Hydrangea Tutorial

You will need;
batting, both cotton and poly, threads, needles, scissors, sewing machine, marking pen/pencil, cotton cording, light or medium weight wire, seed beads and water soluble stabilizer and embroidery hoop.

I started with my hand-dyed fabric.

I drew the circle size  I wanted on the top layer of 4 layers. I used the bottom of a full cone of serger thread as my 'template'.
Cut them out. Repeat with batting.
Draw your circles on the top layer of 2 layers, then insert batting between the layers and cut out individual 'sandwiches'. I tried it both ways. I had no preference.
The first couple dozen blossoms I thought they should be quilted, so that method is shown at left and below.

The next batch I simply began the running stitch by hand to create the 'scrunchy' blossoms skipping the machine quilting step. Once they are on the flower, no one can tell the difference.
Pre-quilted circles-or not! Ready to paint, then 'scrunch'. Or scrunch, then paint.
I used red, white and blue. I mixed the red and white first with a touch of blue for a light pinky lavender.

I then mixed in the blue for dark purple, eventually adding in more white for strong lavender. Variety of shades adds dimension and depth.

Painting may occur before 'scrunching' or after. I tried it both ways. It didn't seem to make a difference... The scrunching is simply hand stitching a running stitch, from the center out, north, south, east and west. I knotted well in the center, did the running stitch out to the edge, tugged a little until I liked the look of the scrunch and tied it off well. Repeat, repeat, repeat! The choose your seed beads of color choice (I used yellow, peach, pink, blue, lavender and white) and stitch them randomly in the center of each blossom.

Painted, scrunched, beaded.

Completing the hydrangea...
The 'pillow' I sew the blooms onto. (this one was too skinny!)
Stem - Measure off apx. 14 inches of cotton cording. Spiral wrap the same length of light or medium weight wire, starting at one end, from top to bottom. Repeat the spiral wrapping with a half inch wide torn piece of fabric. Glue stick the finishing end down. Fold in half, and twist tightly.
Leaves - Make a 'sandwich' of two layers of fabric and the water soluble stabilizer. You may sketch a leaf shape or free motion it, what ever you are comfortable with. Hoop this sandwich and free motion stitch the veins of the leaves. Cut out 'ziggy' edged leaf shapes.  When completed, rinse lightly, leaving some of the stabilizer as 'stiffener' in the leaves.
Flower Head - I used some more of the lavender fabric and made a small 'pillow', stuffed with poly batting as the base to attach all the blossoms. Leave a small opening at the bottom to insert the completed stem and stitch in place. Hand stitch the blossoms to the head, attach the leaves and you are finished!
There really is no need for the batting, you could simply create the scrunchies in single layer of fabric, but this flower is going to Ireland to be 'planted' in the Quilted Garden of the International Quilt Festival of Ireland 2012, so it needed to be a 'quilt' of 3 layers. The Festival will have an online book showing the entire display and all the quilts. It takes place in June. http://www.iqfoi.com/  Check it out!

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