Multiple Suffolk Puffs (or yo-yo’s):
It’s fun to make petals for flowers with tiny circles of fabric gathered up into a small Suffolk Puffs (or yo-yos). This small piece of wall art took a lot of hours gathering and shaping the fabric into petals with sewing thread but was worth the effort when finished. A bead in the middle of each one added to the illusion of an hydrangea flower petal.
An important point: choose fabric that doesn’t fray easily so that when you gather the edges of the circles the gathering doesn’t come away as the thread is pulled up.
Cut squares of fabric larger than the circles that you want and draw the circles in the centre of these squares. Using good sewing thread put running stitches around the edge of a circle leaving a narrow seam and with the one end secured. Cut around the drawn line to release your circle. Pull up the thread, spread the gathers evenly and flatten the little yo-yo with your finger & thumb. Secure your thread on the gathered side then come up through the centre wrapping gently around the circle three times to form separate petals. With the thread still attached and secured at the centre add a tiny bead in the middle. Leaving the thread attached place the yo-yo aside. As shown in the photo, a strip of masking tape is useful for keeping them apart and untangled.
To begin making the hydrangea flower, take a piece of muslin larger than the size you want and sew the yo-yos on one at a time. Keep making more and continue until your flower is the size and shape that you want. Once you have enough and they’re secured to the muslin trim around the edge leaving a small seam to sew onto your background fabric.
For the leaves, I found an image on-line and copied it onto freezer paper. I ironed those freezer paper shapes onto green cotton then bonded it onto a second layer before cutting them out. The large stem is a bias cut strip of cotton, stitched along one long edge then turned in and pressed before machine stitching down. I hand embroidered smaller stems then machine stitched the larger leaves onto the background over the smaller hand embroidered stems.