Friday’s Favorites: Hearts, Hearts and Hearts

It has been so long since I have added a favorite, and this one seems to be appropriate, because hearts in all shapes and sizes have always been a favorite of mine.

These old tin baking hearts were a thrift store find, one that I just treasure. I picked up the myriad of Valentine’s day themed ribbon in the dollar section at Target. Too cute!

Rose Heart is a combination of two techniques from my new book, Ribbonwork Gardens. The heart shape is made from French wire ribbon, and the rose is made from Hanah Silk ribbon. This is a small corsage.

This is an embroidery sampler comprised of Traditional embroidery stitches. I teach a class called BEBE Beginning Embroidery with Bead Embellishments, that includes many of these stitches.

Here are my magical tin baking hearts full of my favorite buttons, Mother of Pearl.

The base of this “Hanky Heart” is made from an old handkerchief that had ripped in several places. I hand-dyed what was left of the handkerchief, then hand pieced it into this heart shape. I covered the seems of the raw edges with hand-dye vintage lace. I then stitched a few ribbonwork flowers, and ribbon embroidery into this pretty little vignette.

This is a grouping of  heart shaped bases, covered in vintage and new plastic buttons. The base is made from Timtex, then covered in a cotton muslin. Then the buttons are stitched down with pearl cotton. Fun, fun, fun….

Here are my tin baking hearts full of vintage and new heart shaped buttons (of course). The background is a piece of sheet music from the play Don Quixote.

And as far as I am concerned, you can never have too many HEARTS!

I hope that you enjoy your day, think good thoughts, and forever stay young and curious…


Fall Classes

This fall I will be teaching six classes for Joggles they are as follows:

There are three corsage classes where I invite you to take a colorful journey into the realm of dyeing your own RTD (ready to dye) silk ribbons. I will teach you how to prepare your ribbons then dye them to create one of a kind, creative and colorful ribbons. These ribbons will then be turned into magical works of floral art for your own “corsages to dye for”!

dyed ribbon corsagesCorsages to Dye For I: Here we have the the Rose and Bud; Butterflies Delight; and the Harlequin flower. I will show you options on how to use each flower, from a single flower to a group of flowers.

dyed ribbon corsagesCorsages to Dye For II: Here we have the Chou Rose, the Country Rose, and the Lady Ashley Rose. I will show you design options for each flower, from a single flower to a group of flowers.

dyed ribbon corsages*New* Corsages to Dye For III: Here we have the Violet, the Sweethearts Flower and the Sunflower and Rosette. I will show you design options for each flower, from a single flower to a group of flowers.

autumn's harvest*New* Autumn’s Harvest: I absolutely love all of the rich autumn colors: chestnut, golden umber, warm maple, cinnamon and pumpkin. I have put together a few things that will help make your autumn decorations for your home more memorable. These are all soft sculpture items that are made from fabric or felt.

free- form bead embroidery on ribbonOcean Rivers: This class will teach you a little bit about the freedom of expression the “free form peyote stitch” can bring to your technical repertoire. This is entirely beaded with seed beads and buttons.

ribbon work flowers and leaves*New* Scrumptious Hearts: Bits and pieces of cherished lace are melded with silk fabric to form a beautiful heart shaped base for your floral designed brooch. Chose from a few different heart shapes and ribbon worked floral vignettes, or create your own.

Joggles offers a wonderful way to learn, with teachers and students from all over the world. I have met and become with friends across the country and have met women from France, Belgium, Australia and Canada. The on-line classes are held once a week and repeat once a week for as long as the class runs. Students receive a link to down load their handout on the first day of the lesson then have the opportunity to ask questions and connect with other students in an on-line forum.

I hope that you find something here that you will find interesting! Happy Stitching!


New Spring Classes for Joggles

I have been busy working on my classes for the Spring Session at Joggles, here is the line-up:

group of ribbon worked flowers and leaves

Corsages to Dye for II: May 25, 2010/three lessons

Do you find yourself wishing “if only I had a ribbon that was this color or that”, or “why didn’t it come in my favorite colors”? If your answer is YES, then let me invite you to take a colorful journey into the realm of dyeing your own RTD (ready to dye) ribbons. I will teach you how to prepare your ribbons then dye them to create one of a kind, creative and colorful ribbons. These ribbons will then be turned into magical works of floral art for your own “corsages to dye for”!

bits of lace with silk ribbon embroideryScrumptious Scraps: June 11, 2010/5 lessons

Scrumptious bit and pieces of vintage laces are melded and stitched together to form a unique and beautiful base for your creative stitched designs. Once the lace scraps are turned into a base, I will show you how to dye the base and a variety of ribbons that can be later used in the embroidery and ribbon worked vignettes.

bracelets made from buttons and beadsFlora Dora and Daisy Chain RAW Bracelets: Two for One! June 22, 2010/3 lessons

Do you have a wonderful stash of buttons and beads that are just waiting for the right project to come along? Well consider these beaded and buttoned up bracelets, which are made using two different Right Angle Weave techniques. The first bracelet simple and elegant the other feminine and charming; both take only a short amount of time to make.

