Stitches for Di Van Niekerk’s Circle of Roses

Last month I was able to complete one of my ribbon embroidery and stumpwork (RES) masterpiece, Di Van Niekerk's Circle of Roses.  I have always learned from Di. Her books, kits and DVDs guided me 2 years ago when I started learning silk ribbon embroidery. She is a major inspiration why I do ribbon embroidery and stumpwork. Even if she's in Cape Town, South Africa and I'm in the Philippines, I consider her my teacher, a great mentor.  I was so happy and excited when she announced the  Circle of Roses competition last year and it's an honor to join.

The finished wooden sewing box is a gift item for my husband who cross stitches when he is away to work as a seafarer. Lucky for me, my husband is also is a crafter and understands the passion for it. He is miles away (9 months a year), working on board a tanker vessel ship and he spends his vacant time stitching.

I used Di's Circle of Roses kit, that comes in 2 - A6 size panels complete with gorgeous set of her hand dyed silk ribbons with matching Raj Mahal threads. I also used some DMC threads which are not included in the set, moulines and effects. The design of the roses in wreath is so beautiful and it was printed on a special heirloom white cotton fabric.

The techniques and stitches that I used for making my contest piece are mostly based on Di Van Niekerk's two books, her latest book  Little Flowers and my favorite, Roses in Silk Ribbon and Organza.  For the stitches I often referred to her Ribbon and Embroidery Stumpwork book and her very detailed DVDs.  It was my first time to use beads, candles, wires and do patchwork quilt which is an amazing and fulfilling experience

Completing the Circle of Roses is my most enjoyable ribbon embroidery and stumpwork project to date.  I loved the challenge of learning new techniques to create real life looking roses from Di's wonderful hand dyed silk ribbons.