Ruched Fabric Flower Tutorial

At the International Quilt Show last week I saw a Baltimore Album quilt with lots of appliqued flowers. There was one flower that caught my eye. The attendant {there to make sure no one was taking photographs} told me it was called a ruched rose. It was exquisite! Bright pink and perfectly shaped into a fluffy, little disc atop a perfectly stitched leafy, green stem. So of course I had to figure out how to make one.

I looked online to see if there was a tutorial, but most of the tutorials made the flowers with ribbon. I wanted one made from fabric. So, I kind of made this up from some of the ribbon tutorials I saw and the fabric I had on hand! I made this one to use as a brooch or a hair bow for my daughter - so it's mounted on a piece of scrap fabric the same color.

Start with a strip of fabric that's about 1.5" wide and about a yard long. I used a cotton/poly blend in a bright pink with a matching thread. You will also need a hand sewing needle, scissors and a scrap of fabric for mounting.

Fold strip in half lengthwise and iron.

Start sewing. Use an arm-length piece of thread. Start it inside the fold to hide the knot.

Begin a running stitch in a zig-zag pattern from raw edge to folded edge. The tighter your zig-zags the tighter the flower petals will be. Mine were about an inch and a half wide.

Every 5 inches or so, push the fabric down the stitching toward the knotted end of the thread. Don't push too hard as you may snap the thread. You'll begin to see the petals forming.

Keep sewing with the running stitch and pushing the fabric down the thread every 5 inches until you reach the end. This piece took me about 20 mintues - and I'm not very good at handsewing.

This is what the ruched strip looks like.

If mounting it to wear as a brooch or you're going to attach it to a headband or barrette, mount it on a fabric that's either the same or similar to your ruched strip. I used a doubled-over scrap of the same fabric. You could use felt here too.

Determine if you want a shaggy flower {raw edge out}

Or a polished flower {raw edge in the middle} I wanted a polished flower.

Taper the end of the strip to a point by folding it and then tuck the point under to form a stronghold for the center. Tack in place with  a few stitches.

Begin to wind the strip around the center, tacking it as you go with small stitches. Tuck each layer under the layer before so the raw edges are hidden and the outer edge is neatly curved. Keep winding and tacking until you get to the end. Taper the end, fold under and tack to the mounting fabric so it's hidden underneath the last row of petals. Go back and shape your flower and tack any loose spots - it's really very forgiving and easy to go back and shape. You can add a little center embellishment if you'd like, but I kept mine plain.

This is the back. It ain't pretty, but it works.

This is it! Trim the backing fabric and threads and mount it on your choice of pin, barrette, headband - or make 2 and stick them on your cute little black ballet flats!
 It reminds me of zinnias or, if done in orange, a marigold. Love this cute little, easy-to-sew project!

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