Since many of us can’t garden quite yet thanks to Father Winter, I thought to share with you a blooming opportunity debuting at Quilt! Knit! Stitch! this summer:
The Community Garden
The Community Garden will (literally) be a growing fiber art installation at Quilt! Knit! Stitch! on the show floor in Portland, August 14-16, 2014 at the Oregon Convention Center. We invite everyone to craft flora and fauna out of fabric, thread, and yarn that we will then plant in our verdant installation. During the course of the show, we will delight in the garden blossoming and becoming more lush with various interpretations of flowers created with stitch, quilting, knit, and crochet. We are seeking flowers in advance so that we have a starting garden at the opening of the show, and we also invite all attendees to bring floral fiber art to the show to plant.
To get us started, I thought I’d share a how-to for making fabric flowers, and since Portland is The City of Roses, it seemed appropriate to start with a rose tutorial.
Easy Fabric Roses
• Thread and hand embroidery needle
• Fabric Stiffener (such as Stiffy) or watered down glue (1:1 white glue/water ratio)
• Craft paintbrush
• Parchment paper
• Sewing machine with zigzag stitch capabilities
• Glue for attaching the stem
• Fabric coloring agents (optional)
1. For each petal, fold your fabric in half, wrong sides together.
2. Trace a petal onto the folded fabric. (I created a paper rose petal motif.)
3. Carefully cut out so you have two petal pieces from the fabric, right sides facing out for each two-sided petal. Take each two-sided petal to your sewing machine and zigzag stitch all the way around the edges so they are closed.
3. Place your petals on parchment paper. Using your craft paintbrush, paint the fabric stiffener (or watered-down glue) onto each petal. I recommend only painting one side; otherwise the petal will be so stiff, it will be difficult to stitch with a hand needle. After you have saturated each petal with the solution on one side, gently scrunch the petals so that they have some dimension.
4. Take one of the petals and roll it so that it becomes a tight bud for the center of the rose. (Above I also colored each petal for added interest.) Allow the petals to dry thoroughly (usually overnight).
5. When the petals are dry, take a hand needle–and beginning with the petal that is rolled into a tight bud– start adding petals to the bottom by using tiny stab stitches. I used about 7 petals to create this rose bud. Lastly, take a twig (real or faux) and glue to the bottom of the rose.
Want to help us grow our garden?
In a padded envelope, please mail your fabric flower (no stem required) and send to:
Attn: Pokey Bolton/Community Garden
7660 Woodway, Suite 550
Houston, TX 77063
All flowers must be received by August 1, 2014 to be a part of the garden. I hope that you will send some in!