Framing the Family

The Amarna Family Group, with a roughly attached ribbon frame.

We left the Amarna Family lurking at the far side of the living room, surrounded by coloured ribbon. I was very certain it was better than the gold, but I wanted to be sure I was happy that there was nothing better somewhere at the back of my mind.

After rather longer than is evident in the gap between the posts on the subject (doing and writing often get thoroughly out of sync, for me), I decided that it was probably the best presentation I was going to invent, and needed to be done properly. The ribbons were already attached, so the next stage would be to make sure the corners were made neat and square, and the attachment was secure.

Secure, and not too noticeable.

The ribbon is being attached to the gold using red silk over a navy thread.

I was a little afraid that the join might leave the fabric showing, or otherwise draw attention to itself, so after a little thought, I decided to overstitch a navy thread (stele-coloured, as it were) with red silk. I’m hoping that because it’s not a single colour, the join will be slightly camouflaged. I did consider gold, but decided in the end that camouflage-by-lighting was not my aim!

The whole process took a couple of days, because holding the navy thread at the right angle and tension was something that required frequent breaks to avoid cramping fingers.

A forest of pins holding the ribbons in place on a large foam board.

Each corner then required some manipulation to make it work, so once I felt I had the corners mostly settled, I pressed them (not the goldwork!) very, very cautiously.

And then pinned them down very thoroughly, and turned my back for a few days!


  1. First I had to laugh at the title of the blog post and your play on words!
    Second, it was a good decision to have the family on display for a while to make sure you were ok with the ribbon frame. Isn’t the ribbon difficult to work with? I find it difficult to control it, it has a life of its own in my experience, for example, pressing this kind of ribbon is not easy.
    Looking forward to seeing the finished work.

  2. Sue Jones says:

    The corners are very neat. Your navy-sewn-red inner edge isn’t something that I would have thought of. I am looking forward to seeing it in reality and judging the effect, as it’s clearly much enlarged in the photos, so hard to tell. The ribbon colours are perfect, aren’t they.

  3. I so admire your perseverance on this one, where you haven’t let the first misstep put you off trying things until one works. This one is certainly looking extremely promising, the colours and their proportions are just right, but what a fiddle and stress to work with I suspect. I rather think, from your Insta feed, that you’re having some well earned R&R so I hope it is restoring the inner woman

  4. Karen says:

    That two-colour edging is really effective. Kudos for persevering!

  5. Carolyn Foley says:

    You are very brave to work with ribbon but it looks great.