Felt Food

This morning the oldest Tribelet was playing with her felt food, and I decided it was post-worthy. Funnest Christmas present I’ve ever made, hands down. I decided the child needed play-food when she was using Legos as cookies, cakes etc. (she still does, but whatever). I shopped for ideas on etsy, grabbed my felt scraps, and started cookin’. It’s been one of  her most-played-with toys, which of course gives me enormous satisfaction. Delish!

felt food

felt food - sandwhich

felt food - banana

felt food - banana

felt food - hot dog

felt food - egg and bacon

felt food - sugar cookies

felt food - birthday cake

felt food - birthday cake candle

File Aug 16, 3 43 31 PM

Masking Tape Headboard

So, people have been pretty sneaky with masking tape lately. I’ve seen masking tape wallpaper, and wall art (the last picture in the sneak peek. I’m not sure if this is masking tape, but it looks like it to me. It could be wall decal).

So the other day  my daughter and I checked out The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats from the library (how I love the book. The art is completely beautiful).

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats - the bedI was admiring the beautiful wallpaper, his rockin’ PJ’s, and that BED! How I love that bed!! *Sigh* I sure wish we had a bed just like that….

And then it hit me. The BEST idea I’ve ever had!!

So here’s the BEFORE:

My bed before

And the AFTER!!  I’m not gonna lie. I REALLY love the way it turned out, and I’ve totally been giving myself high-fives in my head. Top three reasons why I dig my new masking tape headboard: A) So cheap! I didn’t even use one roll of tape! 2) So fast! I did this in an afternoon (thanks to my neighbor’s laser level). And mostly C) It adds SO much to my room! Every time I walk in I’m like “Hey! I like this place!” Allan knew I was planning this project, but he came home yesterday and walked into our bedroom he totally thought I had bought a bed at first glance. Heh heh… And actually, I’m gonna throw in another point. Point 4 or D or whatever: masking tape wallpaper, or wall art, or awesome HEADBOARDS are perfect for all you renters out there who don’t have a real headboard like us, maybe someday I can even put them in some of our investment property.  And PS I didn’t put any pillows on so you could see the full dealio. Don’t judge.My bed AFTER!! The masking tape headboard

Masking tape headboard close shot

The Masking Tape Headboard - Straight on shotLook for lots more room updates! Besides my dresser dress-up, I’ve got a quilt almost finished (FINALLY), and a new lamp shade, and new curtains, and lots of decorative pillows to make up for my years of pillow famine. Man, I’m ROLLING in projects! I feel like scrooge (the duck) swimming in his vault of gold (I always wondered how that was possible…?)

The Whole Happy Fabric Flower Tutorial Family + Fabric Flower eBook

Hello! I’m glad that you found my little wealth of fabric flower tutorials (scroll down to see them)! This post has by far been my most popular post since starting this blog, and I’m thrilled with all the positive comments and projects that have come about from these tutorials. So thrilled in fact, that I’ve pulled out all the stops putting together a comprehensive fabric flower ebook, How to Sew a Garden.  This book is my answer to the numerous inquiries about techniques, supplies and possibilities of fabric flowers.

Mad Mim Fabric Flower ebook Sampling This ebook will bring you something fresh, as well as give you everything you need (and more) to make, embellish and redefine what fabric flowers can do! I racked my brain and abused my fingers coming up with projects that are new and creative, and that incorporate fabric flowers in more ways than just on headbands and t-shirts (although those basic techniques are well-covered). How to Sew a Garden  includes the original fabric flower tutorials from my website (conveniently stored in one pretty place), as well as 5 additional flower photo tutorials and 7 how-to videos demonstrating my most popular flowers and techniques—pretty much everything you could possibly need to know! And finally, there are 16 amazing photo tutorial projects including jewelry, home decor, clothing and accessories plus additional ideas and techniques that I’m hoping will really knock your socks off! That’s 28 fresh new projects—over 100 pages!—to inspire and instruct.

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There are two options for buying this downloadable ebook: the first is the basic ebook without the video tutorials, and the second option includes the how-to videos.

