I had put this thing away for a while, and didn't get it ready for April, as the sweet peas kind of had me stumped. I finally got it out again, and all the images I had printed out of sweet peas on vines - and this is what I came up with. It's a long way from being finished, but so far, I'm almost pleased with it.
I decided to make the flowers before placing the leaves and little curly-cue things that pea vines have - usually I do leaves first. Anyway, I needed to be able to make the tops flat instead of pointed, which isn't an easy task with 7mm ribbon (this is from River Silks).
Japanese ribbon stitch, without pulling the ribbon all the way down, made the top look like I wanted (almost) - and loose French knots worked well for the little trumpet shape of the blossom.
To get this flower started, the 7mm ribbon needs first a plain stitch for padding, as the ribbon wants to crunch up an make a skinny petal - then make another stitch over it, but go down with the needle right in the center of the ribbon.
The picture is terribly fuzzy, but I didn't look at it until it was too late to re-photograph. I use a trolley needle and/or a cable hook (from my knitting ) to hold the loop while I make the next stitch. Otherwise, the tiniest bit of tugging on the ribbon will pull it all the way through and ruin the stitch.
I forgot to put up the picture of the seam treatments first - so here it is. The stitches are simple, as they mustn't, in this case, compete with the diamond chain or the sweet peas - it's a birthday crazy after all!! The buttonhole stitch above the white patch is made with Soy Luster - three plies. The white fly stitch is Kreinik #12 braid, color 032.
The Fern Stitch between the blue and green patches is Splendor silk, 4 plies. More on this in a day or two - Tomorrow is Monday, after all, and I need to paint a thing or two before I can declare "stitchin' time."