Here is another "oldie, but goody". The peonies in our neighborhood are starting to bloom, so I thought I would share this tutorial for creating a handmade burnt edge peony that will last forever. Enjoy!
I've seen lots of gorgeous burnt edge flowers floating around in blog land lately, and felt inspired to create my own version recently.
We were invited to a double birthday party for a couple of women we know, and I wanted to bring them something small, but special.
You know how it is when you don't want to bring the same old bottle of wine, but a larger gift isn't really appropriate?
I thought of all the burnt edge flowers I'd been seeing, and I thought of spring, and so (of course), I thought of peonies!
here), but I wanted to take advantage of the melting characteristics of the fibers to create something a little more realistically inspired for this project.
To start, I chose three different fabrics for the flower, and two for the foliage. One of the three fabrics used for the body of the flower is a lot like buckram, but it's polyester. I used it to give the flowers some "body". You could also use tulle or regular buckram, but I wouldn't recommend burning the edges on those pieces. Try to match your thread to your project fabrics. Since all of our goods are in storage until we find a new house, I needed to buy thread and needles. We have a fun little Japanese $1.50 store across the street where I was able to find these.
In the spirit of "revival", I used thrifted, repurposed, and vintage fabrics, but you could easily use new fabrics -- you can make two large flowers with three one-third yard pieces plus a few small scraps for the throat of the flower and for the foliage. While we're discussing fabric, it's important to choose a poly fabric, to get the nicest edge.
*It's very important not to use acetate or acrylic fabrics (or use them with great care). These fabrics are very combustible. (This is why you would never choose untreated acetates or acrylics for something like a window treatment-- imagine a candle (or a heater) placed a little too close to the curtain, the flame is drawn toward the fiber or a slight breeze moves the fabric into the flame, and WHOOSH, there is oxygen moving freely around the fabric to feed the flames, fire climbs.... bad news.)
Once you have your poly fabrics, you can decide how big you want your flower to be.
Now, light a candle. Carefully (hot, melted poly can stick to your skin and really burn) pass the edge of the fabric circles through or near the flame.
By passing the fabric near the flame, you have a lot of control over how much the edge of the fabric will curl. By passing the fabric through the flame, you can get more of a "burnt" look.
For the centers of the peonies, cut some small rectangles of your choice of fabrics and snip a "fringe" into one side. Then pass the fringe over the flame to curl and seal it. I used five different fabrics for my centers, beginning with a couple of tiny pieces of pink and yellow, then a piece of green, then two of the fabrics that were used on the body of the flower.
For the foliage, I layered two pieces of fabric together and freehanded the shapes. I then "burnt" the edges of each leaf, and stitched the two layers together with a simple running stitch down the center of each leaf.
Now for the fun part! You will start from the center of the flower and build out. First, create your "center".
Grab the smallest flower petal layer and stitch it to the center, using your needle and thread to manipulate it till you are satisfied with how it looks.
Now, set the center aside, and grab the next two layers from the stack.
Stitch those two layers together, gathering the center slightly, to add dimension. Now, stitch them to the center of the flower.
Continue in this way until you use up your flower layers, or have the desired flower fullness.
Next, stitch the foliage to the back of the flower, add a backing if you like, and add pin or a clip.
Wear it on a scarf, or on your t-shirt, or to a formal, or a wedding, or just use it to dress up a handbag! Smaller versions could dress up a pair of flats. Pin or stitch your flower to a pillow -- or to your curtain tie-backs. Have fun, adapt the concept, and pass on your ideas!