My fixation on all things fabric flowers started nearly 6 years ago when I served as a missionary for my church in Buenos Aires, and fell in love with an enchanting hand-crafted artisan cart full of delicate fabric flowers. That was the beginning, and How to Sew a Garden is surely the pinnacle of my fabric-flower obsession! After putting up the whole slew of fabric tutorials on my website, one flower project has led to another, and this ebook is the culmination of all my infatuation, focus, and creativity.

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Fabric flowers are a big part of fashion right now—there’s something so chic and appealing about adding texture, softness, whimsy, interest, femininity, and all around loveliness to whatever you choose to adorn. With this ebook, you’ll  breathe new life and loveliness to your wardrobe, and also have the perfect gift at your fingertips for any occasion.  I designed this ebook to provide know-how through clear instructions and photo tutorials, to show you how to make beautiful things worth treasuring, and inspire you to take fabric flowers one step further–to creatively use your fabric flower skills to beautify and make special anything and everything you want!

Here are the links to the original tutorials that started it all—enjoy!

All the various fabric flowers together

Have a lovely time folks, and feel free to contact me with any questions you have along the way! Happy Sewing!

The Fabric Daisy

The Fabric Daisy. I’m really not personally the hugest fan of this fabric flower, but it’s trendy right now, and once I figured it out, I thought I might as well throw up a tutorial for it.

The Fabric Daisy step 6

Begin by cutting 5 squares from your fabric. Mine were about 2″ square.The Fabric Daisy step 1

Fold in half, and then knotting the end, baste along both edges. Don’t clip or not your thread.The Fabric Daisy step 2

Pull the thread to gather and cinch each petal up. Secure by whip stitching the end. With you’re last petal, don’t clip your thread. It will become your base petal.
The Fabric Daisy step 3

String each petal in a row,
The Fabric Daisy step 3

and then go back through the base petal to form the daisy flower. Go through a couple of times to make sure it’s all secure.The Fabric Daisy step 5

Add a button or bead in the center, knot it off, clip your threads, and you’re done. Now slap this on a clip for your gal or something. The Fabric Daisy step 6

Here’s one I made from tulle.
The Fabric Daisy made from tulle with beading

The Burnt Petals Flower

The Burnt Petals Flower

The Burnt Petal Flower final

Start by cutting your petals. The shape isn’t that important, because once you burn the edges they sort of round themselves out. The Burnt Petal Flower step 1

Burn the edges of each petal with your trusty hand-held fire starter (or your neighbor’s).The Burnt Petal Flower step 2

Start attaching the petals with matching thread, ONE or TWO at a time, securing with a whip stitch in the center. The Burnt Petal Flower step 3

Keep attaching your petals until you’ve completed a full circle, or the base of the flower. Then continue threading on petals and then positioning them just so and securing them in the center. Keep doing this until you’ve attached all of your lovely petals. The Burnt Petal Flower step 4

Gorgeous. Although this is the longest method of the burnt fabric flowers, it still only takes a few minutes, and I think it’s may favorite.The Burnt Petal Flower final


The Burnt Edges Criss-Cross Flower

The Burnt Edges Criss-Cross Flower

The Burnt Edges Criss-Cross Flower final

Cut out oval-shaped petals in descending size. Cut 2 of the larger ones. I have 11 total here.The Burnt Edges Criss-Cross Flower step1

Burn the edges of each of your petals.The Burnt Edges Criss-Cross Flower step 2

Nest the petals on top of each starting with the first 2 largest petals. Arrange them in an X, and then take the second 2 largest, and arrange them on top in another X, that balances the first set of petals. Repeat this until you’ve arranged all the petals. *Note I ended up using only 9 of my 11 petals.The Burnt Edges Criss-Cross Flower step 3

Add an Image

With matching thread, knot on the bottom and make several whip stitches through the center to secure all the petals.The Burnt Edges Criss-Cross Flower step

You’re done. So pretty and delicate!The Burnt Edges Criss-Cross Flower final

I bought this fabric flower pin in Argentina, and it was made by this same method.The Burnt Edges Criss-Cross Flower pink

