Simple Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Machine Class Plan

By Susan Schrempf


In this single-session workshop you will learn how save time and effort by using your sewing machine to create basic embroidery stitches that were traditionally sewn by hand. They include Lazy Daisy, Chain, French knot and many more.

Once you get the hang of machine-made embroidery stitches, you'll start using them to grow all types of garden flowers. Maybe you'll want to combine these stitches in a "follow-the-leader" fashion to decorate quilt sashings and borders. You can even add elegant embellishment to crazy quilts. The possibilities are endless and addicting! Use your completed wall hanging as a guide to stitches to use in future projects.

The Ribbon Sampler is a 4-hour workshop designed for sewers of all skill levels. The class can be reduced to 3 hours by eliminating a couple of fancier stitches to save for another workshop.

Simple Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Machine, the textbook for this class, is designed as a complete 4-hour workshop in itself. To teach the class, just follow the lessons in order from the book. Each new lesson builds on the previous lesson and increases in difficulty. Each lesson also includes a traceable diagram, colors and ribbon sizes to be used, with step-by-step photos and instructions. If you haven't taught this method, you will learn it quite easily from the book and will quickly be able to teach the class.

I recommend offering your students a starter kit to purchase with hoop, tools, notions and an assortment of ribbon. You could also build the cost of the kit into the class fee. This leaves fewer decisions for your students to make. Once they learn this method, students will joyfully buy more ribbon and decorative thread to increase their palette. Important: please be sure to acquire the suggested tweezers on page 8.

Make teachers' samples to display together with Simple Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Machine book. Be sure to have a nice collection of silk ribbons close to this display. Hang prepared kits there as well. Separate tools and related notions should be close at hand. Perhaps you may want to prepackage ribbons in themes such as Heirloom (pastels), Christmas, Sunset, Mothers’ Day, Brites, and so on. Make it easy for your customers to sign up and prepare for the class. Lost sales result from asking customers to make too many decisions or look in too many places to find supplies.

This sewing technique works well on lightweight fabric since stitching is on the right side only. I suggest that teachers as well as employees wear sheer scarves to show the versatility and cost effective quality of the art.


  • Required text: Simple Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Machine by Susan Schrempf
  • Sewing machine in good working order
  • Tools and notions and thread as described on pages 8-11 of Simple Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Machine
  • Assortment of 2, 4, and 7mm silk ribbon (pages 11-12)
  • 1 piece of solid pastel cotton 15" x 21"
  • 1 piece solid or print cotton for backing 12 ½"x 18 ½"
  • Ruler - minimum of 20" long
  • WHITE fleece, batting or flannel, cut to 12 ½" x 18 ½"
  • 62" x 1" cotton for binding or a prepared binding of the same length

Important: Make sure you comply with copyright law by having each student purchase her own copy of the book before you give out any handouts taken from the book.

Each chapter/lesson in the book includes a diagram of the stitch students will learn in that lesson. You can make a handout for your students that includes all the stitch diagrams they'll learn during the class. Copy the stitch diagrams from pages 20, 22, 24, 31, 36, 40, 44, 49, 56, and 59 of Simple Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Machine onto an 11" x 17" piece of paper (or tape together two pieces of 8-1/2" x 11" paper to create an 11" x 17" sheet.) Your students can use the handout to trace their stitches onto the larger piece of cotton for practice. Suggestion: You can make an appealing sampler by creating groupings on the handout such as stem stitches, flower stitches etc. The last grouping could be a combination of the simple stitches, or select a design from page 62.
You may also want to create a separate handout for sewing machine setup in preparation for stitching, or ask the students to refer to page 14 of the book.

To the Teacher:
I have discovered that all students expect to achieve perfection right away just because they have a great teacher and instructions. It's important to stress to your students that this is a techniques class. They will not become perfect in one class! Give the student permission to make mistakes and she will hopefully release tension and learn.

To the Student:
Fold and finger press the larger piece of cotton in half, first horizontally, then vertically. Use these folds as a guide, use a disappearing marker to draw a rectangle 12" x 18" centered on the fabric. Trace the sampler handout onto the fabric inside the frame. The extended size of fabric will allow the student to successfully hoop all of the designs, even those close to the edge of the drawn frame. The excess fabric will be cut away ¼" outside of the drawn frame after you finish stitching the silk ribbon sampler. Finish the wallhanging by sandwiching the backing, batting and top. Pin to secure layers. Add quilting stitches if desired or just finish by adding binding in the traditional manner.

Questions? Visit or contact Susan at to ask for a brochure.