As a society, we tend to want to do something to help in a crisis. We donate our money and time. We give blood and gather supplies. We pray. I come from a family that has done those things, but our go-to reaction when something bad happens is to make stuff. Food, quilts, whatever seems appropriate at the time. I think the purpose is two-fold. It provides something to give the person in need to let them know we care. It also keeps us busy so we don't sit around and worry. In my opinion, it's a win on both counts.
Our niece, Laura, is facing a long hospital stay after a recent, sudden illness. She has many hours of physical therapy ahead of her, so I wanted to send her something bright and cheerful to come back to in her room. Of course flowers came to mind, but they need water and eventually have to be thrown away. I decided to go with fabric flowers instead. Low maintenance. All they'll need is an occasional dusting.
To make these, you'll need five 4" squares for the front petals, five 6" squares for the back petals and two 8" squares for the leaves. Because I wanted the stems to be removable, I also cut a 1 1/2 by 2" rectangle with the corners rounded off on one end. You'll see where that comes in later. I made three flowers, so there are three sets of squares.
Starting with the smallest squares, fold each in half diagonally, then in half again diagonally. Do not press. Hand-stitch a long running stitch 1/4" from raw edge.
Continue stitching each triangle of that size without clipping the thread between, until all five are stitching and attached to each other. I like the fold facing the same direction on each one, but I'm funny that way.
Pull thread from unknotted end to gather all petals tightly together, being careful not to break the thread.
Stitch once to hold the gathers. Stitch the two end petals together. Knot and clip thread.
Repeat with larger petals and then with leaves.
Using a hot glue gun, glue the group of smaller petals to the center of the larger petals by running glue around the edge of the hole in the center of the larger petals.
Repeat on the back of the larger petals to attach the leaves.
I wanted these to be versatile, so I attached a ribbon loop with hot glue to the back of each one so they could be hung.
This is where that little piece of felt comes in. Run the glue around the outer edge of the felt in a U shape, avoiding the short, straight side and the middle. Stick over the hole in the leaves.
For the stem, glue a short piece of popsicle stick to the end of a wooden skewer. The popsicle stick is to prevent the stem from turning inside the flower. Cover the stem with floral tape or paint, then slide the popsicle stick end into the felt pocket on the flower.
Cover the hole on the front of the flower by gluing on a large button or painted wooden disk. One of my buttons didn't quite cover the hole, so I added a butterfly button (which I wanted to use somewhere anyway).
To finish Laura's garden, I covered a piece of floral foam with felt and made a Tidy Tray to fit it. This is one of my favorite projects ever. It's currently on its way to her hospital room in Minnesota, but I wish I could be there when she opens it. Hopefully, it will bring her a little cheer!