And that’s where I got the idea for this satin fabric flower on my wedding dress that was made the same way.The Burnt Edges Criss-Cross Flower for my wedding dress

The Burnt Edges Circle Flower

The Burnt Edges Circle Flower

Burnt Edges Circle Fabric Flower final

Cut out circles from your fabric in descending size. I cut out 7.
Burnt Edges Circle Fabric Flower

Find yourself a hand-held fire starter. (Thanks Felisha!)Burnt Edges Circle Fabric Flower

Burn the edges of each circleBurnt Edges Circle Fabric Flower

Burnt Edges Circle Fabric Flower

Nest each circle within each other, starting with the largest, and topping it off with the smallest. *Note: I ended up using only 5 of the 7.Burnt Edges Circle Fabric Flower

With matching thread, make a knot coming from the bottom, and make a few small whip stitches in the center of your fabric flower to secure it all.Burnt Edges Circle Fabric Flower

Add some pretty beads or buttons to add that some bling bling to your awesome burnt edges circle flower!Burnt Edges Circle Fabric Flower final

These two I made by the same method. I one from tulle looks ghostly, like a snake shedding it’s skin. It’s like a shell of a flower. No likey. I have seen them look really cute though, but I think they were made from netting instead of tulle.
pink burnt edge circle flower with a button
 burnt edge circle flower made from tulle - ghostly

The Rolled Bud Flower

The Rolled Bud Flower.

Rolled Bud Fabric Flower

Like always, start with a long strip of fabric. This one is probably 1″ by 24″.

Rolled Bud Fabric Flower

Fold the fabric in half hot-dog style, and start rolling to form a small bud. Secure that with a stitch through all thicknesses.
Rolled Bud Fabric Flower

Keep rolling until you’ve rolled the entire strip up.Rolled Bud Fabric Flower

Secure the end by stitches it to a few layers of the roll.Rolled Bud Fabric Flower

And then stitch through all layers. Pierce it right through the heart!Rolled Bud Fabric Flower

And go back through it again, sticking your needle close to where your last stitch came out.Rolled Bud Fabric Flower

Keep securing through the middle until you’ve gone around the whole thing, and it’s all secured.Rolled Bud Fabric Flower

Clip your threads, and you’re done.
Rolled Bud Fabric Flower


The Gathered Folded Edge Flower

The Gathered Folded Edge Flower.

fabric flower tutorial

This little ditty is exactly like the Gathered Raw Edge Flower except, yep-you guessed it, it has a FOLDED edge exposed, rather than a raw edge. You’re very astute today.

So of course you’re gonna start with you long strip of fabric. This one is about 1″ by 22″.
fabric flower tutorial

Then fold in half, and with your machine baste along the RAW edges. fabric flower tutorial

See?fabric flower tutorial

Now gather it all up.fabric flower tutorial

And start rolling it at one end to make a little bud.
fabric flower tutorial

And the on the bottom you’ll secure it with a couple of stitches through all thicknesses.
fabric flower tutorial

Now keep rolling it, fabric flower tutorial

and keep securing it at the bottom, fabric flower tutorial

until it’s all rolled up, and you secure the flower by taking stitches from the center to the outer edge, all around the bottom.fabric flower tutorial

And that’s it folks.fabric flower tutorial

Gathered Raw Edge Flower

So today it’s all about the Gathered Raw Edge Flower.

Gathered Raw Edge Flower final

Again, start with a long strip of fabric. This one was about 22 inches by 1 inch. I also put in a strip of tulle for added texture and interest. (Wow. I just realized that it looks like I have glue or water spilled on my book. Nope. It’s my highschool yearbook, and that’s a raised image of North America. And you thought it was gross looking!)

fabric flower tutorial

Now fold that bad boy in half, and baste along the FOLDED edge.fabric flower tutorial

See how it’s basted along the folded edge?fabric flower tutorial

Now pull your basting threads, and gather it all up!fabric flower tutorial

Start to roll it, and then secure by stitching through all thicknesses on the bottom. You roll and stitch, roll and stitch, until you’ve got the gathered raw edge flower of your dreams.

fabric flower tutorial

See all those stitches in the bottom? Nice and secure. Good thing this isn’t the front.fabric flower tutorial

This is! Done. I actually trimmed down the vertical height of this after I took the picture. FYI, so you know that’s an option.

