This page is intended to gather together any hints and tips I discover/find and I hope they may useful to other stitchers too. If they are from another web page/blog etc I will include a link. All those without a link are my own words of wisdom!!
1. I have recently been stitching into a piece of fabric with a photo transfer on it which has stiffened the fabric. Although it has not been hard to stitch into I have found that silk ribbon is damaged by pulling it through. I have resolved this by using more satin and rayon ribbons and only using the silk for surface techniques but I did find a way of using the damaged ribbon and thought I should share this as it often happens if you have to undo a stitch and it is a shame to waste expensive ribbon. If you use the damaged/slightly shreded piece of ribbon to make french knots they turn out fine. You've probably already thought of this but if not give it a go.
2. In another piece I couldn't find just the right colour for some Cornflowers so I dyed my own using silk paint. If you would like to try this you need - silk or rayon ribbon, an empty large plastic bottle (lemonade size) with the labels removed, silk paint, paint brush, plastic pot and water.
a) Secure the end of the ribbon to the top of the bottle with masking tape and then wrap the ribbon around the bottle. Secure the other end with masking tape.
b) Pour a little silk paint into the plastic pot and add water to dilute. The amount will depend on how deep you would like your colour to be. If you want a very bright colour do not add any water.
c) Using the paint brush, apply the paint to the ribbon. Depending on how much water you have added it will flow along the ribbon. Keep adding paint until all the ribbon is coloured then leave to dry. The ribbon does not need to be evenly coloured along its length as the slight variations in colour can be very attractive.
d) When dry, remove from the bottle place between two sheets of paper and iron to set the paint.
e) Use and enjoy.
Using Rayon Ribbon to create tree bark
Varigated rayon ribbon can be used to create very realistic tree bark for a landscape. Simply paint the ribbon as described above and then thread a thickish knitting yarn down the middle of a length of ribbon. Ruche it up and couch in place. You will need a longer length than you may think so don't cut it too short. See photos below - the right hand one is a detail from a larger embroidery showing the stuffed ribbon used to create a large tree trunk with added foliage worked in free machine embroidery on soluble fabric.