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Be Creative with Ribbon Embroidery

Updated on August 14, 2014
That Grrl profile image

Laura likes retro, vintage, old things. Choosing to preserve or repurpose is her dilemma - can't change your mind once started.


Ribbon embroidery looks complicated when you see some of the wonderfully feminine and romantic looking work done by others. But, if you learn some basic embroidery stitches like the straight stitch, stem stitch and the french knot you can already begin to embroider with ribbons. The trick between regular embroidery and ribbon embroidery is to leave a bit of extra slack in your thread so they are not pulled too tight. You want the ribbon to look placed rather than pulled.

My favourite ribbon embroider work are whole gardens of flowers, especially those I have seen on old, Victorian crazy quilts.

Embroidery with Ribbons

I fell in love with ribbon embroidery at least 20 years ago when crazy quilting became popular for awhile. Ribbon embroidery was an extra, an embellishment used on some of the old Victorian crazy quilts.

Ribbon embroidery is mostly about flowers. Now all of it though. It's usually very feminine looking but I've seen some ribbon embroidery used in creative, unusual ways too.

I like hand sewing. Most of the sewing I do is either making Christmas ornaments or mending. I hand sew buttons, hem and mend holes. I don't know how I end up sewing everything by hand. I do have a sewing machine, a very good one which my Mother bought me as a wedding present. It's tucked away in a cabinet. Maybe the idea of taking the time to thread it and set it up keeps me from using it. Meanwhile, you can thread a needle and start sewing by hand right away.

Ribbon embroidery is so romantic and feminine looking. I can't see a machine ever being used for embroidery with ribbons. For one thing, just try running the ribbons through the machine instead of the much thinner thread they are meant to use.



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    • That Grrl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Brown 

      7 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      Glad to give some inspiration. I hope you do try more. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Oh what beautiful examples of ribbon embroidery. I've only done the simplest of designs but you've inspired me to do more. Thanks for the great links.

    • Natashalh profile image


      7 years ago from Hawaii

      This is very pretty! I didn't know anything about ribbon embroidery - thanks.

    • That Grrl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Brown 

      7 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      There are so many beautiful examples I wish I could have added. But, there are enough here to show it off. Winter is my time to sew in a creative way. I'm looking forward to starting something pretty just for the same of being pretty, this Winter.

    • geetbhim profile image

      sangeeta verma 

      7 years ago from Ludhiana India

      wow!!! very nice idea.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I had never heard of or seen ribbon embroidery. The two final examples are incredibly elegant and beautiful. Just gorgeous work. Good Hub. :)


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