beads stitched to fabricBeadazzled Somemore Purse: July 6, 2010/4 lessons

This class delves deeply into the wonderful world of bead embellishment, exploring a wide variety of stitches and embroidery techniques. The sample that you will be stitching on can become a purse (using the pattern provided), a pillow or wall hanging, or whatever you choose. The techniques that will be covered are free-form peyote on fabric, free form bead embroidery, multi bead embroidery, attaching trinkets, buttons and charms with beads, and so much more. Your project will start with a beautiful batik fabric, a variety of seed beads in several sizes and colors combined with a collection of buttons, glass charms and larger beads. This class is a must for anyone who loves beads!

beginning embroideryBEBE: Beginning Embroidery with Bead Embellishment: July 23, 2010/4 lessons

This is a great introductory class to traditional embroidery stitches with the added flare and dazzle that only seed beads can add. These stitches can be incorporated in any fiber design that you choose, whether it be an already stitched crazy quilted block, a strip pieced pillow top, or an appliquéd art quilt block. A variety of stitches are used in each separate embroidered design, a Base Stitch, a Design Stitch, and an Embellished Stitch. Additional embellishments will also be covered such as adding in buttons, sequins, large beads and charms.

The classes at Joggles are brought to you in a file/document format. The classes can run between three-five lessons, with a week between lessons. Joggles provides an online Forum format where teachers and students can communicate, ask questions, or show off their examples from class. I am a very dedicated teacher, and I want each student to be able to complete the project/s covered in the classes. I prepare each lesson’s document with photographed step-by-step pictures and detailed written instructions.

For a more detailed description of each lesson please visit my page at Joggles.

Enjoy what you do! Christen

New Classes for The Winter Session

I will be teaching three classes this coming Winter Session for

peyote stitched bracelets

Jardin de Grandmere

Jardin de Grandmere is the first class and will begin February 23, 2010. The price is $22.00 for two lessons.

Elegant and pretty is the best description for this bracelet. The flower medallion is created with a circular peyote stitch. These circular peyote medallions reminded me of the “Grandmother’s Garden” quilt block. When looking at fabric yo-yos stitched in floral seed sacks or vintage cottons, I imagined a garden of beaded flowers. The dimension is created by using three different sizes of seed beads. The stitch can be used to create a single or double row of flowers, with a beautiful button closure to finish off your bracelet.

Lesson 1: In the first class you will learn the basic circular peyote stitch that each flower medallion is made with. I will give you several examples of color combinations, and then will leave you to play.

Lesson 2: In this class I will show you how to add a second row of flower medallions to your bracelet (if you so desire), and how to attach your button and loop closure in order to finish your bracelet.

free form peyote stitched bracelets

Ocean Rivers Bracelet

Ocean Rivers is the second class and it will begin March 12. The price is $45.00 for four lessons.

This class will teach you a little bit about the freedom of expression the “free form peyote stitch” can bring to your technical repertoire. The launching point of your bracelet and your creative explosion will start with a simple grosgrain ribbon, a small collection of buttons, a variety of seed beads in several sizes and colors combined with a few small treasures. Bring your imagination and creative spirit….

Lesson 1: You will cut and prep the ribbon base; we will talk about setting up your beads; learn about focal placement and the stitching the buttons in place; then create your first tidal currents.

Lesson 2: We will explore the basic peyote stitch; changing from between bead sizes within the current; making connections and creating more tidal currents; and adding in new thread.

Lesson 3: We will cover creating waves along the outer reaches of the bracelet; stitching in the tidal pool treasures such as larger beads, sequins and chips with single bead stoppers, cascades and picots.

Lesson 4: Finishing touches: stitching the button and closure loop; stitching the beaded shell edging; and barnacle extras.

dyed ribbon corsages

Corsages to Dye For: Series 1

Corsages to Dye For: Series 1 is the last class and will begin March 30. The price is $35.00 for three lessons.

Have you ever wished that you could dye your own ribbon, in the colors that you like the best?  Using simple techniques, I will teach you how to create truly intriguing and colorful patterns with your dyes and ribbon. These ribbons will then be turned into magnificent works of art that you create by stitching petals and leaves for your own “corsages to dye for”!

Lesson 1: In the first class you will learn how to mix the dyes using a basic color wheel; learn a series of techniques to prepare the ribbon for dyeing; then actually dyeing the ribbons that you will use in the next lessons.

Lesson 2: The second class will focus on making the flowers: the rose and bud; the bachelor button; and the passion-flower. I will show you options on how to use each flower, from a single flower to a group of flowers; how many you make of each flower is up to you.

Lesson 3: The third lesson will focus on making the leaves from the ribbons that you dyed, then stitching all of the components together for each corsage. Additional commercially made ribbons can also be used, and can add another dimension to your corsages such as the velvet ribbon I used in the Bachelor Button Corsage.

The classes handouts are emailed to you the day of the class, with a week to review and complete that week’s lesson. The following lesson/s will arrive a week  later with another handout and further instructions. There is an on-line forum for the student and teacher connect or contact in case there are any questions.

