Friday, June 6, 2008

Wrapt Up in Ribbons

I have an on-going fascination with creating ribbon patterns. I was first smitten with stitched ribbons when I worked on a Carol Costello piece 'way back in the '80s, called HAPSBURG LACE. ..I LOVED working on that canvaswork piece of interwoven ribbons. It's still one of my all-time favorite pieces.

And I've always wanted to create my own design of interwoven ribbons. But where do you even begin? Over the last few years, I started by adding a few bits of ribbons in my floral collage pieces. It was so much fun to mix & match stitches and threads to create pieces of ribbon, that I finally had the confidence to sit down and design my first interwoven ribbon pattern called FLORAL RIBBONS.

I've always wanted to stitch something in apricot and green as well....because my sister Diane stitched her own design of woven ribbons back in the '80s, using that color combination, and it always stuck in my mind as a very lovely color pairing.

Anyway, here's a closeup of some of the floral ribbons:
I just love looking at their supposed complexity, but really, they're made up of very simple stitches - just combined in fun ways - to look more complex than they really are.

And, as usual, I love to incorporate a variegated pearl cotton thread....using it as the foundation of the color palette, and then choosing my colors from that variegated thread.

Here are more floral ribbons from FLORAL RIBBONS.
You can see how the variegated thread is used in a bargello-type ribbon that really adds drama to the overall piece.

And above it, inside the apricot zig-zag ribbon, you can see the variegated thread is used to create the large smyrna star flowers...Yet another way to use variegated thread!

Yum....these ribbons are almost as delicious as a box of chocolates (but not nearly as fattening!)


Love to Stitch 99 said...


Like you I just love ribbon patterns and you have done an absolutely lovely job at creating this piece and the colors are wonderful too.

I may have to stitch that one if it is available for us to purchase. Please let us know.

Pierrette =^..^=

Anonymous said...

Holy moly - that is the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long long time; there is nothing in there that I do not love. I am so glad you found the confidence to design this - I am thinking that now you also have the confidence to go on and design more!!

I wonder which is your favourite ribbon? And next favourite? My favourite one is the broad one on the right, with the 5 white crossed stitches - just divine. My next favourie is the thin one beside it.

Have you thought about making up a pattern to sell?

Cathi Carr said...

Hello - I've just found your blogs, and they caught my attention because of your love of Carol Costello patterns. Back in the mid-1970's, I took a class from her (and another lady named Carol) at The Needle Tree in San Marino, CA. They had a book of designs that included swags that looked like something you'd see on a Wedgwood piece. And there was a circular design that they'd finished into a clock face. I've been looking in vain for this book again, but since I can't remember the name, or the name of the other Carol, I haven't been successful. Do you know whether it's still possible to be in touch somehow with Carol Costello? I'd love to be able to ask her about these older designs. Thanks for whatever help you might be able to give me. My e-mail address is Happy stitching!!

SockPixie said...

Your work is so inspiring!

wranglerkate said...

Does anyone out there know how to contact Carol Costello? I'm looking for an older needlepoint chart book that she and another Carol did together. I took a class in San Marino, CA in the late 1970's at a shop called The Needle Tree, and "Carol and Carol" had a book of designs that included swags that look like something you'd see on Wedgwood. There was a circular pattern that they made into a clock face. Anyway, I can't remember the name of the book, and it predates the ones I'm able to find online. I thought maybe if I could contact her, she could tell me how I could find the book I'm looking for. Thanks very much! Kate

Miriam said...

I love the way you are stitching, it inspires me to try something a little bit similar.