Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Folded Flower Tutorial

First, in the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I did not come up with this technique. I am merely providing detailed, pictorial instructions on how to make a folded flower as shown by Rebecca Wat on an episode of Simply Quilts to promote her book "Fantastic Folded Flowers." That being said, many of you also saw that episode and were not quite sure you could reproduce what you saw. I have to say that the directions on the website are not as illustrated as they could be. Despite all your fears, this technique is REALLY easy! I had to do 40 flowers for my in-laws' anniversary wallhanging, and that never would have happened if it wasn't something I could master pretty quickly. I have tried to have a picture for every step. If you find something in the tutorial that doesn't make sense or could be clearer, please leave me a comment or email me directly at craftygiveaways (at) gmail (dot) com.

Start with a 6" square, wrong side up. Fold in half width-wise and finger press. Unfold. Fold in half length-wise and finger press. Unfold.

After the two folds you should have a well-defined "x" in the middle.

Take a corner and bring it up to meet the center. Finger press the fold. Repeat for all remaining corners.

This is how it should now look. The right side is showing on the corners that you just folded up.

Now flip the square over to the opposite side - like flipping a pancake. You should see your creases from the first step as an "X" from corner to corner.

Take one side and fold up to meet the "X" in the middle.

Fold up the opposite side, making sure you are centered.

Holding down the center meeting point, carefully (but firmly) finger press each folded side.

This should be what you see when it is opened up.

Now fold the two remaining sides, as in the previous step. You should have an "X" in the center with a square surrounding it.

Take two adjoining sides and bring them back to the center along the previous fold. Match them up so they are even and centered on each side, making a nice triangular "ear" that sticks up.

Using a needle and matching thread, tack the sides together where they adjoin, getting as close to the "bottom" of the ear as possible, but not too close. I usually stitch through 2 or 3 times. Do not cut or knot thread! Leave it attached.

Bring up the adjoining side to the left along the previous fold to meet the opposite side at the center creating another ear.

As before, make sure the triangle is lined up and symmetrical and tack in place. Continue this, folding up the last side and tacking the remaining 2 ears.

Now you should have four "ears" and your thread attached. Run the needle through the bottom of the first ear where you did your first tack to secure the fourth ear to the first ear.

Now take your needle, go down through the center of the ears into the fabric below. You should not actually go through any fabric but the single thickness of the "back" fabric. Your needle should come out through the "x" in the center (you can fudge and peek to make sure). Fasten off and clip thread.

Now you can unfold the back flaps of fabric and flatten them out.

Pinch / finger press one ear to make sure it's symmetrical and even. I also like to fold the ear to each side and lightly finger press it.

Insert your finger in to the center to hold the fabric that joins inside the ear together as you...

Fold down the tip of the ear to meet the center. If you have a "nice fabric" you can finger press this down and it will stay. If your fabric is stubborn, use an iron to keep it down. Continue for all four ears.

After you have folded all four ears down to meet the center, use an iron to steam them in place. Use alot of pressure and alot of steam. You don't want this to move. This should be what the front of your flower looks like.

This is the back / wrong side of your flower. Theoretically this should be a nice 3" square (if you're perfect). But if you're human, and it's a little wonky - that's okay. Just be careful with it and fudge as necessary when you sew it into your projects.

After sewing into your project and quilting as necessary (don't quilt over your folded flower!), open out your ears from the center to make your flower bloom. Tack the points of the petals to the adjoining fabric for security. Your petals will stick out farther than the block, so do not sew two blocks exactly side by side.

This is a great project to take with you on the road or sitting in front of the tv at night. You only need your squares, needle and thread and a thick, hardcover book. I used the book as my surface to fold and press on and then I would smoosh the flowers in the center of the book to keep the petals down until I could get home to steam press them.

I have started a flickr group called Crafty Giveaways Creations. It's so that you all can post photos of projects that you make that are inspired by or uses items you got from a crafty giveaway. I only ask that you list or link to (if you know how) the giveaway that inspired your project when you post to the group. Also, let me know if you post your project on your blog and I'll let others know about it here so they can check it out.

I hope you enjoy this. I had so much fun making this tutorial. You can click on the little envelope at the bottom of this post to pass it along to your friends - let's revive the folded flower! Press on, people!


Karen said...

Thank you for a great tutorial. Can't wait to receive the batiks but, for now, I'll try it with one of my fabrics. Thanks for being generous with fabric and instructions. Can't wait to see your next project!

Kimberly said...

Excellent tutorial! You're a natural born teacher, Jen!
I have Wat's book you mention and there were simply not enough diagrams and photos for me to "get it" easily. It took half an hour of attempting different things (all within the guidelines of the directions) before I finally figured out ONE flower.
First time looking through your tutorial and I'm confident I can do it! Go girl!

chook said...

wow Jen thank you for this I cant wait to have a go
hugs Beth

Tine said...

Great tutorial! Thank you! I can't wait to try it out :-) Will be sure to join the flickr group too..

Lara T. said...

Thanks for that tutorial--it's very cool!

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Scottish Nanna said...

Jen just found your Blog WOW I must try this it looks so good I will be looking in again.
Hugs Mary.

Julie said...

Hi Jen, thanks for the tutorial. I will try it! We have a big trip coming up and this will be perfect to work on during the wee ones' naps.

Cathy said...

thank you, you solved my problem, our quilt group has a challenge 2 times a year. i have 24 5" squares of different fabrics & can only use two other fabrics for background & backing, I'll just make these cute flowers & put them on blocks & make a quilt!

Tiggerydoo said...

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial!! Can't wait to start making these!! :0)

Viveka said...

Thank you for a great tutorial. Just Lovely.

Barbara George said...

Thank you for your tutorial . How do you sew it to another block without sewing into the flower?

Auntiepatch said...

Ummmm.....then what do you do with the flowers?