Sunday, February 10, 2019

Wonky Flowers – A Tutorial

A couple of days ago, I came across a new trick that solved a problem I had with sewing Wonky Flowers. The problem was that I never managed to align the background very good, which leads to a lot of waste in fabric (as I used way more background fabric than needed). The trick also helps with keeping the stripes I've sewn before aligned, not necessary very important in ‘wonky’ flowers, but nice nonetheless.
For a 6 ½ inch block (6 inch final) I need:
-          7 x 7 inches background (green)
-          8   1 ½ x 3 inches background (green)
-          3   1 ½ x 6 ½ inches foreground (purple)
-          2   1 ½ x 3 inches foreground (purple)
-          1   1 ½ x 1 ½ inches flower center (yellow)
I assemble the foreground fabric to four stripes with background on either end, and one with the flower center in the middle: 
 Next I take one of the stripes without the flower center (that one is the last stripe to sew) and lay it right side to the right side of the background and pin it. The positioning is a little tilted and off-center (I found the best way to center it is to put it where you want it and then mark a line ½ inch to the center of fabric, away from one of the edges)
Sew along the edge and then fold over and press. 
Now comes the trick. Fold the open side over by ¼ inch (sew allowance) and press. Then dap a little bit of fabric glue on the folded over bit and fold to the other side (I just push it down with my fingers, don’t iron it) 
Turn the whole fabric over and – carefully! – cut through the background fabric, between it and the stripe. Fold the now open bit over and sew along the crease when you ironed the sew allowance over. 
Now you have a stripe perfectly aligned with the background.
You can cut back the extra background fabric away from the second seam (but don’t need to – I just think it looks nicer)

Repeat this with the other stripes. As the background is not moved while you sew on the stripes, it stays nice and square.
Once all stripes are sewn on, all that remains is to square the block to size.
Feel free to play around with the length and/or thickness of the stripes. The measurements I gave are something that works for me and my project. Your mileage may vary. They are called Wonky Flowers for a reason, and a bit of variation is always nice.