Fabrications – Pretty in Pink (part two)

When the quilting stage was complete, I picked out a green batik fabric for the stem of my flower and for the decorative ruched trim. Both of these were constructed the same way. For the stem, I cut a bias strip of fabric 1 1/4 inches wide. For the ruched trim, I cut a strip on the cross grain 3 inches wide. After folding the strips right side together, I sewed a 1/4 inch seam down the length of the strip. I then turned the strips right side out using a tube turner and pressed them, centering the seam line on the back side.

Tube Turn

To form the ruching, I accordion folded the strips about every inch.

Accordion Folded Tube

I then set up my sewing machine with a straight stitch at 4.5 mm in length. Starting at one corner, I sewed diagonally from fold to fold (a zig zag pattern), letting my stitches comes as close to the edge as possible without leaving the fabric.

Sewing Zig Zag Pattern

When I completed the stitching, I then took one thread tail in hand and gently pulled on it while pushing the fabric in the opposite direction. I continued doing this until the complete strip was gathered and ruched.

Ruched Tube

With the flower and stem complete, I now moved on to the leaves. Using green craft felt, I cut a 4-inch square and backed it with Decor Bond. I then used a fabric pen to draw two basic leaf shapes on the felt. I wanted my leaves to have the same coloring as the stem, so I picked out a few thread colors that matched the batik fabric. Starting with the darkest shade, I thread painted the interior leaves. I then detailed them with the lighter colors.

Leaves

My flower was now ready to be placed on the quilted fabric. First, I positioned the ruched stem and lightly tacked it down with a dab of fabric glue here and there. Next, I placed the leaves in position the same way. I then threaded a hand sewing needle with the tail of thread from the tip of the ruched stem and brought it to the back side, where I secured it with a knot.

Thread Tail

Finally, I attached the flower. When all was in place, I hand stitched the whole composition from the back side, bringing this project to completion.

I hope you will try some of these techniques in the near future. These little flowers are wonderful on prom dresses, hats, handbags, and other similar items. Have fun!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

N. Rene West
Time Treasured

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2 Comments

  1. Micki said,

    March 1, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Thank you for this great tutorial. Your little art quilt is lovely.

  2. Ms. D said,

    June 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I’m a beginner to sewing and about to purchase my first sewing machine. The one I’m looking at is a very basic model with limited capabilities. There’s preset stitches, which doesn’t allow me to choose length/width. In your experience, would you say 4 mm is a sufficient length to still do ruching? Thanks for your advice!


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