back again.  Be gentle and slow or the thread might come out of the ribbon.  Take a tiny stitch where the ribbon is being held together.  Sew through the last stitch to make a small knot.
Thread and needle piercing the ribbon.
Knotted ribbon petal.
Step 3
Cut the petal from the ribbon leaving a ribbon tail.  You will be sewing through the ribbon tail again so make sure it is about a 1/4 inch or a bit longer.  Trim the thread also.  Don't worry about wasting a bit of ribbon if it helps you to work faster and better.  After a couple of daisies you will know how short to make the tails.  You will need several petals to sew around a circle.  For mine I started with 12 petals but needed to add more.
Step 4
Using the small needle and matching thread stitch through the petal ends gathering them together in a straight line.  Mine got all messed up and doubled so take your time.  There will be a tiny space between each petal.  When finished, pulling the thread should gather them together.
Step 5
Arrange the string of petals in a circle on the fabric.  You can draw the circle if that will help.  You may want to change to a small but strong needle because you will be sewing through the fleece.
Petals unevenly stitched on the fabric.
As you can see I had a mess of petals and worse I though that adding pearls would help.  A bit of insanity there.  So I finally realized I had to either take it all out or add more petals.  I decided to add petals one at a time.  This was because I was afraid of damaging the fabric trying to cut out the work.
Step 6
After arranging and sewing down the petal.  Make more if you need some petal fill-ins.  What I did was to make one petal at a time.  Cut the petal loose from the ribbon and just sew it to a fill-in spot using the thread already attached.  In fact I think making and sewing the petals one at a time was easier.  After the petals were where I wanted them I sewed the underside of some of the petals to the fleece.  This helped to keep them in place and closer on the fabric.
Adding petals.  I just worked right over the pearls.
Step 7
Now to hide the petal ends in the center.  Normally I would try covering with pearls or french knots.  But it looked so bad that I covered up the center with a lucite flower bead.  Using the fleece needle I came up through the fleece through the flower center leaving a tail.  Then made two small stitches.  Next I changed to a needle that could go through a 3 mm bicone.  I brought the thread through the lucite flower bead and bicone and back through the flower bead.  Changed needles again and sewed through the fleece.  Finally securing the sewing thread.
Finished ribbon daisy.
The daisy looks pretty and most people would not be
 able to tell what a hash I made of it.
This is what the daisy looks like with the other flowers.
The left leg of the polar bear.  I've added  a string
of pearls and some more spider roses.
Tomorrow I hope to do a tutorial on making leaves.

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