Fabric Origami Flower Tutorial
On HGTV’s website there is a version of this tutorial, but I found it next to useless and unhelpful in the extreme. I couldn’t figure out what it was trying to get me to do, so eventually I quit trying to make sense of their directions, did it how I thought it might work, and managed to get it right. Once I had my own understanding of how to do it, I could see what they were getting at in their vague directions.
So the first thing I’m doing is discarding any instructions on how to use the flower. This tutorial will tell you how to make it, it’s up to you to do something with it. The other thing I’m doing is putting in a lot more pictures and instructions. Hopefully it’ll make more sense for anyone else trying to do it, and if there’s anything confusing, ask and I shall attempt to answer.
This particular flower comes from one of Rebecca Wat’s books. I’ve never seen any of them, but I assume the pattern is copyright to her. (Just to be clear: I didn’t come up with it. It doesn't belong to me. Not by a long shot.)
You need: fabric, your fingers, an iron, a needle, and thread.
Step the first: Cut a square of fabric twice the size of the flower you want, including seam allowance. So, I’m going to end up with a 4 inch flower (the petals will overhang by about half an inch beyond that), thus: (4 + 0.5) x 2 = 9 inches
Two: With the fabric right side down, fold in half, finger press, and open up. Repeat from the other side. You could press this with the iron if you like, but these lines aren’t important except to provide you with an accurate centre point. There should be a visible cross in the centre where you’ve folded the fabric, as in the result picture below.
(Hee.. there's an error here. The arrow in the second picture should go left to right, rather than top to bottom.)
Three: Fold in the corners to the centre point and press with the iron. (The better your corners meet, the better your petals will look, but they’ll work and work well whether they’re perfect or not, so don’t stress about it.)
Four: Turn square over, keeping the corners folded in. You should still be able to see the fold lines in the fabric from the first folds you made; they’ll be diagonal now. Fold edges in, lining up the edges with the centre point. Press with the iron. Then open it up and do it again from the other sides. Reopen again. You should now have fold lines showing a square in the centre of the larger square.
Five: This is where things start to get a little more complicated, so I’m going to show with pictures of an actual one that I made. Fold in two perpendicular sides. This one is hard to show, but the two sides will meet in the middle, with a fold standing up in the corner.
Tack down the base of the petal with thread, being careful not to sew through the triangles of fabric at the back. Usually I draw a thread up from the back, in the centre, then whip stitch the two sides of the petal together a couple times in the bottom eighth/quarter inch then go back through the back. I knot it, but I don’t clip it so that I can bring it back up through the centre for subsequent petals.
So, subsequent petals. Do the same thing on each corner/petal as you did in the previous instruction. I find it sometimes, somehow, helps to do the opposite corner second, rather than working around clockwise or anti-clockwise. I don’t think it should matter which you do next, but they always seem to meet better in the centre if I do it that way. Unfold the triangles hidden beneath.
Six: Split open the centre of one petal and push the tip down to the centre. I do this by putting my index finger in between the two halves of a petal, and folding the petal over it, like sticking your finger in a thimble, maybe. Press the petal closed in this position. (You won’t reopen it until you’ve got the square sewn into whatever you’re sewing it in. If you’re doing this in a quilt and plan to stitch in the ditch around the flower base, don’t open the petals until AFTER you’ve quilted everything. You’ll have to tack the petal tip down, but you won’t want to have to quilt under the petal, so just hold off. You could also, if you’ve got enough flowers, tack each petal down through all the layers, and tie the quilt that way.)
Repeat with each petal. You’ll be back to a basic square shape now. I find it can help to pin the petals closed for when you’re sewing the flower into something else, otherwise they can be bulky and in the way.
Seven: Sew the flower base to the sashing or borders or whatever you’re sewing it onto. You’re going to sew over part of the petal, so don’t worry about that, when you see it happening.
To open your petals, stand them back up as at the end of step five. Fold the edges back as if you were turning the petal inside out. Do the same with each petal.
I fold under about an eighth of an inch of the petal tip and stitch the petal down. I’ve used invisible thread and it’s actually not showing up in the photo, but you can see the tucked under tip in this picture.
La La La, the end.