Olive Owl by Lena Thiel from Sweden


Hello stitching world 🙂

Today I have a beautiful project to share with you, created by Lena Thiel from Sweden.

Lena made this remarkable iPad cover by combining silk ribbon embroidery, thread work and felting — an outstanding fusion of crafts and I thought that you would enjoy seeing her creation.

This piece Lena entered in the International Silk Ribbon Embroidery Competition and it was one of the winning entries. 


Lena Thiel from Sweden


Lena wrote:

My name is Lena Thiel and I live in Sweden with my family. I have always been working with my hands. After school I went for Art education here in Sweden, and also followed a two year distance course at OPUS School of Art, London, England.


I work with many different handicraft techniques of which silk ribbon embroidery is one. I enjoy to mix different techniques in my work. I also like sewing, crochet teddy bears, making dolls, make creations with pearls and free machine embroidery.


My inspiration comes from everywhere and from anything.


It can be something I see in a paper or on the Internet. But also when I visit exhibitions or fairs. This picture of me was taken in my garden. The first time I found out about silk ribbon embroidery was some time around 1995. It was a shop here in Sweden that presented ribbon embroidery courses which I attended over weekends.




OLIVE- by Cori Dantini from the USA


For this challenge I chose to do Olive, the owl and I wanted to make something special, so I decided to do the embroidery on a felted IPAD case, which I also made myself.


I used merino wool roving in different colours and made the felted pieces using hot water and soap. First I made a simple sketch to plan my project.


I made a special pocket on the front of the case, where I could place the owl and sew him to the IPAD case. I used mostly silk ribbon to embroider and create my owl.






Click on images to enlarge

1 iPad cover with silk ribbon on felt by Lena Thiel from Sweden



Here is the felted background that Lena made…  and then she embroidered onto the printed panel of Olive Owl (which we print onto pure cotton fabric.)


3 felted background  by Lena Thiel from Sweden




Lena worked from a sketch that she drew and swatches of my silk ribbons and DMC threads. Don’t you just love this concept? I think it is so colourful 🙂



Click on the image to enlarge


4 Lena's Sketch




And here is the completed piece ♫♥♫



4 iPad cover with silk ribbon on felt by Lena Thiel from Sweden




Lena used simple stitches to embroider Olive the owl, mainly straight stitch and ribbon stitch and it looks like she used whipped back stitch or whipped chain stitch for the branch. 


Here is the list of ribbons and threads that she used. The felted wool background was made with  Merino wool in different colours, used for felting with water.


List of Ribbons and Threads used by Lena Thiel.

Di van Niekerk’s Silk Ribbons:

2 mm, nr: 86

2 mm, nr: 103

4 mm, nr: 26

4 mm, nr: 51

4 mm, nr: 77

4 mm, nr: 80

4 mm, nr: 82

4 mm, nr: 90

4 mm, nr: 91

4 mm, nr: 99

7 mm, nr: 79

7 mm, nr: 103

7 mm, nr: 117

DMC thread:

Nr: 310

Nr: 372

Nr: 606

Nr: 725

Nr: 754

Nr: 758

Nr: 3348

Nr: 3774



I hope that you were inspired by this beautiful creation. Thank you Lena for sharing your wonderful talent with us.

I will show more projects soon and you are welcome to subscribe for free to stay in touch with the latest news.

Have a wonderful week. It is very cold and windy in Cape Town and winter has arrived on our shores….. perfect embroidery weather!


Happy stitching




4 thoughts on “Olive Owl by Lena Thiel from Sweden”

  1. Wonderful and so inspiring! To be able to combine all those elements to get such a result take a great deal of talent, and yet with this as inspiration, we newbies might be able to get something we are proud of as well. Thank you Lena and Di, for sharing Olive with us!

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