Here's the scoop on the pretty ruched flowers, the instructions for which were given to me by a lovely lady, Margaret, who comes to all my Demos and follows me here as well - thanks Maggie!
The pictures aren't the greatest but if you click on them for a close-up you'll get the idea... the picture above is a slight variation I came up with today which you can also try - how I did it is after the main tutorial.
To make a flower, cut a strip of fabric on the bias to measure 2 1/4" x 18",
fold one long edge over 3/4", and press well.
Using matching strong thread, knot one end and sew a long running stitch along the unfolded edge, beginning 1/2" from one edge and stopping 1/2" before the other. I stitched about 1/8" in from the long edge and the stitches are fairly long - a good 1/2". (the brown thread is just so you can see it!)
Lay this strip on your cutting mat, folded edge up and fold away from you, and place the right edge of the strip 1/2" past a measuring line. Place pins in the fold, using the grid on your mat to place the pins 1" apart, beginning 1/2" in from edge - see above. The last pin should go in 1/2" before the end of your strip.
Insert another row of pins half-way between the one inch markers, but this time they are placed 3/4" below, down at the raw edge. See photo above.
Again, using strong thread in a matching colour, knot your thread and sew a long running stitch, beginning at the top, folded edge, stitching down to the yellow pin at the raw edge and then back up again - this will give you a long zig-zag along the length of your strip. I made these stitches about 1/4" long...
Pull the thread along the zig-zag edge first, slowly and carefully and pulling the gathers that form back toward the knotted end. When it is gathered nice and tightly, carefully knot off close to the gathers leaving the final 1/2" if fabric free. Don't cut your thread!
Fold in half, right sides together and matching up the 1/2" flat edges, pin. (The right side is the side that does not have the fold over)
Using the thread you didn't cut, and beginning at the top folded edge, carefull sew with small stitches, from the top to the bottom, maintaining a 1/2" seam allowance, and keeping this area flat (don't gather!). Knot off near the bottom, clear of the remaining gathering thread. Trim seam allowance to 1/8". This should now form a circle.
Pick up the loose end of gathering thread at the bottom, and begin pulling gently to gather the bottom edge, pushing it in to form the centre of the flower. Adjust gathers so they are even, pull tight and knot off.
And there it is, a pretty ruched flower with a textured but flat centre, just waiting for beads, buttons or whatever you like to complete the centre.
The flower below was made with a straight of grain strip rather than bias and torn edge rather than a folded edge. I love this one! It's pretty, and shabby and just full of glorious texture and I can see a whole lot more of these in my future! And can't you just see it in red for Christmas!!
Now for the heart...
Trace a heart shape on a piece of muslin, ensuring you have at least 1/2" of fabric beyond the drawn line, all around the heart. This will be your fabric placement guide - all the fabrics except the centre one need to extend beyond the drawn lines by that same 1/2".
The first piece gets covered by all the others so I don't bother tearing edges - just place it sort of in the centre, to the left-ish...
The next piece should have one torn edge which is placed over top of the first piece, at some kind of an angle (angles looks better), and extending on one side as stated above.
Here is a picture with the third piece placed - note the torn edge coming over the other fabrics...
Now with fabric #4 in the upper right...
And finally, all of them in place!
Now take the template and lay it over top, matching up to the lines on the muslin base. Check to see you are happy with the fabric placements, all edges are properly covered and the design is pleasing. When satisfied, retrace the heart shape on top. Pin fabrics in place.
Trim excess away, keeping at least 1/2" margin beyond the lines.
Now it's just stitching and embellishing as you please and then adding the back, finishing the edges as desired. As long as you don't press it until the markings are removed they should wash out easily with plain water. I usually do the embellishing, then stay stitch around the 1/2" mark and rinse off the marking pen after that - then I can finish it up whenever I like - next week or month, or year...
A long tutorial but I hope you liked it!
Your responses to my last post were wonderful - thank you all so much for your warm words of wisdom and encouragement; you gave me some great ideas and a renewed determination to get closer to who I know I am.
The random number generator picked #9, so Susan of Suztats, please let me know which tissue case you would like and I will pack it up with some lovely treasures and get it off to you.
I've had a lovely day - I hope you did too!