What Are You Stitching?

11th August 2023

Di van Niekerk’s ribbon embroidered magic has inspired our selection of projects today with work from three What are You Stitching? regulars. May the magic of ribbon carry on…

Carolee F. Withee

‘Here is a photo of the newest addition to my series, ‘Displaying Our Grandmother’s Handwork’.  I have quite a collection of vintage tatted edgings. Thinking of my flower gardens, which at present are under the snow, led me to create a lattice support for a wisteria, which led to a climbing rose bush, which led to a group of irises…’

‘It’s hard to limit oneself when there are so many flowers to be stitched using silk ribbon. The wisteria, rose bush and delphinium were stitched in white ribbon and then coloured, in place, with fabric ink. 

I tried to paint a background of blue sky, green grass and tan soil, but I didn’t dare to make the colours too vivid. As a result the colours are too light to really see their purpose. That’s OK, because now I know to be more daring in a future project.’

‘This embroidery measures 10 x 11 inches (25 x 28cm). I used Tsukineko fabric ink and Treenway Silk Ribbon. I am hoping that sharing this embroidered garden will prompt others to incorporate vintage handwork into their own needlework.’

Carolee, we love seeing how you incorporate vintage needlework into your pieces and this is another beautiful example. Although not how you intended the painted background to turn out, we think it adds dimension to the piece without taking away from the focal point. And the flowers… your stitched garden is bursting with so much life and variety! Much easier to maintain too.

Nina Burnsides

‘It’s taken a while but I finally finished my latest project, it’s still hot off the hoop. A little stumpwork mouse.’

‘I used raffia to make his little nest using random straight stitches. I lined the interior of the nest with fluffy feathers so he had a cushy place to rest, his little feet and tail are needle felted, with some stumpwork leaves, pansies and a butterfly to keep him company. I added a few ribbon work flowers, a bee and a ladybug and he was complete.’

‘I’ve never tried needle felting before and I ‘needle’ more practice, but I think it gives him a little more depth.’

What a cute little mouse, Nina! You have created such a sweet home for him. There is such a showcase of stitches here and an extra attention to detail that really makes the project come together in harmony.

Desiree Coetzee

‘In ASU issue #315 I shared my embroidery work in progress. A beautiful Barbara Mocke artwork printed on fabric used as the background.’

‘I am so proud to show you now the finished piece. I used various threads and silk ribbon.’

‘I would also love to share with you my latest finish in silk ribbon, my version of the Dicraft panel ‘Girl Walking Dog’.’

They are both wonderful, Desiree! Once again, you’ve brought these printed scenes to life with beautiful stitches and an amazing array of colourful threads and ribbons. We look forward to seeing what scene you stitch next.

Have you ever tried incorporating doilies or tatted edging into your work? Do you stitch your flowers with ribbon? If you enjoy stitching onto printed fabric, what criteria do you have for the design you choose to stitch?

Whatever you are stitching, we’d love to see it! Email photos of what you’ve created with needle and thread along with a few details about the project and your stitching journey to news@inspirationsstudios.com

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