Enjoy and keep it creative! Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Silk Ribbon Embroidery with Ribbon Worked Flowers


scrumptious scraps

Scrumptious Scraps


Friday’s Favorites (and every day for me) are silk ribbon embroidery projects that include ribbon worked flowers and leaves. This type of work incorporates two different techniques, embroidery with silk ribbon and flower or leaves stitched from ribbon. If you are unfamiliar with these techniques it can be confusing to identify one technique over the other.

In the above image I have used both silk ribbon embroidery and ribbon worked flowers made from silk habotai and silk satin ribbons. The base of this particular piece is composed of precious bits and pieces of lace that are stitched to a base of silk fabric. This base was dyed along with a few of the ribbons. Additional ribbons that I used were the Hanah Silk Ribbons. The silk ribbon embroidery was stitched with 2mm, 4mm, 7mm silk ribbon from YLI.


silk ribbon embroidery

Marie's Boudoir Pillow


This is pillow is an example of silk ribbon embroidery. The technique is described by threading the ribbon into a needle (chenille) and stitching through the fabric to create the embroidered designs. All of the stitches were stitched with either silk ribbon from YLI which comes in a variety of sizes (here I used 2mm, 4mm, 7mm, and 13mm);  or silk threads which I used buttonhole twist and stranded floss.


ribbon worked flowers and leaves

Violet Gardens

This brooch is an example of flowers and leaves made from ribbon. These ribbon worked flowers are stitched from different widths of ribbon (1/4″ to 5/8″), in a variety of styles and fiber content. Ribbon work differs from embroidery in the fact that the individually stitched flowers are created by threading a needle with sewing thread, cutting the ribbon the exact length for each flower, then stitching the ribbon to form the flower. Each flower or leaf  then is stitched in place with a needle and thread. These flowers can also be glued onto a project such as a mixed media project like Green Gardens, or stitched onto a ribbon base and made into a necklace or bracelet as in Deco Plumeria and Violas and Peas.


silk ribbon embroidered brooch

Elizabeth's Garden


This is an example of a brooch that is primarily embroidered with silk ribbon, using traditional stitches such as Lazy Daisy, French Knot and Chain Stitch. Stitches that are primarily used in silk ribbon embroidery are the Japanese Ribbon Stitch and the Woven Rose (which are shown in the top center of the brooch along with a few ribbon work flowers). I have also incorporated a rococo trim around the outer edge of the brooch, and a few ribbon worked flowers and leaves at the top outside portion of the brooch.


silk fabric with silk ribbon embroidery

Summer Blossoms Purse


This purse is an example of silk ribbon embroidery on an embroidered silk fabric (in the middle) with silk dupioni fabric on the outer edges. One of the wonderful qualities of silk is that it takes the dye so beautifully, and is very vibrant, yet still feminine. The other lovely thing about silk ribbon is that it is so beautiful even the most basic stitches such as Lazy Daisy, Straight Stitch and French Knots.


silk ribbon worked flowers and leaves

Silk Gardens Purse


This purse appeared in the March/ April 2007 issue of PieceWork Magazine. I wrote an article on silk fabrics, and this piece was included as a project. Here I have used primarily ribbon worked flowers made from Hanah Silk Ribbons with a few silk ribbon embroidered stitches.

If you would like to view a few other projects see my website for Samples of Silk Ribbon Embroidery.

Enjoy what you do, Christen



Rosette Corsage Medley- ribbon worked flowers

Rosette Corsage Medley- ribbon worked flowers

Rosette Corsage Medley- ribbon worked flowers

This is a sampling of some of my favorite corsages and by changing the colors and leaves they each have a unique look. These corsages all are made from French Wire Ribbon. The flower is from my Petals and Posies 1 pattern, the leaves are from a variety of patterns. A smaller version can be made with my One Hour Flower Corsage pattern.

Starting from the top left:

  • The flower is made from a 3″ wide vintage French ombre ribbon with vintage velvet leaves and a vintage glass button center.
  • The flower is made from Red & Persimmon Stripes with Dark to Medium to Light Olive Green Ombre French Wire Ribbon the center is full of stamens with a glass button.
  • The flower is made from French Wire Ribbon with a velvet rosette and vintage button for the center and vintage stamens. The leaf is made from 3-1/2″ wide French wire ribbon.

Happy Stitching, Christen

Lobelia Corsage- ribbon work flower pin

Lobelia Corsage

Lobelia Corsage

I have long admired Candace Kling’s work, and I often peruse through her book The Artful Ribbon it is such a beautiful book, and it makes me happy just looking through it.

The flower here is of my own design, similar to the Cloche Rose,but made from silk ribbon rather than French wire. The leaf is from an article that Candace wrote for PieceWork Magazine July/August 1997 (which is no longer in print), but you may find something similar in vintage millinery books.

The flower is made from my selection of Hanah Silk Ribbon and the leaf from Grosgrain Ribbon.

Happy stitching, and enjoy your creative adventures! Christen