It's Christmastime, and I'm always excited about what I can create for certain Loved Ones. Sometimes I buy a little bit, but for the most part I like to create unique pieces for the various individuals in my life. Certain people that you know have everything that they need or want, so the challenge is to create something lovely which they can't buy, and will totally cherish. Functional and Aesthetic. That's my aim in creating. : )
Read on to see what I crafted for my Sis!
Step 1: Collecting Fabrics
1. As a person who sews prolifically, professionally and also as hobby, I tend to be a drop-off point for no-longer-wanted fabrics and sewing notions from kind-hearted souls. Most of these offerings are things I would never purchase on my own dollar, but always appreciate the gifting of them from others. I try to find uses of them, one way or another.
It occurred to me that I had been gifted LOTS of Christmas fabrics. At some point, the thought of creating a fabric plant entered into my mind... neat! So, I sifted through my "Christmas" collection fabric types, looking for smaller prints that would make sense for this particular project.
2. I then separated those selections into color groupings that would be used for: 1. Leaves 2. "Flowers" 3. Stems. (The "Flowers" are italicized because they are not actually flowers, but Modified leaves. The Poinsettia does have flowers - the tiny yellow sprouts in the center of the Modified leaves. So Complicated!) : )
Step 2: Using Leaves to Make a Template
1. Leaves from my Poinsettia plant. I picked off a variety of sizes.
2. Outlining the leaves onto waxed paper. Okay to exaggerate shapes as the process of cutting and sewing and turning out may minimize your original intentions.
3. I made one sized template for the Green leaves and three sizes for the Red leaves.
Step 3: Cutting Out Leaves
1. The Green leaf template on top of one of the green fabrics.
2. All the fabrics cut out, for the different sized leaves. Upon looking at the photo myself, the stacks don't look very high, but I did cut out MANY leaves(2 shapes per leaf). The method for cutting out leaves is to fold your fabric right sides together, and cut out your shapes.
After cutting out all of these leaves.. I'm not quite not done with cutting! : )... : (...
I need one piece of batting per two leaves... so I got some lightweight batting and made all of that happen.
Step 4: Sew Leaf
1. Right sides together, sew a nice, tight seam. Small seam allowance, and also a small stitch length, 2.2/2.4. Also be sure that the edges of both layers are lined up. The reason for all this strictness is that you don't want to turn these leaves out and discover that some of the seam allowances were not captured, and open up as a hole. Boo.
2. Left a large enough hole to pull everything right-side out.
3. Hemoclips are an awesome tool for many things, including turning sewing projects rights side out.
4. Minimize large turning hole with a bit of hand-sewing.
5. Quilt! This part is fun and easy and transformative! : )
6. Any stray cut threads on the underside of the leaf can be solidified with a dab of glue.
Step 5: All the Leaves Sewn
Once you get the hang of it, this actually goes pretty quickly, with nice results.
Time investment from absolute beginning to end may have been about 16 hours, but some parts go by very quickly, and are also mindless, so it just didn't feel overwhelming.
Step 6: Stems
1. I cut my strips on the bias, which is typical for tubing, but also cool for this particular print as it has a diagonal line of about 2" wide which I simply cut my strips on.
2. About a dozen strips cut out, the length of typical pipe cleaners.
3. Sewn(right sides together), with one end secured with double stitching, and turned out. Use whatever tools you have to make this work. ; ). The pipe cleaners glide right in.
Step 7: Sew Leaves to Stems
1. All of my Leaves and stems laid out.
2. I sewed a couple of green leaves several inched from the bottom, then sewed the red leaves above those. The various stems of leaves I created were certainly not identical but I kept to the principal of: the further up the stem I added leaves, the smaller the leaves were.
Step 8: The Bouquet
A busy visual requires a "neutral background" for a good photo. I tried to find a simple environment for this busy ensemble; tricky during Christmastime when all is adorned. : )
Sometimes a good photo is difficult for me, but don't let my inability to capture how lovely this craft project turned out to discourage you from making your own. It's a great way to use up scraps, no matter what theme or season!
I gave this to one of my sisters for Christmas. My other sister suggested adding clear marbles to the vase for visual water(and I think good weight counterbalance!)
I also made individual stems, rather than full bouquets, and put them in small, narrow vases as light gifts for friends.
As a funny aside, the sister I gave this to tends to kill all of her plants, so I think this might just be the perfect "plant" for her, and if this ring true for anyone you know, there you go!
(Ask any sewing questions that I may not have addressed correctly, in the comments below.)