Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Fabric crocus

April 23, 2013
I have always respected bloggers and was amazed at their generosity in sharing what they do with strangers!  So now I'm trying to keep one and 'consistently blogging' is a real challenge.  I've been making a spring wallhanging and really wanted to make some spring flowers for it - specifically daffodils and crocuses (croci?) because that's what we're missing in my neck of the woods!  See where my daffodils and crocuses are sleeping?
So...following ideas I have seen on other blogs, I began trying to do this piece last 'Whip it up Wednesday'.  I found a great 3D daffodil developed by Staci http://craftystaci.com/2012/03/14/fabric-daffodils3-ways/  Her directions were excellent and I made a great daffodil (except that I cut my squares out the wrong size - but Staci can only do so much, right?  She can't ensure that I read properly!)  You'll see mine on the wallhanging later. But I couldn't finish it on Wednesday, because the only directions for a crocus on the Internet were for a crocheted one.

 After looking at photos of a crocus, I figured that I needed 3 petals on the outside of the flower, 3 on the inside and a stamen or 2 right in the middle.
You can see on the left my design (about 3 1/2" high) with a narrow section in the middle.  I actually cut out all 6 layers at once, after pairing my pieces right sides together.  That way it was easier to sew around the edge of each pair (the light purples ones).  Then I pinked the edges (you could also clip the curves) and cut them in half (the yellow ones) and turned them right side out (the dark purple ones).
Next I ran a gathering stitch near the raw edge of 3 of the units, gathered them and knotted them together like you can see below with one yellow section ready.  It was 'fiddly' and I realized that I needed some stamens for the middle.

I had read Pauline Ineson's article in the American Quilter 2013, so I returned to that for her explanation about how to make stamens.
I won't bore you with the details because you can read it for yourself or check her website and buy her book at http://www.paulineineson.co.uk/page3.htm but very briefly:
  • take 28 inches of 6-strand embroidery thread, fold it in half and tie a knot
  • rest the knot under a bobbin on the bobbin-winding 'thingee'
  • in the image to the right, I'm holding the thread tightly while running the machine slowly
  • then I carefully lifted up the bobbin and held the two ends and the middle and watched the threads wind themselves together
  • with a knot at both ends, I could fold it in half and put 2 stamens in the middle of each of my crocuses

Going back to the petals, I put the stamens inside the first set of petals, then, after gathering the second set of petals and put them outside the first set.  A few stitches at the bottom held all the sections together.
My last problem was how to show the crocus tapering at the bottom.  I used the paper half circle to the left and cut it out so the straight edge was on the fold of the fabric.  I sewed around the curve then cut a slit on the back side and turned it right side out. 
I used a bamboo stick to help roll it on the bottom of the crocus and then sewed a few stitches to hold it on.  I'm quite sure that the bottom section could be improved, but at least I've contributed a 3-d flower to the 'blogosphere'.  Thanks to Staci I didn't have to figure out how to do a daffodil!  Pauline Ineson, in her article, has another method to make daffodils.
I mentioned that I started this on 'Whip it Up Wednesday'.  Then I aimed for 'Tutorial Thursday', then 'Finish it Friday'.   I was sure I could finish on 'Sew Done Saturday', but after 'Sew thankful Sunday'  passed I had to go to a quilting bee on Monday.  So here I am on my 'Tutorial Tuesday'  - something to aim for consistently, I guess.

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