Using Silk Ribbon On Needlepoint

by , on
May 22, 2019

Well hello there! I hope you’re having a wonderful day. It’s always so much fun to chat with you about my favorite subject, needlepoint. And this week, I have a little treat for you. We’re gonna dive into a topic near and dear to my heart – silk ribbon embroidery. See that picture down there? 👇

Silk ribbon embroidery on handkerchief linen


That’s the collar on one of Rebekah’s Easter dresses from way-back-when. It’s silk ribbon embroidery on handkerchief linen. (Swwooooon… I had so much fun stitching that design. 😍)

Did you know that you can use silk ribbon embroidery techniques in needlepoint?

Kelly Clark introduced me to the idea at my very first market way back in 2oo3. She has some really fun basket canvases that incorporate silk ribbon. Here’s one of my favorites – “Provence Picnic Basket”.

Provence Picnic Basket by Kelly Clark Needlepoint

See those lovely silk ribbon sunflowers? Those are lazy daisy stitches and loop stitches. Pretty nifty, huh? And the grapes… some of those stitches those are silk ribbon French knots.

Here’s another needlepoint canvas featuring silk ribbon techniques…

"Flower Fish" by John Johannsen for Melissa Shirley Designs

Jean Krynicki, the owner of River Silks, is the stitcher responsible for creating this masterpiece. Isn’t it terrific? Those big flowers in the center of the fish are spider web roses. They’re reeaaalllly fun (and easy!) to make. This month’s bundle for The Stitcher’s Club is “Flowers” and making those spider web roses is just one of the new “how-to” stitch videos I’ll be posting in the video library next week for members.

Using silk ribbons and ribbon embroidery techniques on your needlepoint canvases is a lot easier than you might think.

You’ll likely find silk ribbon in most local needlework shops. It comes in a variety of widths, but 2mm, 4mm, and 7 mm are the most common. They’re also the easiest to use to embellish needlepoint canvases.

My all-time favorite ribbons are from River Silks. The colors are luscious and the ribbons hold up very well to stitching through mono-canvas.

What makes River Silks ribbon so durable? For starters, it’s not cut from cloth like many of the silk ribbons available in today’s marketplace. Instead, it’s woven. And because it’s woven, it has a selvage on both sides. That means the edges don’t fray. Oh – and it has a very high thread count, too. The ribbon has oodles of body (thanks to that high thread count), so your flowers won’t be droopy.

"Petunias" color collection from River Silks

I like to use chenille needles for silk ribbon embroidery. They’re very much like tapestry needles, but they have a sharp point. (The point pierces the ribbon easily when you’re making those beautiful flowers.)

Here are a few more ribbon embroidery tips, too…

  • Using different widths of ribbons may alter the look of a stitch, so it’s a good idea to practice on a doodle canvas.
  • Your stitches should be longer than the width of the ribbon you’re using.
  • Use 10″ – 12 ” lengths of ribbon. The wider the ribbon, the shorter the length should be.
  • Use gentle tension when working with ribbon.
  • Use the thumb of your non-dominant stitching hand to hold the ribbon flat as you carefully pull it through to the back of your canvas. (This little trick keeps the ribbon from getting twisted. You may also use a laying tool, if you prefer.)

I hope you’ll join me for this week’s episode of Serendipi-TV on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. CDT. I’ll show you some examples of different kinds of silk ribbon flowers that you can add to your projects. And be sure you subscribe to Serendipi-TV over on YouTube, too. I don’t want you to miss anything. 😉

Before you go, I’m curious. Have you ever used silk ribbon embroidery on your needlepoint projects? Tell me in the comments box below. I love hearing from you and I read every single note.

Until next time, happy stitching!

Stitch with a smile!




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Are You Ready To Stitch?

by , on
Jan 31, 2018
February is National Embroidery Month!

February is National Embroidery Month…

And that just makes me wanna do a happy dance. All month long, we get to celebrate stitching. YAY!!! (Cue musica!)

Dust off your needles, pull out your threads, and let’s embroider something!

Wait, were you thinking embroidery was just this…

Embellish a linen napkin with surface embroidery to create a beautiful bread cloth.


Oh no, dear friend. Actually, embroidery is…

“the art of working raised and ornamental designs in threads of silk, cotton, gold, silver, or other material, upon any woven fabric, leather, paper, etc., with a needle”.

That’s the definition, but I think they pretty much nailed it, don’t you?

Under the umbrella of embroidery, you’ll find needlepoint, canvas work, counted cross-stitch, Hardanger, blackwork, crazy quilting, crewel, goldwork, silk ribbon embroidery, and so much more!

Now, before all you knitters and crocheters tune me out…

Did you know that you can embellish your hand mades with stitchery? It’s true! Simple motifs can dress up even the most basic garments and accessories, not to mention home decor. Never tried it? Now’s your chance!

Stick with me all month and I’ll show you the basics, so you can try your hand at it yourself.

Deal? Great!

Here’s a picture to inspire you…

Embellish a hand knit cushion with embroidery.

Are you ready to stitch?

Since we’re celebrating, I think we should pull out all the stops. Let’s make a pact – one where we commit to stitch a little every single day, no matter what kind of embroidery you like to do best.

Then, share your pictures on the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page here. Be sure and use our hashtag #serendipitystitcher, so I can find all of them.

Oh, and be sure to tag Serendipity Needleworks, too. Not sure how tags work? Click here for a quick “how-to” article that explains it.

And don’t forget Instagram! You can tag us when you’re posting your picture (click here for instructions, if you need some help) – or, you can let us know by typing @serendipityneedleworks in the comments. Just click on the little speech bubble and a comment box will pop up for you. 🙂

I’m gonna need your help…

spreading the word about our celebration. Be sure and tell all your stitching buddies how they can join the fun, because I have some surprises up my sleeve and, well – the more, the merrier, right?!

Hey, why don’t I go ahead and share one with you now?

Here goes…

Comment on any one of my February 2018 blog posts this month, and you’ll be entered to win a Happy Hearts thread bouquet from our friends at Rainbow Gallery. (The winner will be randomly chosen on February 28, 2018.)

So…what’s your favorite?

Don’t be shy! Tell me what your favorite kind of embroidery is – right down there in that little comment box. Oh, and tell me who taught you to stitch, too. I L-O-V-E hearing from you – and I read every single one of your notes. Pinky promise!

I can’t wait to see what you have to say – and you’ll be entered to win a terrific prize, too! 🙂

Until next time, happy stitching!

Stitch with a smile!

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