Materials

  • 20cm of lightweight sew-in interfacing for the foundation
  • 50cm of cream background fabric
  • Small amounts of two or three different green prints or plains for leaves
  • Small amounts of a pinks and purples for the flowers
  • 25cm of one of the flower prints to be used for the binding
  • Small amount of gold or yellow for the flower centres
  • Small amounts of blue for the vase
  • 38 x 46cm (15 x 18in) of backing fabric
  • 38 x 46cm (15 x 18in) of lightweight wadding
  • Embroidery threads to complement the fabrics used for the vase and flowers
  • Green quilting or embroidery thread for the leaves

Note: Before starting to make this project read all the instructions carefully first!

Finished Size

14 x 17in (35 x 43cm)

Skill Level

Beginner

The Patterns and Fabric Choice

  1. The pattern is made in five sections: photocopy and enlarge the patterns as required. Using a soft pencil, pin the interfacing to the pattern and carefully draw out the five foundation patterns; you will need to reverse the diagram for one side flower. Accuracy when transferring the pattern is important, particularly for foundation piecing patterns that are made in sections. Remember to add the marked seam allowance around the outer edge of each section.
  2. Selecting the fabrics for each section. The flower heads and vase are made using the technique of foundation pieced crazy patchwork; the leaf section uses classic foundation piecing. Use the picture and the numbers with the patterns as a guide to fabric choice for each section. The same fabric is used for the background area of every section.
  3. When choosing the order for fabric placement for the flowers remember that they do all need to look as if they come from the same plant! Therefore use similar combinations for each flower head; mix light and dark prints, shiny and dull.
  4. Each flower has a yellow centre and the side flowers a green base: the green base on the centre flower is embroidered once the panel has been pieced together. The leaf section is made from the base fabric and two or three green fabrics. By using different shades of green you will add dimension and interest to the final picture. The stems are embroidered. The vase is made from crazy patchwork in shades of blue with the surrounding fabric being the background.
Crazy Flower

Starting to stitch

  1. Having made your patterns and chosen your fabrics you are now ready to start stitching. Each section is foundation pieced and here are some tips and instructions for this method of working:
    • The traced lines on your pattern mark the stitching lines and you can stitch either by hand or machine. The numbers indicate the stitching sequence and if it helps you can write a code on the pattern, e.g. F for flower fabric and B for background
    • The fabric is placed on the unmarked side of the drawn pattern and you stitch on the marked side. The individual fabric pieces are cut to the size of each numbered area on the pattern plus a minimum of a 1⁄4in seam allowance all around the edges
    • If you have difficulty in cutting pieces the correct size either make a second pattern or think of a shape that the piece is similar to, e.g. a triangle or a rectangle, and cut out the shape accordingly
  2. Starting with the first section, place piece one RS facing you, covering the area marked on the pattern. Place a pin along the line where piece one meets piece two on the foundation pattern.
  3. Take piece two and, using the pin as a guide, place RS together with piece one, with the seams overlapping the line. Place the pin through all three layers. Before stitching, flip piece two over to make sure that it covers the area marked two once stitched, adjust if necessary and then stitch. Repeat with subsequent numbers.
  4. Remember: Trim back excess fabric from seams as you go and press. Trim any excess fabric from around the edges of each section leaving just the marked 1⁄4in seam allowance. Make one centre flower, two side flowers, one vase and one strip of leaves.
Crazy Vase

TIP! If you are a beginner to this method of piecing, be generous with the seam allowance!

Piecing the Wallhanging

  1. Once you have made all the sections you are ready to stitch them together: use the photo as a guide to the piecing order. Join the flower sections together, making sure they face the right way. Press the seams open.
  2. Join the leaf section to the flowers and finally add the vase; press the seams open as before.
  3. Cut two strips of cream the height of your patchwork by 2 1⁄2in wide and attach to each side. Layer the patchwork panel and wadding. Do not add the backing at this stage.
  4. Starting from the centre, embroider across the seams of the flowers and vase sections. You can select one or more of the following stitches: feather, herringbone, chevron, chain or Cretan. Use two strands of stranded cotton or similar weight thread. See Figure 1 for some stitch ideas.
Figure 1: The Stitch Patterns
Figure 1: The Stitch Patterns

Quilting and Finishing

  1. Once you have completed the crazy patchwork embroidery, tack the backing in place. To finish the panel, quilt in the stems using either running stitch or stem stitch; quilt the centre line on the leaves using one or two strands of stranded cotton. Quilt around the flowers and the vase either as a feature or in the ditch.
  2. Cut some strips of your binding fabric 2 1⁄2in wide. Press in half, WS together, along the long sides. Measure the top and bottom of your panel and note the lengths, then add on 1 1⁄2in these need to be the same! Cut two pieces of binding accordingly.
  3. Measure the two sides these also need to be the same. Cut two pieces of binding this length.
  4. Bind the sides first. Place the raw edges of the binding to the raw edge of the panel, with the binding on top. Stitch in place using a 1⁄4in seam allowance. Repeat for the second side. Trim off the excess backing and wadding if necessary, fold the folded edge over to the back and slipstitch in place.
  5. Bind the top and bottom, cut the binding longer and fold the corners under to neaten as you slipstitch. Add a hanging sleeve and dont forget to add a label

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 13 Number 13- Summer 2005