Silk Ribbon Pansies

Rissa Peace Root 2004

   
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 Pansies are a perpetual favorite.  Pansies and  Violas (also known as  Johnny Jump Ups) have several distinct characteristics which make them easily recognizable, even when rendered in ribbon.  They have five petals in a huge variety of color combinations.  Most often the top three petals are colored differently from the bottom two.  They have striking color combinations of white, blue, yellow, violet and all its mutations.  Often there is a black center, sometimes referred to as an eye.  These characteristics translate especially well into wire ribbon, but you can also do them on a smaller scale with silk ribbon. 
Start by cutting two pieces of 7mm silk ribbon, one piece for the bottom two leaves and one piece for the top three leaves. 

For smaller pansies or violas, I cut them at around 3" and 5".

For most pansies, I cut them at around 4" and 6".  It is not an exact science and there is no mathematical formula like there is with wired ribbon pansies. 
Fold the shorter piece of ribbon into a V shape and pin it at the bottom.  Fold the longer piece of ribbon into three sides of a square and pin at the two corners. 
Take a piece of thread and make a running stitch along the bottom of each piece of ribbon.  You do not need to take great care to keep the stitches even, but make enough stitches that the ribbon will gather well on one side when you pull it tight.
I prefer to use black silk thread for the running stitches, so that I can use it to tack down the ribbon and it will look like radius marks on the pansy.  In this example I used one strand of Eterna Mini-Twist, a 6-stranded silk thread with a slight twist.
Pull the thread from the running stitches tight in order to gather the bottom two petals and tack them into place.  Use long stab stitches to secure each petal and to mimic the radiating eye of the pansy.  I usually make two to three rays per petal. 
Pull the thread from the running stitches tight in order to gather the top three petals and tack them into place as above.   Leave a slight gap or hole in the middle, so that you can fill the eye with knots. 
In this example, I used Size 3 black perle cotton.  formed a small triangle out of three French knots, then placed a double-wrapped French knot in the very center.  Often I use rayon cord to make a large decorative Chinese knot for the center. 

Resources:

Pink Peppercorns 7mm Silk Ribbon
Eterna Silk Mini-Twist
DMC Perle Cotton

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