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How to embroider a landscape in ribbon embroidery – Chapter 1

How to embroider a landscape in ribbon embroidery

Chapter 1

♪♫•*¨*• Hi everybody! I hope you have had a good week. It’s COLD in Cape Town and everyone is so thankful for the lovely rain which we so desperately need. Our dams are still too low for the summer season. Cape Town has had a rough time with the drought!

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 A New Tutorial: How to embroider a landscape in ribbon embroidery – Chapter 1


Today I want to show you how to embroider a panel from the Magical Garden Collection – a gorgeous series of embroidery panels, simply perfect for silk ribbon embroidery. There are six stunning fabric panels to choose from and although it was difficult for me to pick one (they are all so beautiful), I started with Pink Delight! I just love the colours and the pink roses in the foreground and the standard rose bush and the trees in the far distance… and I thought it would be helpful if I showed you the steps that I followed as the landscape develops. I have concentrated mainly on the beginner to ribbon embroidery and this is chapter 1. 

I will be using my own range of ribbons and will supply the codes as I progress. The threads that I have chosen are from the DMC Color Variations, Rajmahal Art. Silks and Maxi-Mouline threads. I will be also be using bouclé yarns, amongst others, some woolly fibres and will explain everything as I progress. 

This is a fun, colourful project and if you would like to follow the step-by-step tutorials for this lovely panel, you are welcome to purchase the embroidery panel or the complete Pink Delight KIT with all the ribbons, threads and fibres via my website here

If you need to purchase needles, we now have a very useful multipurpose pack of needles, especially for ribbon embroidery and stumpwork.   


Pink Delight. Step by step.

Step 1.  Start with the tree trunks and branches in the background 

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The tree trunks and branches are formed with grey and charcoal bouclé wool. Thread up with the darker shade of charcoal and use a short 25 cm (10”) length on a size 18 or 20 Chenille needle. Starting with the larger trunks first, come up at the base of the tree and work upwards to form the heavy tree trunks. Use long stem stitches. The stitches are about 19 mm (¾”) long. 


Make a second row of stem stitch close to the previous row, adding a third row (if necessary) to form a heavier texture.

The smaller and thinner branches and stems are made with light and dark shades of grey and charcoal wool and use straight stitch and fly stitch.

For the light brown tree trunks/branches use two strands of DMC 4145 and make rows of stem stitch close together, as you did before. Add a few straight stitches here and there as shown in the photograph above.

Step 2. Make the curly leaves

Step2-Curly leaves

Thread up with two strands of 4045 green and make loose French knots to form the green curly leaves. Wrap thread two or three times around your needle.

Hint: To form loose, frilly knots, be sure not to tighten the wraps around the needle before taking it to the back of your work. Hold the loose wraps when you take the needle and thread to the back and you will see how they make lovely circular shapes. Ideal for filling in background detail.

Add some normal French knot knots to form the tiny round leaves. Wrap the thread twice around your needle, wrapping it tighter than you did before and then take the needle to the back of your work.

Change to thread 4145 (one or two strands) and fill in the brown leaves between the brighter green ones. Add a few fly stitches here and there.

Step 3. Make the fluffy trees


Use the avocado green woolly fibre, spread it out to form a thin layer and place on top of the tree on the left. Use 1 strand of 4045 and tiny stab stitches spaced about 10 mm or 3/8” apart. Use the point of your needle to gently pull the woolly fibre over the stitches to cover them.

Repeat for the tree on the right. Use one or two strands of thread 4145 and make some loose French knots on the fibre to complete this section.

Step 4. Make the yellow, white and green tree

Use the Rajmahal. Art Silks to form the yellow and white frilly texture first. Rajmahal Art. Silk thread lends itself particularly well to loose French knots that give it this interesting frilly effect. 


Thread up with 1 strand of Rajmahal 261 and make the yellow French knots first. Wrap thread loosely around your needle two or three times before taking it to the back of your work. Repeat the technique with the no. 96 white Rajmahal thread to add the white highlights.

Then change to one strand of 729 green thread and add the apple green leaves in the same way. To make smaller round leaves, tighten the wraps around your needle before taking it to the back of your work.

