Wednesday, July 25, 2012

MIA Once Again

When life gets busy I seem to forget my blog and I always regret doing that.  I will try to do better.  I logged on today to retrieve some photos.   I ruined my laptop last week by accidentally spilling water onto the keyboard.  I have many photos of my work saved here as well as in Webshots

While browsing around and surfing with Google I noticed some of my work had been posted on Pinterest.  One member stated she would like to make the silk flowers in the photo so I thought I would post some directions. 

I saw flowers similar to these on a very old vintage crazy quilt and loved them.   They reminded me of the yo-yo's we used to make so I began my experimenting.  I found if I made a slight oval instead of a round circle it worked better as a petal.  It's also necessary to gather them extremely loose and allow the silk to fall into place.   I call them my yo-yo roses.

I love working with silk, especially the Hanah silk ribbons; they are as lightweight as a feather and easy to manipulate.  You can use any lightweight silk (habatoi or blouse weight but not as heavy as dupioni.)  You can often find silk blouses at a resale shop and use this silk for flower designs.

Start by cutting out five pieces of silk by the oval pictured below.  It should measure approximately 2 1/8" by 1 3/4".  With each of the 5 pieces fold the raw edges inward, approximately 1/4", to wrong side of fabric and stitch with a running stitch in a matching thread.  Pull thread and gather each oval very loosely.

Draw a center onto your fabric at the proper placement.  I use a blue disappearing pen.  With the first gathered yo-yo, tack one of the longer edges to the outside edge of the drawn center.  Tack the opposite edge directly across.  Loosely work the side edges of the oval into place being sure to hide your gathering stitches as much as possible.  Tack in several places.  Add the remaining four petals.

In order to gauge the size of your center make the 5 gathered petals and lay them in place.  You will be able to see the exact size your flower will be and know what size center looks best.

I like to fill the center with beads and add several silk leaves.  I burnish the edges of the leaves to prevent fraying and use a fine metallic gold featherstitch to attach them.

I hope you will enjoy experimenting and making the flowers.  Remember to let the silk drape into place and do not pull the petals so they appear taunt.