Saturday, March 15, 2014

Silk Satin Ribbon Dyed with RibbonSmyth Silk Dyes

Wouldn't these ribbons be great for an heirloom project? This is 1/2" wide double-faced silk satin ribbon dyed in pastel shades of pink, honey gold and lavender. And it feels divine. I can see rolled ribbon roses for a gown, or used as sashes for a flower girl's gown, or streamers for flowers. I dyed this yardage, using our RibbonSmyth NON-TOXIC dyes formuated for silk.

RibbonSmyth Rainbow Dyed Rayon Leaf Yardage

Dyed rayon yardage, using our Rainbow dyes, formulated for rayon. After 18 years of dyeing fibers and fabric, I still enjoy every minute of the dyeing process. Dyeing is "intuitive" and no matter how I try to change palettes, the vintage colorway is the only one that appeals. Vintage shades add an elegance and softness that cannot be achieved with the hard, jewel tones that come straight out of the dye bottle. Each one of my dyed pieces are acheived with a blend of three different dyes. Any cq block automatically achieves a look of "age" with an "heirloom" quality, when creating a crazy quilt block.
   I've been collecting denim jackets in a variety of sizes, and just purchased a deep crimson silk velvet jacket. I'm hoping to embellish all the pieces and wear several while I'm teaching at the Art Is You Retreat this fall. I've a collection of laces that I hope to collage onto all the wearable pieces. And I hope this trim will work with the crimson velvet jacket. It should make a beautiful edgeing to the bottom of the jacket and around the sleeves. The trim featured above, is 4 inches wide. I want the collage/shabby chic feel for the jacket. My vision is that the entire jacket will be covered with netting from an old flapper gown, with overlays of a variety of lace and crochet pieces. All the pieces will be dyed together in a monocromatic shade to match  the lace featured above. And then the jacket will be finished with bits of small velvet ribbons and a rhinestone brooch. I can "see" the completed jacket. Now the fun to bring the piece into the physical form. I can't turn down a denim  jacket at the thrift store. I keep buying them! I hope the pieces I bring to "Art is You" will sell.  A denim jacket is simply the best base piece for collage.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Buttonhole Silk Twist now on our Etsy Site!

All our RibbonSmyth Buttonhole Silk Twist will now be on our Etsy site.  Our filament silk twist was dyed for us and comes on 23 meter paddles. It's a great thread to add to your stash.   3 packs in 3 different colors, are available on our RibbonSmyth etsy site at 
 As the studio is revamped, the etsy site inventory will greatly increase.

Crazy Quilt Scissor Fob and Weekend Sale!

Our RibbonSmyth 20% off Weekend Sale ends midnight Monday, February 24th at Any order of $25 or more, receives an automatic 20% discount.
Featured is a small 2 3/4" crazy quilt scissor fob, made years ago using our double-sided adhesive cardboard disks. These disks are versatile pieces to use for brooches and for small projects.
I pieced several tiny scrap pieces and then using French knots, the Feather Stitch and Bullion Lazy Daisy stitch, embroidered around a 1950's Japanese hand-blown flower, using 4mm silk ribbon. The adhesive paper was removed off the disk and  the stitched fabric was pressed onto the disk. The back of the disk was covered with moire fabric and ecru cording was glued around the finished embroidery. A great little project for basic ribbon embroidery stitches.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Blue Jean crazy quilt block

Close-up of the blue jean patch and a few buttons.

Beginning Blue Jean Nine-Block Crazy Quilt

I had kept a pair of very old blue jeans, due to the velvet embroidery on both legs. I cut the motifs into 9 pieces and then pieced them onto a vintage piece of baby flannel. I've used silk doupioni and velvet pieces from our doupioni and velvet assortment packs. I will ultimately cut the blocks to 7"x9" pieces. The plan is only to stitch the Herringbone stitch on each seam, using lime green Scalamandre silk and then add seed beads to the Herringbone stitches. Will add groups of buttons where each piece of fabric intersects and that will complete each block. Not "embellishing" will be the exercise. The stitches are a bit "shaky". I worked on the stitches, sitting near a door in our sunroom, during the latest ice storm, while we had no power.
I have a heavy vintage crimson damask drapery panel that I would like to use for the border and the backing fabric. Time to cut up the panel and get it out of the trunk, where it has sat for two decades. I think it would be great to have one small wall-
hanging, where I could look at some of the buttons that have been collected for so many years. Time to use my collections of "everything" or move them on to the next "gatherers"!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rittenhouse Square Color Pencil Sketch

Because I spent time at a Phildelphia Hospital during the month of December, this is a colored pencil sketch of downtown Philadelphia with many twinkling lights in the parks beneath the high-rise buildings. I passed this part of Philly at night on the way back to the farm from the City.  I don't think the sketch is finished.

A heart for Joan

I'm working on a collection of little hearts for my newsletter, that hopefully will get broadcast tonight.
This is a 4" wool heart that I made tonight for my friend. Joan lost her husband undexpectedly this time last year. I want her to know she is surrounded in love. Joan works with breast cancer patients and started taking classes here at the studio two decades ago. She was an ardent supporter of the ArtBra Calendar project.  Last year, Joan's heart offering was a deep crimson silk velvet trimmed with bias-cut roses.
The 4" x 4" heart above is a deep fuschia pink wool, embroidered with one color of variegated 4mm silk  ribbon in pinks, yellows, corals and greens. I used the Spider Web Rose, the French Knot and the gathered Frilly flower. I added a gold brass charm and 2mm pearls. The fuschia wool was cut from a blazer that I found in a little thrift store in Sedona, Arizona. Just love the color. After creating the embroidery, I used the RibbonSmyth variegated silk twist to do the feather stitch around the edge of the wool. Then I "pinked" the edges of the wool and tacked the two wool pieces together and stuffed with fiberfill. The little heart will ship tomorrow.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Velvet heart collage complete

Simply the best to take a vision and turn it into a physical piece!

Velvet heart collage with embellishments

This photo close-up shows the basted collage silk georgette pieces and the bullion fringe pieces with old French lime green sequins.