Saturday, July 11, 2009



This is the little pansy I came up with after some of the HGTV crazy quilting girls asked for a “real looking” silk ribbon pansy. I sat down with needle, thread, 13mm (about ½” wide) silk ribbon, pencil and gridded paper (which I can't seem to live without...), and the result is this fairly simple little pansy.

The three front petals will require about 7” of ribbon (mine is yellow), and the two back petals (purple) will need about 5”.

Illustration #1

Illustration #2

When looking at the above patterns, note that both of the back petals are made from one piece of ribbon, and are separated by the deep upside down “V” at the center of the length of ribbon. Notice, also, that the stitching/gathering line, shown on the pattern with a broken line, is done with one continuous length of thread, so you can gather it.

Using a pencil or a disappearing ink pen, draw a small 3/8” circle where you want your pansy to be. Draw a horizontal line through the center of the circle. Mark a dot in the center of the circle.

Using a very fine needle and thread that matches the silk, make the tiniest gathering stitches you can make, and run the continuous stitch as shown on the pattern, and described above. Draw the gathers up until the gathered edge of the ribbon will fit around the small half-circle that you have drawn. The gathered edge of the ribbon will be toward the center of the half-circle. Use several small stitches to attach the end of the gathered ribbon at the point where the half-circle and the horizontal line meet. Distribute the gathers evenly, being sure that the “V” shape is at the center top of the half-circle. Carefully pull the two center petals apart a little so the “V” between the two petals are a little more obvious. When you are satisfied with the arrangement of the petals, use the threaded needle to very carefully stab stitch the gathers in place all around the line of the upper half-circle. Again, take the time to be sure the gathers are evenly distributed before you tack them in place. The angled tips of the ribbons can be shortened to reduce bulk, and can then be tucked under and tacked in place.

Illustration #3

Illustration #4

Before beginning the yellow set of petals, notice that the three ribbon segments are not the same size. The larger segment will be the large yellow front petal. The two smaller yellow segments will be placed directly in front of, and sightly below the set of purple petals. (Please see Illus. #5 below.) The two yellow petals are the same size and shape as the set of purple petals. Begin your gathering stitches at the end of the yellow ribbon that has the two small segments, then continue your stitches until you've finished with the larger segment. This time you will pull the gathers up only on the segment that has the two small yellow petals, and working in a clockwise direction, fit the petals in place around the center dot in the circle. Using the center dot instead of the outer ring of the circle will automatically drop this second set of petals down below the original purple set. Distribute the gathers evenly; making sure that the “V” between the two yellow petals are aligned with the two purple petals. When you are satisfied with the arrangement of the petals, use a second needle and matching thread to tack the gathers in place. Take several tiny stitches to hold the two upper petals in place, but don't cut the thread. Using the original needle and gathering thread, tightly gather up the remaining large front petal, fold under the angled tip and then take the needle to the center dot and tack it in place. This will make large yellow petal lie in front of the smaller petals. Arrange the gathers as evenly as possible, and tack them in place. Turn under and tack down any of the angled tips that might be showing. If the tips are a little too bulky, you can trim them a little before tacking them in place.

Illustration #5

Illustration #6

You may need to tack the petals down in a couple of places, but do this sparingly, as the stitches can easily distort, and pull the petals out of shape. Often, just doing a little finger pressing will keep the petals in place.

Illustration #7

To finish the pansy you can sew a yellow or gold bead, or a pearl in the center, as shown above. Or, you can make a French knot using four strands of gold embroidery floss for the center, and a fly stitch (or two bullion stitches) for the pansy's little mustache.
The leaves shown above are acrylic “beads” found at local craft stores.

Illustration #8

Cut a 2” length of 7mm green silk ribbon, and fold in half. Start at the folded end of the ribbon, and run a gathering stitch along the narrow selvage edge.

Illustration #9

Pull the thread and gather the ribbon slightly, and then fasten off with a couple of small stitches.

Illustration #10

Turn right side out and finger press the leaf flat. Gather the stem end of the leaf, fastening the thread securely, and then sew in place. Tack the leaf down using as few stitches as needed to do the job.
I hope you will be making lots of these sweet little pansies to make all of your CQ creations even more beautiful!


  1. OH, Carolyn!! This is a awesome tutorial! I am going to print it up and work on my pansies!! Lyn G

  2. Hi ~ I'm one of the newbie's that lurk around on the cq yahoo site. I'm just learning about the blog site & crazy quilting. I wanted to thank you for taking the time to work up this tutorial & sharing - it's just lovely & so inspiring. Thanks again, Robin M

  3. Hello Carolyn, What a wonderful tutorial on SRI pansy. Thank you for sharing. Hugs Judy

  4. Excellent tutorial! I can see the teacher in you hasn't left! Thanks