Gathered Raw Edge Flower final

These two were made from the same method, this first one is from Chiffon, which I thought looked like a carnation. Hmmm.Gathered Raw Edge Fabric Flower
Gathered Raw Edge Flower from Chiffon

Gathered Raw Edge Flower whitey


The Tight Lollypop Twist.

The Tight Lollypop Twist.

tight lollypop fabric flower finished

Or at least that’s what I’m calling it.

I’ll do my BEST to explain this clearly, but don’t be scared if you don’t completely get it–it’s one of those things that you have to try first, and then you’re like “oh yeah, I was born to make these babies.”

First, start with your token strip of fabric. I think mine was an inch by the full 44 inches.

fabric flower tutorial

Make a small bud by just rolling one end a few times. Once you have a little bud secure it by going through all thicknesses of your roll.

fabric flower tutorial

Now here’s where you start twisting and securing. Over…and over….and over. You will wrap you fabric around, hold it down with your finger, and then flip it over (180 degrees like a pancake) to the opposite side. Then you hold it again with your finger, (you just made a twist) and…

fabric flower tutorial

from the bottom of your flower you go up through the center of the twist,fabric flower tutorial

and then back down–your needle going down almost right where it went up to make a tiny little stitch, down through to the bottom of the flower again (you just secured it). There’s is no science to this. REALLY, you are just twisting your fabric, back and forth, tacking and securing it as you go. fabric flower tutorial

Keep truckin’ along until you achieve the size and fullness that you had hoped for. Here’s the finished beauty. I rolled mine pretty tight, and I think next time I’ll do it more loosely and see where that takes me. I’ll post a picture when I do.

tight lollypop fabric flower finished

The Loose Lollypop Flower

So, get ready for a bunch of posts about flowers. It’s going to be a bit of a fabric flower week, I’m afraid. I’m making a necklace with a whole slew of fabric flowers, so I decided to do mini tutorials on each kind of flower I do. I’ll just keep posting ’til I’m done, and then I’ll slam all those tutorials into one fatty fabric flower post.

A word on my photos. I live in a basement, and hence my lighting is crappy, and all my pictures turn out pretty crappy. If anyone has any tips on how to make basement-lit photos look better, I’m all ears. Until then, don’t judge me.

This first flower I’ll call the..Loose Lollypop Flower. Go with it.

The loosely twisted lolly pop fabric flower

Start with a strip of fabric about 1″ by 22″.

fabric flower tutorial

and a small square cut from tulle.

fabric flower tutorial

put your needle through the end of the strip,fabric flower tutorial

and secure it with a few whip stitches in the center of your tulle.

fabric flower tutorial

Make a loose twist, and secure by bringing your needle up through the tulle, around the fabric, and back down into the tulle, making sure you do so CLOSE to the center. You should have made a loose curve arch with your fabric–it’s secured at the base AND the end of the curve.

fabric flower tutorial

Now just keep going. Make loose twists, with some puffy slack, and secure at the end of the little poof, close to the previous poof. Sorry, I’m having a hard time explaining this… Always make sure your needle goes up through the tulle, around your fabric and back down through the tulle. Sometimes one loop around with my thread doesn’t secure it tight, so I go around again.

fabric flower tutorial

Keep going ’til you have a flower the size you want, and then tightly secure the last poof. Cut your tail, leaving a half an inch or so, and then hide it by tacking it down behind the flower.

fabric flower tutorial

Done. If you want you can burn off little frayed edges poking out with a candle starter fire thing. You know, those fire starting things?? You may want to keep your excess tulle, especially if you’re going to put it on a shirt. It’s easier to sew around the flower, on the tulle, with your machine than it is to hand stitch the flower on. FYI. Good luck making pretty flowers.

The loosely twisted lolly pop fabric flower