Ribbon Embroidery with Mary Jo Hiney – via Craftsy

Well, the first of the gifts I posted has been received, so I finally have something new to share with you.

A few months ago, I decided to try my hand at something new, so at the recommendation of my friend Lori, I took a Craftsy class in ribbon embroidery, run by Mary Jo Hiney. Full disclosure: this is by far the most expensive thing I’ve ever gotten involved with via Craftsy. This is only because I bought all the class kits from Mary Jo Hiney Designs. I still have no idea where I can buy silk ribbon locally, and given the amount and varieties required for these projects, it was much easier just to buy the kits. These are the first three lessons, so I’ve still got a whole lot more to play with.embroibering with ribbon mary jo hiney cone flower

I’m so pleased that I was slightly lazy and purchased the kits. The ribbon is wonderful! It’s so soft and delicate, and because it’s hand-dyed, there’s such great variation in the color of each piece. Every stitch looks different!embroidering with ribbon mary jo hiney herb and pencil violet

Fortunately, there wasn’t too much of a learning curve on this one. If you can work a needle and thread, you can pick up ribbon embroidery really quickly. The one aspect of this I struggled with most was getting the ribbon to open up once it’s pulled through the fabric, which is especially difficult with the wider ribbons. I also ran in to a few problems accidentally running the needle through previous stiches in the back of the fabric. This pulls the stitches flat, and I found it easier to go back and make a new stitch over the top, then to try and rearrange the existing one.embroidering with ribbon mary io hiney rosebed

All in all, these turned out nicely enough that I was happy to gift them. I sent them to Dad and Goong, who are in the middle of building a house that’s much larger than their condo, and therefore clearly in need of things to decorate with, right? I do really hope that they were being honest when they said they’d have them framed – I didn’t want to get in to framing them myself because I have no idea what would suit in the new house – and find somewhere to put them up.emboridering with ribbon mary jo hiney

Many thanks go to Goong for the above picture of the three pieces together.  I love how she laid them out, and she kindly agreed to let me post this.

As for the other gift I’m waiting to post about, I made a major mistake on this one. I sent it to some family overseas who are going through a particularly tough time. Unfortunately, I didn’t look up the customs and duty information there, and it turns out that there’s an extremely low threshold before gifts attract taxes. I think it’s ridiculous to have to pay to accept a gift, but now I feel like an idiot for insuring it at a price that covered cost and about $2 an hour in labor. Hopefully it will be returned to me and I’ll send it back without insurance and a much lower declared value. After all, with the number of people selling quilts on Etsy at cost price, I feel that I can easily get that value down without making a false declaration.

Until next time, happy stitching!

– Jane

Roller Queen

Created March, 2013.

Derby Skate

One afternoon while Nick and I were browsing in Grey’s Fabric and Notions, in the South End of Boston, I came across a pack of Roller Derby themed embroidery designs.  Who would have thought that these existed?  I still don’t see much of a link between Derby and sewing, but there’s something out there for everyone – or in this case, for a pair of people.  I had embroidery skills – rusty though they were – and I have a friend who is a member of a team in the Sydney Roller Derby League!  What luck!  Of course, this friend had to choose the team with the camo and red colors, and I really wanted to make something colorful.  Oh well – at least the red adds a little bit of interest.

Roller Queen

I stitched out these two designs on to a piece of linen, and left a wide border so that said friend could use them as patches on whatever she liked.  I have a feeling that they’ve probably ended up under her bed.  I’m a little sad, as I thought they were a neat idea, but given the questionable quality of the workmanship I completely understand her decision.

Just in case her and her teammates were interested I sent an opened packet of the designs along with the patches.  For some reason I’m still not convinced that any of these ladies are in to what Nick so lovingly calls “stitchy stuff,” but people are always surprising.  I’d love to see some of these designs popping up on the team website, but I’m not holding my breath.  Maybe next year I’ll make something that can be incorporated in to my friend’s costume… if that’s what it’s called.  Surely it can’t be a uniform when everyone is wearing something different, can it?