Friday, April 20, 2012

2 Fabric Flower with Stems Tutorials

I have FINALLY put together the instructions for the fabric flowers I was demoing last week at the Australian Quilters Convention. Sorry for the delay Ladies, once I got back to Albury it was go go go! Client work, lesson plans and a busy 1 year old to the end of the week I am DESPERATE for some crafty goodness time. It's after midnight so please let me know if you pick up any mistakes, my brain is threatening to turn to pumpkin :)

 The idea behind these flower tutorials is to give you a project for using up your scraps, creating beautiful everlasting blooms to save on waste,  to compliment your quilts and to give as special gifts. 

Let's start with the Kanzashi Flower...

There are several different versions of Kanzashi flowers out there. This version is very easy and you can use all sorts of fabric and make them in different sizes if you’re feeling adventurous.

Materials & Tools

  1. Yummy scraps of patchwork fabric
  2. Strong thread (such as top-stitch or upholstery thread)
  3. Buttons for the center of your flowers
  4. Needle
  5. Scissors

You’ll need a circle template to cut out your petals. This can be any size but mine at the convention were made with 2” and 2 1/4” circles. If you needed another excuse to buy your quilter’s circle templates this is a good one! Hahaha!

Here is a template with 2 different size circles anyway so you don’t have to draw them if you don’t have templates. Right click on he image below to save it to your computer and then print it out.

Using your chosen circle size, cut out 5 circles from your fabric.

Prepare your needle and thread, leaving a 2” tail after your knot for fastening your gathering later. Take one of your circles, fold it in half and half again.

Run a gathering stitch along the raw edge of your quartered circle making sure that you catch all four layers. If you start the first stitch going through from the back to the front of your petal, make sure the last stitch on the petal goes from the front to the back, this will make your petals more uniform.

Repeat step 3 for the remaining four petals, gathering them as you go.


Leaving your needle attached, tie the thread ends together tightly to draw your petals in creating the flower.

Choose which side you'd like to be the back of the flower. Draw in the hole in the middle by doing a few stitched across it catching the petals.

On the front of your flower, sew your button in the middle covering the hole. Tie off. Congratulations! You've made your first flower :)

EXTRA CREDIT: Go absolutely mental and make a whole bunch while you're watching Gardening Australia (or Doctor Who if you're like my mum). Then continue reading these tutorials for the next type of flower and how to attach your little beauties to stems. 

The Rosette Flower...

This fabric flower is reminiscent of good ol' yo-yos but with one important difference; you use a strip of fabric instead of cutting out a round. So you can use fabric with stripes that will make a pleasing radial effect. This project is perfect for using up left over bits from jelly rolls. 

Once you've made a few in this size, go and experiment:
  • The shorter the length, the more the flower will 'pull up' into an opening bud look, 
  • The longer the length, the more gathers there will be and the flower will become inverted like an Echinacea flower.
Materials & Tools

    1.    Yummy scraps of patchwork fabric
    2.    Strong thread (such as top-stitch or upholstery thread)
    3.    Buttons for the center of your flowers
    4.    Needle
    5.    Scissors

You can use your ruler and rotary cutter to cut a 2 by 8 inch strip or right click on he image below to save it to your computer and then print it out.

Cut out your 2 x 8 inch strip of fabric from your delectable scraps.

Fold your fabric strip in half, right sides together, so that the short ends match up. Stitch the edges together using a 1/3 inch seam. Leave your needle and thread attached.

Finger press your seam open.

Now the slightly tricky bit if you're a fumble-fingers like me; Fold the bottom raw edge up to meet the top raw edge. You should now have the right side of the fabric showing inside and outside your fabric circle. Run a gather stitch all the way around just in from the raw edge making sure you catch both layers. Making your gather stitches as equal as possible will insure a neater looking flower, if you can't don't worry - imperfection adds character (speaking from experience HAHAHA!).

Draw your gather stitched in to form the flower. Tie your threads together tightly to secure but leave your needle attached.

Choose which side you'd like to be the back of the flower. Draw in the hole in the middle by doing a few stitched across it catching the petals.

On the front of your flower, sew your button in the middle covering the hole. Tie off and you're done.

 Crank up the production line because the next part is all about attaching stems!

HOW TO ATTACH STEMS TO FABRIC FLOWERS... and any other crafty flowers for that matter!

I invented this method for attaching stems when I decided to make all the flowers for my wedding. It works for fabric, paper, and yarn flowers alike. So if you're an 'All-Rounder' crafter like me (literally and figuratively in my case) try some other flower tutorials on the net and use this tutorial for attaching them to stems. I did classes at my local Scrapbooking shop (where I learned the basics for the 2 flowers above) so that's somewhere else to check out if the ladies at your patchwork shop are getting sick of the sight of you! Hehehe.

Materials & Tools

  1. Cardstock that matches your stem colour (available from Scrapbooking and Craft shops)
  2. 18 gauge wire pre-wrapped with cotton or paper in green or brown (I got mine from Spotlight and you can also get it from Florist Suppliers)
  3. Fabric Glue
  4. Flower Punch (Available at Craft and Scrapbooking stores)
  5. Small hole punch or Awl or mattress needle
  6. Needle-nose pliers
  7. Fray Stopper or clear Nail Polish

Punch out 2 flowers from your cardstock, alternatively you could just cut 2 circles the same size with scissors to save buying special tools. Use a small hole punch, awl or needle to make a small hole in hte center of one of your cardstock flowers.

Take your wire and bend the top inch to a right angle. Then take your pliers and curl the end round in a small loop. This stops the wire sliding out of the hole and beheading your flower later on.

Use your fabric glue to adhere the cardstock flower WITHOUT the hole to the back of your fabric flower. Let dry.

Slide the cardstock flower WITH the hole onto your wire and push it to the top.

Add glue to the top of your cardstock flower and wire and....

...stick it to the back of your fabric flower on top of the other cardstock flower. Press it together with your fingers until it holds well. Stand the flower face down until the glue dries completely.

The last thing you might want to do is apply a little bit of Fray Stopper or Nail Polish to the end of your wire to stop the cotton or paper unraveling.

There you go! You now have the know-how to make a whole garden full of fresh, fabulous fabric flowers.... and if you use up all your scraps you'll just have to go pick up some yummy fat 1/8s to make some more. SHUCKS!

leave a comment or email me: pinkyhiggs{at}gmail{dot}com if you need any help or if you've noticed that I'm silly :)


- Love from Pinky xoxox


Susan said...

What a beautiful and thank you for the tutorials.


Kanelstrand said...

Wow, those flowers are so impressive! Thank you for such a detailed tutorial!

Pinky Wittingslow said...

I'm very glad you like the tutorials Susan and Sonya, Happy crafting! Let me know if you have any ideas for other tutorials I could write :)

There is never enough flowers in the world!

Hayu Maselli said...

Hello Pinky Higgs,

Thank you for sharing these detailed tutorial. So useful.
I will do these gorgeous fabric flower
have a nice day

Stone Cottage Adventures said...

'Super cute! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

Stone Cottage Adventures said...

'Super cute! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

andrea chiu said...

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Thoughts said...

Hi there, I was hoping you'd be willing to tweak one of your spoonflower fabric designs for me. I'm interested in your herringbone parquetry - teal pattern. I love this design! Could you swap every other teal stripe with a white stripe?

Thank you!