I am very happy to welcome Paula of Mud Pies and Pins as my guest blogger today. I was really taken with her way of creating gorgeous quilt-as-you-go flowers, and she very kindly agreed to write up a tutorial using Liberty lawn from my Very Berry Fabrics shop.
I’ll hand over to Paula:
These flowers make the perfect embellishment for all manner of projects and can be easily created using the fabrics scraps in the Very Berry Fabrics Scrap bags.
It is hard to specify exact fabric requirements for this project. For one flower you will need a 5×10″ of woven cotton interfacing (e.g. Vilene G700) in addition to 5-6 fabric scraps. You will also need to create an octagonal template. I used a 2″ octagon for this flower (i.e. each side of the octagon is 2″ in length). For sewing I would recommend a fine thread such as 50wz Aurifil. You will also need scissors for cutting your scraps as well as a cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter to finish off the flower exactly, although with care you can achieve good results cutting with scissors.
Making the flower
Start by arranging your fabric scraps till you have an idea of the colour gradient you wish to use for your flower.
Using your octagonal template cut two octagons from the cotton interfacing. The first of these octagons will form the base of your flower. Make sure that this octagon is adhesive side up.
From your first fabric scrap cut a piece approximately 1.25″ square. This will form the center of your flower. Place this piece right side up, off center, on top of your interfacing octagon.
Take your second fabric scrap and cut 5 pieces approximately 0.75×1.25″. Place the first of these pieces right side down at an angle over one of the corners of your centre piece.
Sew along the line indicated, an eighth inch seam is sufficient, and once affixed fold this piece outward and finger press in place.
Your second piece of this fabric should then be placed at an angle to the first so that it covers both the end of the first piece and part of the centre. Once you are happy with the placement of this piece sew it in place as you did the first and then flip outward and finger press in place.
Continue placing and sewing the remaining three pieces as above. When finished you should have surrounded your central piece in a rough pentagon of your second fabric.
This is the basis of the flower construction. From the next scrap of fabric you will need to cut slightly longer strips, 0.75×2″ should suffice. Proceed as above; each fabric piece added should aim to cover the ends of at least two underlying pieces.
Continue to use up your fabric scraps and for each new round of the flower cut your strips slightly longer than for the previous round.
As you reach the edge of the flower it is good practice to roughly trim each edge piece to line up with the edge of the interfacing base. This makes it easier to see where you need to place your next fabrics, and avoids fabric waste.
As you make your flower you will note that you are always overlaying new pieces of fabric on top of pieces previously placed, in some cases covering much of the previous pieces. In the center of the flower this is not an issue due to the lightweight nature of the fabrics, however at the edges it is preferable to trim out any underlying fabrics before you flip each new piece into place. This creates a neater edge in the finished flower.
Once you have completed covering your base give your flower a good press using a setting on your iron suitable to the interfacing you are using. This fixes the interfacing to the back of the flower. You can then trim the flower more exactly to shape using a ruler and rotary cutter.
If you wish you can use your flower at this stage and appliqué it to your project using a suitable edge stitch. I prefer to finish my flowers as follows as I find it gives a better finish:
Finishing your flower:
Place the second octagon of interfacing that you cut adhesive side down on top of your completed flower. Stitch in place using an eighth to a quarter inch seam. Trim the corners then cut a split in the interfacing as indicated.
Turn the flower right-side out and finger press the edges. Do not iron at this stage.
Once you are ready to fix your flower to your project you simply press in place and then finish with a slip-stitch around the edges.
Here are a couple more examples made using the same method: a blue/green flower and a smaller hexagonal blue/grey flower
Thank you so much Paula for your lovely work, please leave her some complimentary comments! Just here you can see the really pretty sewing case that Paula has made using one of the flowers. I think I’d quite like to make a giant version to applique onto a cushion, but sadly I think the next cushion I will be making is a fleecy number for Barney – I wont be using any Liberty lawn for him!