Friday April 27 2012
For almost two years I've been wanting to make smocked balls embellished with ribbon pansies. (See the ribbon pansy tutorials on the following pages.)
This month I finally found myself in a store that sold silk ribbon. They didn't have any ribbon in the colour range I was interested in so I bought the only one that seemed at all suitable for pansies. I was happy with the way the two yellow and magenta pansies turned out but the colour is not going to be suitable for the project I have in mind. (I think the colours in my mind are inspired by my mother's Old Country Roses china.) I overdyed the ribbon with some diluted red tole paint and made two more pansies. They are more like what I envisioned, but I'll keep looking and experimenting to see if I can come even closer.
In the meantime ... I played with making some melted fabric flowers. I didn't have a lot of suitable (polyester) fabric on hand but I have to say that these little flowers are a bit addictive. If I can't get the silk ribbon pansies to work I just might use melted fabric flowers to embellish smocked balls instead.
Tuesday May 1 2012
Yesterday I decided that if I am going to order more ribbon to pursue this project I should do a quick mock up, especially since I suspected that the pansies made from the 5/8" ribbon would be too large for the for the 2.5" balls I want to use. (This Hanah silk ribbon also comes in 7/16".) So I over dyed one of the yellow and magenta pansies and made another leaf. This morning when I pinned the pansies and leaves to a ball and I was surprised to discover that the pansies are a good fit. I'm also very pleased with the overall look of this prototype because when I originally thought of putting pansies on a smocked ball I thought the "flower arranging" might be the most challenging part.
(You don't want know how many times I've dug around in drawers and cupboards to find a suitable stand to steady a ball ornament while I photograph it. This morning it occurred to me that the silver ring I wear on my right pinky is all the stand that I have ever needed!)
The colours of the above photos, on my monitor, are fairly true to life. (The midtones of the flowers are similar to DMC 3801.) I wish I could say the same for the one below. Oh well, this one gives a good view of the "flower arrangement".
And I'm very happy with this third leaf. With the previous ones I stitched right to the edge of the fold and then found that the strain made the point fray. With this one I ended the seam a bit below the edge. It didn't fray and it is more rounded, like a real pansy leaf.
I'm not sure how I'll finish the center of the pansies yet. The pin poked through the gold bead and black circle was good enough for the quick prototype but I'll probably use a loop or knot of yellow gold ribbon.
The pansy on the left is the one that I over dyed. The pansy on the right is the first one I made by dying the ribbon before I constructed the pansy. I overworked the ribbon when I was removing the excess dye and the edges are very frayed. I won't make that mistake again. (I do prefer to dye the ribbon and not the finished pansy because if I stretch the ribbon when it is still wet it dries a bit narrower and because, when done gently, it makes the ribbon less apt to fray.)
Originally I envisioned this project using white fabric with white smocking and either gold beads or thin green or gold ribbon woven into the smocking. Now I'm thinking that even that will be too busy so I'll probably try it first with pearl beads or white ribbon. I should play with that while I'm waiting to get some more ribbon. I'm not looking forward to marking and gathering the fabric but I've had some thoughts on how I might make the marking easier...
Thursday May 3 2012
After unsuccessfully trying to correct the colour of the top view photo I played with the photo editor a bit.
Oh how I wish I wasn't shopping for ribbon online. What fun I could have if I was turned loose in a ribbon store! (Or even just a store with a great selection of fabric dye.)