As we bid farewell to Spring and welcome the joys of Summer (despite me currently looking out onto a soggy garden), I thought I would share with you a recent project that I completed for a friend’s special birthday, all about flowers. As we have grown older and become mothers, we now tend to buy gifts for each others’ children rather than each other but since she is celebrating a milestone birthday this year (not mentioning which one of course), I wanted to make her something that she will hopefully want to keep.
I thought for a while about what I could create for her which would have meaning and stumbled upon the idea of fabric flowers – this being quite fitting as she was being whisked away to Amsterdam for the weekend by her husband – perfect! I have made felt flowers in the past and so already had some green wire that I could use for the stems and I had a rummage in my fabric hoard to see what I could find for the petals. As well as having a good amount of felt in two different shades, I also decided to use a cotton fabric and a satin-feeling cut off that was left over from a previous project – oh how I love to use up scraps of fabrics!
I found a template that I had previously used for making felt ‘roses’ and so decided to use that as a guide for creating one rose out of each of the fabrics that I had chosen.
I decided to start off with the yellow satin fabric and to be honest, I knew from the moment that I began to cut out the template, that it would be a challenge!
I decided to attach a matching button to the top of the stem to act as the middle of the flower (the technical term for this being the pistil) and also to provide a point upon which I could attach the middle petals of the flower. Being a fairly thin fabric, the petals were a little flimsy and this is where my trusty glue gun began to work overtime! Once the middle petals were in place, the second layer of petals was easier to fold around the centrepiece and once they were fixed, they somehow seemed more robust. The flower was however still a little small and while I didn’t really want to add another layer of petals, the flower did need something. In my envelope of many templates I found an outline for a 4-leaf clover; If I cut off the stem of the clover, I was left with a large petal shape that could be used as the base for the flower – viola! Having made my first flower and being pleased with the outcome, I was ready to crack on!
The cotton fabric was much easier to use and I knew from the moment that I cut into it that this would be an easier flower to create – phew! I again used a similar coloured button as the middle upon which to attach the central petals and by now felt that I was into a good flow of knowing what I was doing – a rare but positive feeling! It was however the felt that I was most looking forward to working with and it did not disappoint.
I found two shades of pink in felt and decided to use both – a light pink for the petals and a slightly dusky pink for the larger petal around the base. Being slightly thicker than the previous fabrics used, the felt responded well to being manipulated into the desired shape and gave a stiffness to the rose which I think defines the petals.
I am so pleased with this flower and really think it looks as it is mean to, if I do say so myself! So much so that it is a shame to give it away – I may be making myself some in the near future.
Last but no least it was time to make one more flower. I always had in my mind that I would make 4, this being symbolic of my friend’s milestone birthday (without giving too much away)! Seeing as she was enjoying her celebrations in Amsterdam, it seemed fitting for the last flower to be a tulip and since I preferred using felt, this was what I would use. Having created a template for the tulip, I found this by far the simplest flower to make and will definitely be making more.
I really enjoyed making these flowers and as with everything I make, I have discovered ways of creating different effects that I will use again in the future. I just hope my friend likes her bunch of flowers as much as I do!
Until next time,