Wednesday, March 20, 2013

kanzashi flowers . . .

There was a lot of interest in my cute little Kanzashi flowers the other day, so I thought I'd take a post and lay out the specifics.
Mine were made using templates--similar to yo-yo templates--that are manufactured by Clover  There are actually quite a few different templates (see Clover's website for details), but I have these three. I currently have these three. I see additional templates in my future. Variety is the spice of life, after all!
Anyway, the process is incredibly simple.  The size of your template will dictate the size squares you will cut from your fabric.  I'm using the large round petal template, so it calls for 4.75" squares.  I'm actually using scraps I already had, so no cutting involved!
Fold your template in half, making sure the fold of your fabric is up against the fold of the template piece.
Next, cut out your fabric around the template.  No seam allowance is necessary.
The points for stitching are numbered, as is your starting point.  Thread your needle with a nice heavy thread or strand of floss (and I used a strand of about 27") and put a good knot in at the tail end, leaving a nice 2"-3" tail past the knot. Put your threaded needle in at the starting point (#1) and down at two, up at three, and so on . . .
You should finish with your threaded needle coming up through point #8 ... on the FINISH side.  If you haven't, you know you've gotten something mixed up! Note how the thread between points 3 and 4 and points 5 and 6 is OUTSIDE the template. That's why it's oh-so-important to cut before starting to stitch! I learned this the hard way when I was going too fast and not paying attention. (Which is typical for me.)

Once you've put your needle through # 8, open up your template . . . 
Now you're going to carefully draw your thread and gather the fabric . . .
You may have to do a little shaping to keep the top of the petal rounded, but I found I had to do very little.  The placement of the thread does a very good job of producing the exact desired shape!

Now, without doing anything other than pushing your finished petal to the end of the thread, repeat the process.
The same strand of thread is used continuously through all the petals.  The instructions call for six, which is what I used for the first flowers I made.  But I felt like they weren't full enough, so for this flower, I'm making seven petals.
Once you have your desired number of petals made, pull them together tightly -- but be careful not to break your thread!  This is why a heavy duty thread or floss is handy!  Once I had mine pulled together the way I liked it, I ran tacking stitches through the back of the flower.  For the center, I used a shanked button -- but you can use whatever delights you!  Beading would be pretty ... or felt ... or piping!
I attached a snippet of felt onto the back for a leaf and voila!  C'est tres jolie!  It took me less than 25 minutes from start to finish -- including the button and leaf. SUPER easy and cute! The instructions are included in the packaging (and are very thorough and easy to understand), but sometimes seeing how simple something really is on the front end is helpful!

I found the templates in three of the five quilt shops we visited on Saturday, and I imagine that JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby, and Michael's (etc.) will have them too. Oddly enough, these fun, free project sheets were in one of the shops that didn't have the templates (they'd sold out, I guess).
Yup.  I see lots of uses for these darling flowers!  Like I said, these project sheets were freebies, but if you can't find them in a shop near you and you'd like a copy, just let me know!

Oh ... what's the cute little polka dot fabric laid out in my sample shots, you ask?
Binding fabric.  For a quilt that's ready to be BOUND!

:)

13 noted . . .:

Janet O. said...

Those are very pretty--and how clever is that template? I hope they don't carry them around here. : ) I can't have another thing to make and if I saw a template it might be too tempting!

Jean(ie) said...

Look at that! I see several projects coming. Those flowers would be adorable on a little hat for Ellie!

Paula said...

Thanks for tut!I love those! Oh no! I see another project coming forth. Lucky you to get some free idea sheets. I will be on the lookout for those. Hmmm, JoAnn's has a coupon for 25% off total purchse this week-end. I think I am going to get into all kinds of trouble!
Hugs

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Very cute!

Sarah said...

I like the look of the freebie pattern that has the flowers along a neckline - waht a great way to jazz up a plain tshirt ;^)

Needled Mom said...

How clever!!! They look great too.

Doniene said...

I love those flowers!!! Looks fun and easy - maybe someday!!

Love the polka dots!!! Yummy for a binding!!

Blessings

Kate said...

Very cute little flowers.

TammyLB said...

Thanks for posting this! I've had a template for a long time, and just didn't get around to making any. I think that changes today! I love the Clover templates for yo-yo's as well.

Lee D said...

those are very cute and I think my daughter could handle these. She is always making flowers for her hair.

Sherry Gareis said...

SO cute! I will have to share with my DIL! She would love to make these for my granddaughter's hair pretties! :)

Sinta Renee said...

I would have just looked over those at the sewing store. Now I might just have to have one. Those flowers are so cute.

Teresa in Music City said...

I never cease to be amazed at the clever things people create! I would never have figured out how to make a template that would make such a cute flower. You've convinced me - I may have to go hunt some of these down and play with them myself :*) And your binding fabric is too, too cute! Who doesn't love dots? And orange, too :*D