Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Crafts are one of the most useful hobbies of which floral design is only one. Using various kinds of craft techniques, we can create custom-made items using floral themes for home décor and for holiday gifts suitable for friends and family.
From decoupage and decorative painting to sewing and quilting, all of these techniques can be used to create exquisitely hand-crafted floral items. Let’s look at some books that will be useful to crafters.
Kodansha America has released “Fabulous Fabric Flowers-Floral Arrangements Made From Scraps.” This features complete, step-by-step, color-illustrated instructions. There are full-size patterns and drawings with a list of fabrics and supplies for each project. This title has patterns for 27 different kinds of flowers with everything from poinsettia and tulip to pansy. Once you’ve mastered the basic flower styles, you can then complete the 14 different floral arrangements, such as the rose topiary and the red pepper wreath. Among these are seasonal projects as well as ones for special occasions, such as weddings.
Quilting continues to gain in popularity. In addition to quilt projects for beds, many are intended for use as wall hangings, table runners, and other items in home décor.
Now there are time-saving methods of making quilts. The best known by far in the field of quilting is Eleanor Burns, founder of Quilt-in-a-Day, which offers books and videos as well as the supplies you will need. Her quick and easy method is very suitable for pieced projects. Quilt-in-a-Day has released
a number of floral-related titles that will be of interest. All of these books give step-by-step, illustrated instructions for each floral project. Burns walks you through each step from cutting and sewing to assembling the blocks and the final quilt top. There are also complete instructions on machine quilting. At the back of the book are beautiful full color examples of the quilts made in different colors.
“Fun, Fast Fusies” by Frieda L. Anderson from the American Quilter’s Society is a time-saving way to create appliqué. Anderson’s revolutionary method fuses the three layers together so no basting is needed. The eleven color-coded projects will have special appeal to flower lovers and gardeners. The designs include ones for sunflowers, tulips, and poppies as well as pumpkins and other fruits and vegetables. In the introduction, the author explains the techniques that are used. For each project, there is a list of the fabrics and supplies you will need along with easy instructions and full-size pattern pieces. This title is suitable for everyone from novice to experienced quilters.
Now there’s a way to create the look of appliqué when piecing. Quilt designer Sharon Schamber came up with this innovative, award winning way to sew curved seams that requires no pinning. She has written “Piec-lique-Curves the New Way.” This was published by the American Quilter’s Society. In this title, she presents 36 breathtaking quilt blocks using this easy, revolutionary method. Among the patterns are many with floral themes, such as blue bells, irises, black-eyed Susans, and daisies. There are also patterns for classic quilt favorites like the New York beauty, baskets, and pinwheels. In the introduction, she provides all the basic techniques and details you will need. For each of the 36 blocks, there are easy to follow instructions, patterns, and sample layouts. At the end of the book is a gallery showing quilts made with the piec-lique method. These stunning quilts are sure to inspire quilters.
“More and More 3D Origami” by the Jois Staff was released by Japan Publications/Kodansha America, and features various floral themes. This is the third title in the 3D Origami Series. This book provides all the basics novices need to know to magically turn folded paper into wonderful sculptures of all sorts. For each technique and figure, there are complete, color-illustrated step-by-step instructions. Among the glossy sculptures are Christmas decorations and ornaments as well as other seasonal items, such as cherry blossoms, tulips, and a spring basket filled with flowers. The authors present 38 projects that include good luck objects, animal symbols from the Oriental zodiac, and others. My favorite is the set of three monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil). For each project, there is an easy to use chart and tips on assembly. This title is suitable for children and adults.