Sunday, August 14, 2011

Felted Wool Flowers

There is a lot of info out there on the net about how to make felted wool flowers. They are pretty much the same technique so it is hard to credit anyone in particular for the originality of making a fabric flower. I think the clearest, most thorough info came from this site, Creative Cain Cabin. There were lots of great ideas on this blog so please check it out. Here is my own spin on the flower making. My final flower does not really look like a flower but does look really cool. We'll call my flower stylized, not realistic (smile.)
I had some lovely hand dyed wool in this garnet shade and I liked the way it contrasted with the blue. I did make a flower out of it. It was too big and the color did not work as well as other hand dyeds I had. What I ended up using for the bag flower were some hand dyes I did myself, all wool, a long time ago, in my "dyeing period". I thought the colors gave the bag and flower a whimsical look.

First find yourself a round shape to copy. The garnet fabric used a 2 1/2 inch bowl, to big for a little clutch bag. I switched to a 2 inch bowl for the final flower. Mark your circles by tracing around the bowl. I found the best marker on this fuzzy wool surface was a chalkoner, the yellow thing you see. It is filled with powder and has a serated edge to give you a sharp line. Yes, that was a circle cutter I showed you last night. It works great on paper, but on this thick fuzzy fiber, no way. So I used my scissors to cut out the circles. When cutting out the circles try to move the fabric, not the scissors. You will get a cleaner curve with no points. When I made both the larger and smaller flower I found 7 circles was enough. You can squish in more but you want your "petals" to show and not be smashed. You also need one circle, same size, to be your base. Interface that one circle.
Here is where you get to make a choice. My garnet flower was all stitched into place. My "whimsical" flower was put together with the good old glue gun. Most websites showed the glue gun to make the flower as well, but when you are a stitcher, you stitch. Use the glue gun. Put a pea sized dot in the middle of the circle.
  Fold the circle in half then in half again. Ouch, did you burn your fingers? Hope not! Directions said to use a clothes pin to keep your centers together until the glue dried. I did on all my circles. Then, when I went to take the clothespins off they were glued to the flower! A healthy snap and off they came. Some had a teensy bit of splinter but all that is hidden by the finished flower.
Next get your interfaced circle. Working back and forth on opposite sides of the circle, put some glue on to the corner of the folded circle. Put that point into the center of the base circle. Put one circle on the base with the two folded edges down and one next to it with the two folded edges up. When you get in about 6 of  these, unless you are squishing in more, glue another corner and stuff it right down in the center of the flower. It will probably sit strangely above. It is easy to cut back and make your circle a nice symettrical dome. Use your scissors to remove and stuck glue and to even off any edges. Once I had my flower complete I pinned it to the bag flap. Then I back stitched all around the base circle to attach it to the bag. It's as snug as a bug in a rug. Cute, huh?
I am having all sorts of visions with these flowers. The thicker the fabric, like this wool, the nicer they curve. While I haven't tried this with thin fabrics, you don't have to stick to wool, just something with a bit of weight. You could always steam a seam two thin fabrics together. That's got lots of possibilities. I can see flowers that have black, white, and black and white tweed petals. How about cream, tan, and white or brown. How about just two opposite colors or a whole mess of textures? The ideas are endless and with flowers being the big rage this season you can put them on headbands, pocketbooks, or just add pin backings to use as a lovely adornment for a jacket. Just too much fun! You'll see more of these!
We have been having some crazy, stormy then sunny weather lately, all changing on a moment's notice. The other day these big clouds just sat above the trees seeming to explode into larger puffs as we watched. The sky behind us was very black from serious storm clouds. It was only five o'clock. I ran and got the camera....Bunny

6 comments:

  1. What beautiful clouds!! You picked a perfect angle to shoot them. I like the felt flowers-thanks for the tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, those flowers look like fun! The tie dyed effect makes them very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The flowers are too cute! We never seem to get clouds like that, but as we'll be venturing to the East Coast this month, we may run into some thunderstorms.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello! I just found your site....we just returned from the adirondacks yesterday!!! We have a camp my grandparents built in 1926... On sacindaga lake!! It is so beautiful there...I also adore sewing and handcrafts of all kinds..I returned to a lovely box of new fabric!!! You have a wonderful site ..I am really enjoying reading all your posts!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this, Bunny! I've been adding flowers to my handmade Totes for years...they can really dress up a plain design. My current obsession is rolled/folded fabric roses...although I haven't quite mastered them, yet. I shall check out the blog you suggested. I'm always looking for new ideas.

    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love the flowers and your fabric from your "dyeing period".
    You do everything so well.

    ReplyDelete

Engaging commentary: