May Arts Ribbon Blog



The age-old needlework technique of DRAWNWORK is a fresh
vehicle for showcasing ribbon. And the only challenge may be finding a loosely
woven linen, cotton, hopsacking, canvas or even burlap to work with.  I say this because these fabrics are NOT the
same thing as the even-weave fabrics available for counted cross-stitch or
needlepoint.  However, it’s worth the
search because this simple technique can produce fine results.


Ribbon - pillow


  • Pull out several side-by-side threads from the loosely
    woven fabric to create a path that equals the width of the ribbon you have
    chosen. The threads in this linen fabric are rather large and easy to single
    out. They were simply pulled using a toothpick.  A small metal skewer, or crochet hook or darning needle would also work
  • Weave
    the ribbon over and under the remaining exposed threads in a uniform
    pattern.  Masking tape on the
    leading end of the ribbon can firm up the end, facilitating the threading.


Ribbon - pillow


Illustration #1 above, shows a 9” X 9” orange pillow
(or sachet, or pin cushion) that is made of linen with roughly 18 threads per

The 3/8” wide blue satin ribbon, May Arts #BM-04, is woven over 6 threads then under the next 6 until
the course around the square is completed. 
Consult the photo for corner treatments. 
Complete the project by adding a pillow back and stuffing with batting
or sachet.  To create a subtle flange,
before stuffing the pillow, I stitched along both edges of the ribbon.  This made the central area of the pillow puff
up more than the edges, giving the drawnwork a framing effect.


 Ribbon - pillow

Here’s a bonus idea. 
Since I chose to work with a ribbon that has different colors – front and
back, I could use this technique along the edges of a placemat or napkin and
have a second color combination on the reverse side.  See the chocolate brown side of this ribbon
in Illustration # 3. 
Remember to stay-stitch all 4 edges to prevent unintended raveling.


Blog Posted By:  Ellen Highsmith


Don’t Forget To Check Out This Week’s Contest:  Ribbons Of Christmas Past!

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About May Arts

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Ribbon lovers can shop the ribbon seen on the blog at our retail site Ribbon Resource is May Arts' retail store, a fun play off our tagline "The Ribbon Resource".