My second entry for the Sew, Mama, Sew! Flower Power Contest is a sunflower accessory. I used it here to decorate a gardener's straw hat but it would look nice on a large straw bag as well. It measures 7 1/2" across; the center has a 2" diameter. There are 32 petals, made of 6 different materials, attached in two layers. The center is made up of too many french knots to count. A quick approximation suggests over 200. I didn't know how to tie a proper french knot when I started this project but by the end I was a pro! My fingers were also very sore!
I made this sunflower from fabric scraps that I already had at home. I couldn't really justify buying fabric in order to enter the contest. However, if I were going to order some Sew, Mama, Sew! fabrics to use on such a flower, I would try some combination of Ribbon Flower Sunflower-Katie Jump Rope, Gingham Yellow-Darla, Diamonds Yellow-Living Elements, Ticking Yellow-Darla, and Swirly Buds Gold-Bijoux.
I put together a little tutorial in case anyone wants to make something similar.
1. First I made a paper pattern for the petal. Each petal is about 3" tip to base. Then I folded my fabrics right side together and stitched 32 petals of varying shades of yellow. I used different textured fabrics too. Then I clipped the curved edges, turned the petals and pressed.
2. I then arranged approximately half of the petals around a 2" diameter piece of brown felt. I hand stitched them to the felt center, making little pleats at the base of the petals as I went.
This is the view from the back.
3. Then I made a second layer behind the first.
Again, here's a view from the back. After both layers were complete, I machine stitched around the edge of the center for added strength. (I'm not sure that was necessary.)
4. Then I tied all the french knots. This part took quite awhile and was hard on the fingers but really gives the look of sunflower seeds. I used two colors of embroidery floss to give the center more depth.
5. Finally, I covered the backside of the center with another 2" diameter piece of brown felt to neaten up the back.
6. The finished sunflower: