Basket of Flowers by Laura Wasilowski
When I teach, I always bring samples of small art quilts for display in the classroom. Improvisation is the theme for many of my classes but occasionally students receive a pattern to combine with their own improvised designs. A good example of this type of class is the Woven Flower Basket workshop I’ll be teaching for the Illini Country Stitchers in Champaign-Urbana IL soon.
You say you can’t make it to Champaign-Bananas, as we call it in Illinois? Happily I’ve developed a pattern and kit for you called Basket of Flowers. Directions and templates make it easy for you to create this 12″ x 13″ fused wall quilt in the comfort of your own home.
Another set of jolly flowers to the right of the giant flower help balance out this free-stitched garden. It only takes two circles of the Lazy Daisy Stitch to make the daisy-like blooms. But first, the centers are made with a circle of Stem Stitches that are filled in with Needle Weaving. Add a few French Knots and these posies are complete.
More flowers drop in across the silk repeating shapes and colors. And the grasses are filled in with Straight Stitches and the loops of the single Lazy Daisy Stitch.
Just like making a balanced design, life requires balance too. And that’s why I’m setting this project aside for a while as I begin a week of dyeing. It’s also an opportunity to think about where to stitch next on this small garden on silk.
Isn’t that yellow thread gorgeous on the blue silk? The 5 petals of these flowers are made with a Fly Stitch. It’s similar to the Lazy Daisy Stitch but with a wide opening at the base. By placing the Fly Stitches in a circle, you make a star shape flower. Stitch a bundle of French Knots in the center and add botanist to your resume. Sweet!
You may want to start filling in the background with more grass. (I’m using a Size 12 in the Nasturtium colorway that repeats the color in some of the flowers.) Try inventing a few more small flowers above the grasses. I know you can do it!
The Lazy Daisy Stitch using a Size 12 in the Peas in a Pod colorway replicates leaves in the background A finer thread like the Size 12 easily fills in spaces making a mound of vegetation.
This grouping of flowers for your garden looks rather forlorn, don’t you think? Just a plain set of Lazy Daisy Stitches surrounding a lonely French Knot in the center.
Let’s cheer them up!
Adding even more Lazy Daisy Stitches in a different thread color (with a Straight Stitch or two) makes them bloom. Run a quick row of Blanket Stitches along the edge of the Stem Stitches for the stem and you’re done. No more wall flowers here!
I know you are enamored with the Stem Stitch, but here’s another linear stitch you may enjoy. It’s called the Cable Stitch. It’s like the Stem Stitch but you alternate drawing the needle and thread above and below the stitch line. It gives you a bulky thread line on the fabric.
And that’s how the stems are made for this group of flowers placed on the far left of my flower design on silk. Rather than stems, I like to think of them as stalks, a robust name that suggests strong, hearty flowers. Add a few Bullion Knots to your robust stalks and a Straight Stitch for the flower base and you are good to go.
While binge watching a really awful TV show, why not add a leaf to the gianormous flower? The stem and inside of the leaf are made with the famous Stem Stitch. But the outside of the leaf is formed with the even more famous Blanket Stitch filled in with the renowned French Knots.
More rows of grasses (using a Size 8 pearl cotton in the Lime Frappe colorway) continue to grow beneath the flower. (It’s summer time so I expect even more grass to grow.)
Note to self: You can always stop watching that awful TV show. And maybe it’s time to move on to another flower.
Like this one:
We’ll work on this one soon.