Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Roses and Pearls ribbon embroidery kit

Me and my boyfriend's mum went to a fantastic craft show at the Glasgow SECC a couple weekends ago. There were over a hundred stalls of supplies, yarn, needles, felting, beading, tatting, lace-making, weaving, quilting, and pretty much every other craft under the sun.  It was an amazing afternoon, and if you get a chance to go to one of these events I can't recommend it enough! While we were there I not only super inspired by some of the embroidery on display (and I'll be posting the results of that in a few days!), I also met a lovely lady selling the most beautiful embroidery kits I had ever seen.

Lorna Bateman has an online shop and an Etsy where she sells kits, supplies, and all the accoutrement associated with ribbon embroidery. I had never done any ribbon embroidery before, but I've been very keen to try, and when I saw what she was making I knew I had to have a go myself! So I've finished it now, and couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. It isn't perfect, but for my first try I think it's pretty good! To help you get a sense of the size, the hoop it's mounted in up there is 4". So sweet and tiny! I thought it would be good to do a little review of the kit too, for anyone else interested in ribbon embroidery. So here we go! (*Note: I was not given this kit to review, my boyfriend's mum very kindly bought it for me {shout out to Jane!}, but I would have spent my own money on it otherwise. No compensation or anything given!)

PP13 Roses and Pearls Pincushion Kit (pink). I requested that the pincushion base be removed, since I knew I couldn't bear to use it as a pincushion, and Lorna kindly removed the cost from the price of mine. It's listed as for beginners of silk embroidery, and I think that's fair, but I think if you were a total beginner in all embroidery you'd have a harder time with it.

  • Two cards of 5 metres of silk ribbon (pink and green)
  • Full instructions, a diagram of the design, diagrams of the stitches used
  • Square of linen with the design printed onto it
  • Square of cotton backing
  • Five needles of various types
  • Matching standard embroidery floss (for preparing the roses)
  • Photograph of the finished item
The kit does not include the hoop it is worked on.

First and foremost, it's totally beautiful! I love the results, I'm so pleased. Even though I can obviously see the mistakes I've made, I'm very happy with how it turned out overall. I also love that she includes all of the needles needed in the kit, even the standard embroidery needle. It wasn't too difficult, and there are only a few stitches used, but it gives a very effective result and looks like it was a lot more difficult than it was! It was a very fun project, and I feel like I've dipped my toes into ribbon embroidery without having to figure out all of the supplies and designs for myself. 

The first downside I can think of is the price. It isn't exorbitant (especially without the pincushion base), and as someone who sells embroidery myself I understand the artistry and effort that has gone into making these kits. I also know ribbon embroidery can be expensive, as you need to use pure silk. All that being said, for a beginner, it still seems like quite a bit to pay for a finished item that's so small. The other small issue is that while you have quite a bit of the green ribbon left over, you really do use every scrap of the pink ribbon. If you mess up a rose or a bud, you can't snip it off and try again. I was warned of this when I bought this (Lorna specified that I should practice roses with the green before I tried with the pink; I did not do this at all because I am me.), but if you're not buying it in person it isn't made that clear. So, fair warning!

What do you think of my first attempt at ribbon embroidery? Do you think you'd like to give it a try?

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