Life is indeed a stitch!
Berryhill Heirlooms and Susie Gay present techniques, heirloom sewing, hand embroidery and other musings that you will enjoy and appreciate. Come and join in the fun with Susie, a Home Economist, and savor a little rest from your hectic day...and yes, it's a Degree she uses every day!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Silk Scene Foxgloves

I've been procrastinating continuing on the Silk Scene....a lovely Block of the Month quilt caught my attention as I stitched blocks on my wonderful, old Featherweight. Back to the project at hand: what to stitch next on the Scene. I had planned to stitch something in front of the wall. Foxgloves are tall, colorful and (I thought) easy to do, at least they looked easy in the instruction books: two colors of silk ribbon on top of each other.

First step: put the stalks in with variegated silk buttonhole twist courtesy of Treenway Silks, each a long straight stitch that eventually gets tacked down. Then little Japanese Ribbon Stitch leaves in 4mm ribbon, again from Treenway. You'll notice I put two stalks behind the wall to suggest more perspective as though the flowers were planted around both sides of the wall.
I selected colors that would blend with the roses and the background fabric shading, one light for underneath and one darker for the final stitch, both in 7mm ribbon from my stash. The first, lighter color is a puffy straight stitch. That was easy to do.
I completed the second color (not shown here) but decided the entire stalk of flowers was way too big for the Scene. Way out of I carefully snipped the Big Foxgloves out of the scene and started again with 4mm ribbons. The second stitch (Japanese Ribbon Stitch) was not as easy because it has to be to be centered over the first stitch. And the first stitch has to be mashed down slightly to create a "puff" of color below the second color. My first attempt at this technique was just okay (see below) but I got a little better as I went along. 
The result (above) was much better in proportion! The second color is a darker one done with a Japanese Ribbon Stitch. It's shorter than the lighter one so the light color peaks out below. I used some different color combinations for some of the stalks to look more realistic. Notice the smaller buds ascending the stalk (little straight stitches) with green unopened ones at the top (more silk cord for those in a tiny Lazy Daisy stitch). Every now and then I purposefully pierced the stalk to help hold it in place, and when needed, I couched the stalk.
I like this much better with the smaller 4mm ribbons! Love the sun grazing the surface, too, in the photo.
Here's the big picture...I like the result and learned something new in the process.


  1. Beautiful ribbon embroidery! This will look lovely framed.

    1. Thank you! I think it will look very nice after it's framed...I just have to finish it with smaller flowers and grasses.


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