Little fabric flowers can be quite an attractive accessory and with a brooch pin on the back can be used in a variety of ways. Cheer up a plain sunhat or winter beret or scarf. Add to a plain bag or tote and even brighten up soft furnishings like cushion covers and curtains. I have quite a few of these. Several that I’ve made from organza and using computerised machine embroidery patterns. Then there are the ones I’ve made to fulfil a teaching spot for a craft group and these need to be hand stitched as often computerised sewing machines are not a practical option.
I’ve just finished making this flower based on one of the dimensional flowers from Shirley Bloomfield’s book: ‘Beyond the Applique Garden’. I’ve had this book for years and have dipped into it many times, mostly for the fabric flowers projects but there is so much lovely applique inspiration and guidance in it as well.
This rose only needs small amounts of fabric and is quite therapeutic to stitch. The templates for the petals are in the book and there are descriptions of how to use this flower in different fabrics and for different purposes. I never follow others’ projects slavishly, preferring to put my own spin or detail on them. On the whole though this one is more or less as detailed in her book.
I find that for lots of my projects I need leaves as an addition to the main feature of my work. I made the leaves shown here using my own method of bonding together two different cotton fabrics in different shades of green. Then after drawing leaf shapes onto the matt side of freezer paper I ironed the shiny side onto the bonded fabric. The leaves can then be cut out cleanly and the raw edges stay neat usually without any need to stitch the edges.
The backing for the little rose shown here is a circle of felt with a brooch pin sewn on one side and two or three leaves stitched on the other side so that when the flower is pinned on to a surface the leaves show behind the flower. The two different colours of the bonded fabrics give me a choice for the colour of the leaves.
Other types of flowers I’ve made and used in a variety of ways are based on Suffolk Puffs (or yo-yos). Sizes can vary from very small and numerous to produce flowers with multiple petals, or large for more exotic flower types.