How to build a flower 101

I am happily whipping out flowers in thread for cute pins and future quilt adornments. I thought I would share my technique, as it is quite beginner friendly. I do tend to use 'technical' terms like loop-de-loops, slinky, zigzag and spiral. :?}
 You should have your machine set up for free motion embroidery; feed dogs down, tension loosened a bit, pressure foot light, and any hopping/embroidery foot you usually use.  Hoop up some woven water soluable foundation, as we will rinse most of it out at the end. I do leave some of the tacky stuff in the flower, as it seems to help it get all curly and funky and nifty looking, but is still flexible.
Shall we begin?
First sew spirals (think snail shell) from the inside out, and back again.

 About the size of a quarter.

Then do loop-de-loops, like a slinky, round and round and round to make the center strong!

Add a tight slinky in choice of color to enlarge, and give even more strength, then add petals. Yes, you may draw them out, but free motion eye-balling/sewing is fine!

Now you lay down a strong base by zigzagging up and down each petal. Next I go up and down each petal several times with big, loose loops. It will all be covered up in smooth sewing soon. The base is critical if you want your flower to hold its shape when the foundation is rinsed out.
Now starts the all the way up and down loops, as well as short strokes at the base and the tip of each petal, until you are happy with the density, looks like it will stay together when you wash out most of the foundation, the general flowery look...
 Once you are done building your flower you take it to the sink. Run the water until it is good and hot. Rinse out MOST of the foundation, but not all of it. It will feel slightly tacky. Lay your flower aside, or outside, to dry thoroughly.

Now that it is dry it is time to add beads and the pin back. Or you could choose a barrette clip. Depends on how you want to use it. You could use a button, or many buttons, a pom-pom, add a bug...just have fun!

Want to add leaves?  Go to http://quilts-artfromtheheart.blogspot.com/2012/05/leaves-101-tutorial.html


  1. oh, wow! This looks so cool. Thanks for the tutorial! P.S. I cruised over from the Summer Fun quilt contest because I liked your entrance so much.

  2. Well, LynCC! Thank you so much, both for the visit and the compliment. Would love to know how your flowers turn out!