Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon – Book Review


Amazon Books

Oh my goodness. The words that come to mind! Lavish, Lovely, Luscious – Di van Niekerk and Marina Zherdeva’s new silk ribbon embroidery book, Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon is all of the above!

For silk ribbon embroidery enthusiasts, I’m pretty certain all of Di’s books are a must for your bookshelves. But silk ribbon embroidery – and the techniques found in this book that I’m reviewing today – goes beyond just the SRE enthusiast.

If you are a crazy quilter, if you love stumpwork and three-dimensional embroidery techniques, if you are a flower enthusiast, if you just like pretty things – this book will draw you in and teach you much!

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

First off, like all of Di’s books, this one is a beauty. It’s one of those books you can leave out on your coffee table, that people who aren’t remotely interested in embroidery will browse through and take delight in.

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

The photos, the colors, the abundance – the book is mesmerizing!

But the great thing is that Di & Marina combine a gloriously beautiful book with solid instruction. That’s a win-win combination for me. I love to look at books, but even more so, I love to read them and learn from them.

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

The first part of the book is devoted to the basics, including the materials you’ll need for silk & organza ribbon embroidery.

Di covers all the tools and equipment, the types of fabric, needles, ribbons (and where to find them) – everything you need to get started, with clear tips and resource information.

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

For adventuring forth in this type of silk ribbon embroidery, you’ll find some items on the list that are a little different from your typical hand embroidery excursion. For example, a glue stick!

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

After covering all the needful supplies, the authors go on to explain the basics of silk ribbon embroidery, and this is all done with clear text and precise, step-by-step photos.

So even though the projects in this book look elaborate and advanced, I think the newbie to silk ribbon embroidery can definitely venture in, too. All the basics are covered, so if you’re just starting out, you’ll have the foundation information you need to approach the projects in the book.

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

They also cover techniques that are a little different, when compared to most silk ribbon embroidery instructional books. They show you how to use wires effectively (great tips here for stumpwork embroiderers, too!), how to make seed pods, how to measure things and make butterfly wings. Lots of neat little tricks, all mapped out step-by-step.

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

And then…the projects! They’re all flowers – narcissus, poppies, chamomiles, a rose wreath, strawberry blossoms, a ring of daisies, double roses and blue violets, wild roses and pink blossoms!

Each project begins with a full, up close, colored photo of the finished design, gorgeously executed.

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

We’re given a line drawing for the design transfer and a thorough materials list.

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

And then, we’re taken step-by-step through the entire project with photos and text, so that we can re-create the design with confidence.

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

It’s pretty much as close as you can get to having the teacher with you, without having the teacher with you!

The projects begin from the beginning – from the set up of the whole project – and take you all the way to the finishing.

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

I thought the narcissus and the poppies were my absolute favorites in the book…

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

…until I saw the chamomile.

And my heart melted.

Each project is more beautiful than the one before, but I am partial to the chamomile. I’ve put it on my List.

Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon - Di van Niekerk

The book ends with a stitch dictionary devoted to the various ribbon embroidery (and regular embroidery) stitches that you’ll use in the projects.

And there it is, my friends – another glorious book from Di van Niekerk!

Where to Find It

You can find Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon available through the following book affiliates:

In the US, Little Flowers in Silk & Organza Ribbon is available here through Amazon.

Worldwide with free shipping, you’ll find Little Flowers through Book Depository.


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(24) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    I really like silk ribbon embroidery and the photos above are just beautiful. it’s hard to chose my favourite from the photos above because they are all so lovely. I particularly like the the step by step stitch directory that is always so helpful when you are starting a new approach to embroidery. But the overall book looks very informative and instructional that it is definitely going on my wish list. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful book with us.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. I tried ribbon embroidery a bunch of years ago. I can’t say that I liked it as much as regular embroidery. It is too fiddly and un-forgiving for me. I do like to look at photos of it though. 🙂

  3. Well, you did it Mary. You really should get a commission. LOL. I’ve been drooling over this book for a long, long while now, before it was ever printed. I’ve come close, and just not quite (slapping my hand as I reached for that “put in cart” button) buying it. Well, you put me over the top today, I just could not resist any longer. I will be getting it in the mail soon. LOL. Lovely review. Thanks

  4. As a French speaker, i understand English pretty well, but I do not always what abbreviations stand for. Could you please tell me what SRE means.

  5. How do you frame pieces like this, or don’t you? I’d hate to put work into something like that and worry about it getting dusty. A big box frame, I guess?

  6. Stunning ! Always look forward to the new embroidery ideas and books you share with us ! Ribbon embroidery another fun thing to look forward to learning.
    Stumpwork still gets my full attention when I see it. Always happy when you show stumpwork too! Appreciate the time you spend in managing your website! Very easy to navigate through!! Thx Mary!

    1. Hi, Lorna – if you follow the Book Depository link, you’ll see it’s available there and ships in one to two days. They have free shipping worldwide, the price is about the same, and books usually arrive in the US within 5-7 business days. – MC

  7. Dear Marie,
    I never realized ribbon embroidery and I don’t know if it is “easy”,I have many problems with English, but this new book is very beautiful.
    Thank you for the beautiful picture and thank you for easy sprint for monograms.

  8. Hi Mary,
    Thank you for reviewing Di’s Little Flowers book. I haven’t bought this one yet but I’d like to say that having bought Part 1 of the embroidery and stumpwork kit for her RES (Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork)directly from her I can attest to her fantastic customer service and helpful attitude. She and Renn (who is her sister-in-law) are both just about the loveliest people ever. I also own the RES video part 1 and the RES book. Everything is very helpful and as a newbie embroiderer and stumpworker I find her instructions easy to follow. Her handpainted ribbons are to die for as well.

    Just in closing – the only thing I haven’t been able to find in the US for stumpwork is the water based anti-fray liquid. Di sells it on her site, so that is a must to order from her while you’re ordering anyway. Shipping is quick to the US from South Africa.

  9. Drat! I just got one of the books from my wish list (today) and was congratulating myself and now I’m going to be adding this one onto that list. I’m never going to get it whittled down if you keep reviewing such tempting books!!

  10. I recently had my computer develop some type of glitch and have lost my download of “Lavender, Honey and Other Little Things. Is it still possible to download it again? I hope I’m within the time limit. Please advise.

  11. I have seen this book on Di’s blog and resisted, get thee behind me, Satan and so on. But you, Mary, you have caused all sorts of troubles and tribulations with this splendiferous review. Of course I had to buy the book. And now I will have to justify said purchase – not to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he says if I need a book even if it is only to look at the pictures then it’s OK with him, but with my own sense of the ridiculous. I am never going to make such gorgeous creations as these, but oh, they are gorgeous, aren’t they? And isn’t that justification enough for anybody?

  12. I just bought this book in May after taking a Royal School of Needlework Ribbonwork Day Class in San Francisco with Sophie Long. The embroidery shop there Forever Embroidery Studio was selling it along with many other stunning books. Sophie was an amazing tutor and has been working with larger ribbons too. The book and class was very inspirational.


  14. I love this little book…the flowers are simply beautiful…Good job Mary. I love getting your emails…

    1. I wouldn’t make it your first silk ribbon embroidery book. If you haven’t done silk ribbon embroidery before, you might start with a book specifically for beginners. But then, of course, it all depends on how determined you are to accomplish the ideas in the book!

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