Flowers and Leaves

Recently I needed to hastily empty my flower press so that I could lend it to a friend and pressed inside were a dozen roses from my birthday last year. I had forgotten all about them! The roses were originally beautiful colours, a mix of amber and burgundy and I thought they might be worth pressing. There are some darker ones than the rose above but I liked the shape of this one.

Using the rose prompted me to remember some other pieces I had made in preparation for a workshop with the Hadleigh Craft Group – all before the pandemic! The pictures above show a combination of real hydrangea flowers with other mementoes such as a vintage postcard, stamp and pieces of old lace. Embellished with machine embroidery and buttons and beads.

The flowers and leaves need to be trapped, either with chiffon or net, as in the example above. The base is always some lightly painted bondaweb that is adhered to a foundation, calico would be fine, in the picture above some white felt. This gives a tacky surface for the leaves to lay on but also ensures that the net or chiffon can be ironed down firmly in order to keep the items in place.

Sometimes I will use a textured surface, usually something I have already made, but in this case the painted bondaweb just went over some cheap nylon lace, plus I have used some transfoil to give it a bit of glitz.

In the close up pictures you can see that I embellish by hand and use the sewing machine. It is nice to enhance the fine lines of the leaves with machine stitching, but some of the leaves and seed heads will take some fairly robust thread if you are careful. In the last three examples you can see that I have used a wooden stamping block alongside the leaves – I have a nice selection of these and don’t use them nearly enough!

Several of the pieces above have been wrapped with cellophane ready for the charity sale I am planning to organise, although this will be into next year now. Trying to plan, and then advertise a charity event seemed to be too problematic this summer, so now I am hoping that this garden event will be in May 2022.

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