Memorial Ribbon

by Ramona on May 23, 2014


As I place the American flag outside the front door every day, I stop briefly to remember those who have served to keep our freedoms on this soil. This weekend I’ll take an extra moment.

Probably like you, our family has many members who have proudly served in our armed forces. A couple of years ago I was doing some genealogy research, and with the help of someone I was able to discover that our father’s side of the family actually goes back to two Waddell brothers who served at the time of the Revolutionary War; one under General George Washington and one under General Cornwallis. Since then there have been family members serving during times of every single war or conflict. My father served during the Korean Conflict.

Our father passed during May of last year. He had a long and good life with 60 years of marriage with to our mother. Dad loved it when I would do something embroidered for him. He had a favorite jacket I made and he wore it frequently. Oh how I wish he were here so I could embroider another jacket for him.

Sometimes embroidery has to take a twist to honor someone. I decided this year (since the bronze plaque with his Army service has not yet been installed on the headstone) I’d let those who visit the cemetery to honor our vets know of Dad’s Army service through embroidery. I could have purchased a wreath to place, and though I am no floral designer, I like the personal touch of something I made to honor our dad.

Choose supplies for the wreath. I chose a wire frame to be wrapped in moss and some red, white and blue silk flowers. Many products today will withstand the UV rays of the sun and the weather. When doing something like this, stick with synthetic materials. I purchased a polyester ribbon made specifically for outdoor use, and I used Robison-Anton polyester thread to coordinate with the the color of the flag background.



Measure the area of the ribbon to be embroidered.



Using embroidery software, or at the machine, set up the text. Open up the density slightly and use a center run underlay; test first, but usually no other underlays is needed because the stitching is just done on decorative ribbon to be displayed for a short amount of time.  I used software, so I was able to create two lines to stitch out first between which I could align the ribbon and center the text.

ribbon setup


Because hooping would crush the ribbon, I used tearaway stabilizer sprayed with Sulky KK2000 to hold the ribbon in place for stitching. Hoop the stabilizer, stitch the placement lines, then spray between the lines with the temporary spray adhesive.









Next align the ribbon in the hoop between the lines.



Slow down the machine and stitch using an 11 sharp needle. There will be some pulling of the ribbon, but after the stabilizer is removed and the ribbon is pressed with a warm dry iron from the wrong side, the ribbon will smooth out.









While the ribbon stitched, I assembled the wreath (there is a lot of information available in books or on the internet showing how to assemble a wreath). Here’s a tip: if using moss or something that needs to be wrapped around the wreath form, use polyester embroidery thread that will blend with the filler. The polyester thread is strong, UV tolerant and the color will blend in with the filler and not be seen like wire or other types of cord.









Here is the finished wreath ready for placement. Please  join me this weekend in honoring those who honored us with their sacrifice. To all of you, and your family members who served, my family and I appreciate and thank you for your service in the price of freedom.











Sew ’til next time…enjoy the journey of sewing!


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