Wednesday, April 16, 2008

would you like to make a free-pieced flower?

you do? Ok, then. Let's get started! First let me start off by saying that this is not a new technique and not invented be me. I like Jan Mullen's flowers, and I used Tonya's, from LazyGalQuilting, asterisks tutorial to get started. I just took it a bit further to make the asterisks float in the block to look like a flower.

1. You will need fabric for your background, flower and flower center.

2. Cut a square for the block out of the background fabric. I made my square about 6 inches.
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Cut a strip of flower fabric with the height being the diameter you wish your flower to be plus one inch for seam allowances and your length being how wide you wish your flower petals to be plus two inches. Confused? I wanted my flower to be about 2.5 inches across, so I cut my flower fabric with a height of 3 inches. And I wanted my flower petals to be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide, so I cut the length to about 4 inches.
Cut two pieces of background fabric the same size as your flower fabric.

3. Sew the background pieces to the flower fabric. Now my strip of fabric is still 4 inches wide but now about 8 inches high.
Trim the long sides of your strip, and then cut your strip into 4 strips. I wanted my petals to be wonky, so my strips are not all the same width.
Cut a square of flower center fabric the same measurement as the width of one of your flower petal strips.

4. Cut that flower petal strip in half and sew the flower center square between the two halves.

5. Cut your background fabric square in half diagonally. You will be sewing in a flower petal strip making sure to "center" the strip. Save the flower petal strip with the flower center for last.

6. After you have sewn that strip in, cut the big square in half diagonally the other way. You will then sew in another flower petal strip.

7. Now cut the big square in half again this time from side to side. You will then sew in another flower petal strip.

8. Now cut the big square in half again from side to side again. You will then sew in your strip with the flower center.

9. You now have a flower block with lots of background fabric that you can center and trim anyway you wish.

A few words about the tutorial:

*I made my background large because I wasn't sure what size I was going to trim my flower blocks.

*I'm assuming you know to press after each step.

*When pressing, press the fabric to which ever side makes it less bulky. You may even want to trim a few "dog ears" to minimize the center bulk. I used my widest flower strip for the center to have more room for the seam allowances on the back. If you make a larger flower, these issues will be lessened.

*I was trying to make the smallest flower I could. I think I could make a flower with shorter petals, but I don't think I could make the petals any narrower. My flower is about 2 inches wide with petals between 1/2 and 1/4 inches wide. If I had made all the petals 1/4 inch wide, then the back would have been really really bulky.
-and a
-few more
-because of blogger
Let me know if you have any questions or if I was unclear about anything. I'd also like to see any flowers you make.

Have fun!
*using flickr to add picture to blogger - easy. using blogger to add pictures to blogger - a pain in the rear!
*****You can use flickr to upload your pics. Here is a link were I learned how. I used the "cut and paste code from flickr" method. Very easy!


LauraJ said...

what a nice tutorial! clear pictures and instructions. great job! thank you.
I like your new header too!

Sarah said...

wow! you're quick!

Lisa said...

Oh, Sarah!!! I am definitely gonna try this really soon!!!!! Thanks!!!
Flickr, huh? I will have to try that out! You sure are the flickr expert!!!

Tine said...

love the tutorial! I'll have to try these. They are so cute!
Upload via Flickr? Maybe I should give that a try too......?

Anonymous said...

thanks for this! it sounds fun to do.

Poulsbo flowers

Helen said...

*sigh* you make it look soooo easy! It looks great! Hey, I only just found your comment in flickr about doing a swap! Ohhhh! Yes! Love too!!! Mid year? Very exciting!

Tonya Ricucci said...

Ooh, fun flower and you did a great job explaining it.

jacquie said...

I definitely want to give this a try. Thanks so much for doing this for us! Can't believe I haven't found your blog before this. I'll be back!

Clare said...

Love it. Thanks for sharing this.

I use Flickr for nearly every post. So much easier to load and unmlimited storage.

margaret said...

So inspiring - makes me want to rush to the sewing machine and do dozens! Thanks for the clear instructions.

Kim said...

WOW !! How cool are these????

Marit said...

Thank you, these are so sweet and I will try them for myself.

susan said...

wow, really great tute!! it was super easy to follow, i know i will be making some of these real soon. thanks so much

Heather said...

so cute! thank you for sharing this.

JariJari said...

thank you for your tutorial, i'd love to try

nikkislab said...

nikkislab said...
really enjoyed your directions. It will help me with diagonals in letters as well. Thanks! Lynne Tyler was the one that shared the link. Just took her very interesting class at Quilted Threads.