Here is a fun flower tutorial. In this style you cut out individual petals. The trick, though, is to use a lighter or flame to curl the petals. So you need to find a fabric that will basically melt instead of burn. I have found that many shiny ribbons will do work very well.
What you will need to start:
A ribbon, a flame, scissors. You can use a candle like in the photo, but I honestly found more control with a lighter. The downside is that the sucker gets hot!
Cut your ribbon into pieces that you can then shape into rough petals. You can vary the size of your petals or leave them all the same…it’s really up to your own design aesthetic.
Once you have all your petals roughly cut, hold them over the flame to melt the edges and get them to curl slightly. You will get a sense of how the fabric behaves after just a few petals.
Once you have amassed your petals, start constructing your flower. Again, I like to use a base of sturdy fabric to see the flower onto so that I have control of its shape. I prefer to sew, but there is no reason you couldn’t glue the thing if that is your preference–except that its messy and not as sturdy.
Once you have sewn all your petals on, you can go back and fill in spots and manipulate the petals by holding a flame to them.
Here’s another flower done in pink and organza ribbon. I attached a pin and clip to the back to make it wearable.
(These flower pins and others available for purchase at http://www.etsy.com/shop/LifeImproved)
These are fun and surprisingly sturdy. I made some for Christmas last year for each of my family and I am pretty sure they loved them. The trick to getting nice, thick coasters is using thick fabric, like upholstery fabric and a thick double-sides fusing like this awesome product, Bosal Craf-Tex. This particular product actually makes coaster sized, pre-cut, packages, but the store I was at only had the placemat packages, which actually turned out to be far more economical. This product is washable and very malleable. These are the materials I used, plus an iron, which I forgot to include and the sewing machine, which was in the other room.
Also, I didn’t mention needle and thread or glue to finish gap.
Here is my tutorial.
1) Decide how many coasters you want to make. Multiply this number by two and cut out that number of fabric squares. I have a square tool that I purchased a while ago that is 4 1/2″. This tool also makes it easy to draw where I want to sew, leaving a 1/2″ seam. My fusible interfacing should be the same size as my inner square. Cut out one fusible interfacing for each coaster. The fusible interfacing ends up being around 3 1/2″, though you may need to trim it up later. You really don’t need fancy tools. I bought that plastic square thing because I was making A LOT of these for Christmas. If you don’t have one or want one, the solution is simple: make a square template of 4-5 inches from cardboard. then, using 1/2 inch seams as a default, make another square template one inch smaller around than your first template.
2) Coordinate your squares by choosing a front and back to each coaster and then flip each fabric so that the good sides are facing in towards each other and the bad sides are out.
3) Sew around three edges completely.
4) on the fourth edge, sew from the outer edge in on both sides leaving about a one inch gap. Remember to double back on edges and on each side on the gap so that the fabric doesn’t come apart as you turn over or stuff with your fusible interface.
5) Trim edges, EXCEPT the edge with the gap. Leave that untrimmed to make stitching it up a little easier.
6) Turn coaster pretty side out and use some thing fine-tipped (but not too sharp) to poke out nice crisp corners. Turning the coasters right-side out is actually the most frustrating part of this project. Sometimes the gap I have left is just big enough for my finger, but I have worked the most stubborn fabrics through impossible small openings. Be patient and don’t ruin all your hard work by tearing it apart.
7) Once you are satisfied that your corners are poked out, you are ready to stuff. Now … you are probably wondering how to get your three inch+ square into a one inch gap. Just roll up the fusible interfacing and stick it in. Manipulate it to lay flat inside.
8) Once in position, with everything tucked inside, get your iron out and set to medium. Fold in the edges in the gap so that they sandwich the fusible interfacing, that way you get a crisp edge. I ironed directly on the outer fabric for several seconds on each side.
9) Almost done! Stitch up the gap. Use your favorite stitch, or even glue and clamp together.
10) Then, put to use right away or find a ribbon to tie up your fun little stack of coasters to give as a gift.