Friday, July 13, 2007


As promised, here is the continuation of how I form my ruched strips into a flower. The first installment was posted July 9. In the first section, I showed you how I mark and stitch the strip to be gathered. As I work with this strip, the wrong side of the strip will be the side where the two raw edges are folded to meet in the center. Here is a picture of my gathered strip.

Notice how there is about 1/2 inch at the end of the strip that isn't gathered. I fold that portion that was not gathered to the wrong side and tack it down. I try to make sure that my stitches don't show on the right side.

Then I continue working with this end. I want to start forming the strip into a circle so that the little petals touch in the center. I work with the right side of the strip up. I knot my thread and take a tiny stitch where the first two petals touch. This stitch will hold them in place.

Then I curve the strip so another petal touches the first two I stitched together. I continue stitching the petals together until I have a small circle with NO hole in the center. It usually takes about 6 or 7 petals for me to get a nice circle that lays flat. Then I position the strip behind the very first petal to begin the second round of petals. This photo shows the first round of petals and I'm just beginning the second round.

In the second round, I want about half of the petals showing above the tops of the petals in the first round.

I continue tacking each petal in place. I am placing my stitches so that they go down through the top of the first round of petals. If you place the stitch so that it goes down in the gathers, you will not be able to see the stitch from the right side. Remember, I'm using red thread to do the stitching. I continue curling the gathered strip until I have used the entire strip.

You are really forming a spiral when you make this flower. At the end, I just curve the last little bit under and stitch to secure it behind the last round of petals. The backside is not pretty with the big stitches, but that does not matter because it will be hidden from view when you tack the flower onto your background.

When I attach my flower to the background...I place a stitch in each of the outside row of petals. Sometimes I also stitch through some of the inside petals The stitch goes through both the petal and the background. When I do this, I again place the stitches so they are hidden by the gathers. The following picture is one of the blocks that will be in DD's quilt. You can see the 3 ruched flowers in the center.

This next picture shows the back of the block. I think you should be able to click on it and enlarge it so you can see my BIG stitches that attach the ruched flower to the background. It's the burgundy thread. Not pretty is it??? This quilt will most likely hang on a wall and not be washed. If I were attaching the ruching to a quilt that I knew would be washed, I would use a double thread and I would attach it with many little stitches to make sure it did not come off due to a broken thread.

Some people use a foundation to form their flower. I don't like that extra layer of fabric and I have found that I can form and stitch these without it. Also, I have seen some ruching where the spiral was formed by winding each round on top of the round before it. It's just my preference to have each round form behind the others. You will have to play around and see what works for you. Ruching really is fun and you can make some lovely dimensional flowers with it. I hope you will give it a try.

Sorry for the blurry photos. I'm a quilter, not a photographer.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Thank you for the great instuction. I was not getting the proper results because I was not stitching the petals in the same manner. I'll try again.