Create a Gathered Ribbon Rose


“Heart of Mine” by Celine Girouard of Canada

Wedding season is in full swing, and if you’re looking for the perfect gift to make for a special bride this dainty “Heart of Mine” pillow designed by Celine Girouard is just the ticket. This keepsake would make a perfect ring bearer pillow and is sure to be a treasured part of the bride’s wedding trousseau. Featured in issue 95 of Australian Smocking & Embroidery, the silk pillow features a traditional lattice smocking design worked around the edge of the heart while the front is decorated with silk ribbon flowers and tiny beads. A mother of pearl button finishes the back and the keepsake hangs from a beaded loop. Below, follow the instructions from AS&E for creating the gathered ribbon rose seen on the center front of the pillow – and be sure to check out issue 95 of Australian Smocking & Embroidery for the complete tutorial for making this lovely keepsake:

NOTE: The fullness of this gathered ribbon rose is determined by the width and length of the ribbon used. For the “Heart of Mine” pillow, a 22cm (8-5/8″) length of YLI 7mm wide silk ribbon and a No. 20 chenille needle were used to embroider the center gathered ribbon rose. One strand of DMC stranded cotton was used to gather and secure the ribbon. The gathered ribbon rose was worked around a 2mm (1/16″) circle that is marked on the fabric. Also on the heart, DMC stranded cotton and a No. 10 milliner’s needle were used to stitch seven or eight Mill Hill petite glass beads in the space at the center of the rose, flattening the inner spiral of the gathered ribbon rose. Contrasting thread was used on the photos for photographic purposes.


1. Cut a 22cm (8-5/8″) length of ribbon.

2. Knot the thread and work tiny running stitches along one edge. Leave the thread dangling.

3. Thread one end of the ribbon into the chenille needle. Take ribbon to the back of the fabric at the center of the flower (A).


4. Using a new length of thread, secure the ribbon on the back of the fabric. Bring the thread to the front, close to A.

5. Begin pulling up the gathers close to A and couch the ribbon in place.


6. Continue gathering and couching the ribbon, forming a spiral as you work.

7. When reaching the end of the ribbon, tuck the tail under. Couch in place and end off the threads on the back.

Be sure to check out issue #95 of Australian Smocking & Embroidery for the complete pattern and instructions for this lovely “Heart of Mine” keepsake pillow! The issue includes a total of eight great projects. We also have silk satin ribbon available to purchase in a variety of colors and widths in our online store.

Happy Sewing,