You could also use the same green thread and add a few fly stitches and straight stitches here and there to form the twigs between the leaves. 

Step 5. Make the dark shadows under the trees

Step 5A. Thread up with two strands of 812 dark green and working from the woolly trees downwards, use fly stitch or feather stitch to form the dark green shadows. And a few straight stitches here and there for more texture.

Step5-dark shadows

Step 5B. Thread up with one strand of 814 dark brown and repeat for the shadows under the yellow and green tree. 

Step 6. Form the branches for the hedge


Use one strand of 812 and fill in some branches with Feather stitch or fly stitch as you did in step 5A.

Change to 814 brown (one strand) and add a few loose French knots to create dark shadows as shown in step 4.

Use the charcoal bouclé wool and make a few straight stitches and fly stitches to form the dark grey branches.

Step 7. Make the Rose Bush


Step 7A. Make the rose stem with a whipped backstitch. Thread up with 6 strands of 812 dark green and make backstitches that are about 3 mm (1/8”) long. With the same thread, whip the back stitches on your return journey and end off at the back. 

Step 7B. Make the branches 

With the same thread (use all six strands) come up again to make the thick branches appearing above the stem in straight stitch and then end off at the back of your work. Change to two strands of (812) thread and make the thinner branches in the same way. Then use one or two strands of 814 dark brown, or use the charcoal bouclé wool and form the dark branches in straight stitch.


Step 7C. Make the supporting pole 

Cut a 40cm piece of the thin brown yarn and thread up on a size 18 chenille needle. Make the pole as follows: Work from the bottom upwards and make two long straight stitches alongside one another. The stitches are the length of the pole. 


Then, come up at the base of the pole and insert your needle under both straight stitches at the same time (without inserting the needle into the fabric). Keep wrapping the yarn around the two straight stitches as neatly as possible.

Hint: When yarn starts to twist too much, turn your work upside down and allow the needle to hang off your work to unwind.

At the top of the pole, take your needle and thread to the back and end off.  Thread up with a short piece and make the knots that tie the rose stem and pole together. Insert needle close to the stem, come up alongside the pole and remove needle to tie a small knot. Trim the yarn to form a neat tie. Repeat again for the second tie.

Step 7D. Make the leaves in the dark shadows above the pole

Thread up with two strands of 806 green and make the straight leaves in fly stitch and straight stitch. Change to two strands of 4145 (autumn shades) and make the curly brown leaves as you did in step 2. Make loose French knots wrapping thread two or three times around the needle. Add some green leaves, in the same way, using two strands of 4045. 

Step 8. Make the edges of the lawn and the paving stones

Use one or two strands of the following brown/green threads:

823, 4145, 806 and make the edge of the lawn with small French knots, straight stitches and pistil stitches.  

Steps 8 and 9


Between the paving stones, use a straight stitch and small French knots to make the grass.

Work at the base of the flower beds too. Use longer upright straight stitches and fly stitches to form the longer blades of grass. This will form some of the flower stems at the same time.


Step-9-flower K

Step 9. Start with the flower bed (Flower K) 

Use 1 strand of 4045 and make long straight stitches to form the thin pointed leaves of flower K. Add a few pistil stitches along the edge of the path. This will help to create the shadows for later. Further detail will be added in chapter 2 which will be released soon. 

Step-10Step 10. Make the Lavender

This step will follow in part 2 which will be released soon.


Step 11. The stems of flower N

With the thin brown yarn or with all six strands of thread 823, make the long stems of the Delphiniums in straight stitch. Use a tight tension as you stitch so the stems are not too loose on the fabric. You can couch the stems with the same thread if the stems are too loose on the fabric. The blue Delphinium flowers will be made in part 2 which will be released soon.

Step 12. Make the stems for flower Q

Thread up with two strands of thread 812 and make the long stems of the pink Salvia as you did for step 11 above.


I do hope that you enjoyed this little lesson and that you will enjoy making this beautiful landscape with me. I am really having fun! In Chapter 2, I will show you how to make lovely flowers with silk ribbon.

Till next time… wishing you a HAPPY WEEK.

Chapter 2 can be followed here.