Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Alstroemeria or Peruvian Lily


I had a desire to include the Alstroemeria flower in my Daughter's Valentine. Once my father retired and my parents settled into their new retired life together, my father started bringing home flowers once a week or so from the market. At the beach, he even had a standing agreement with the local florist to re-fill a vase for him every week. He'd take the vase to her, she would fill it, and he would pay her the pre-arranged $10/week. In that way, my father managed to have fresh flowers in the house almost all the time.

I wanted to honor this ritual that my father had with my mother and I decided to use the Alstroemeria flower (or Peruvian lily) since this was one of his favorite choices. All the blooms open and the flowers would stay fresh for the full week -- a bargain.

My plan was to use a similar approach to the one I learned from Di van Niekirk in Summer School when I made the cosmos. I used the actual petals of the flower as my template and reduced them to about 30% of original size on my copier.


I planned to use the Hanah silk ribbon in the Peace colorway and laid out the petals, using the gradient of the dye as the coloring for the petals...four of the petals kind of had that pinky stripe down the middle and two of the petals are yellower in color with striations intended to attract or flag down the interested honey bee...


I then cut a round sepal out of green felt, poked a hole through it, threaded through a few stamens and stitched the bloom into a trumpet-like shape. I decided not to attach the water soluble stabilizer to the petal blossoms without embroidery to see if it makes a difference or not. (I learned that it does...)

And here is my first attempt...


Not too bad. Actually I was thrilled, but there was a lot of fuzziness happening around the edge of the petal which I did not like...whereas the embroidered petals didn't have this. I also didn't like the time and fussiness it took to work with six individual tiny petals, so I refined my approach and made two templates instead of six....


The only problem with this approach was I couldn't place each petal on the ribbon according to the dye lines...so I could no longer use the stripe from the ribbon to shade my petal.

I pulled out my bottle of pink gold lumiere paint and used those nifty little toothpick brushes from the Asian market, and painted a stripe in the center of the petals. The paint looks pretty bright here but when I rinse out the soluble stabilizer in water -- it washed out the paint perfectly...


Now it was time to stitch the striated lines on the two petals like the original flower...


Once again, I cut four round sepals out of green felt, punched holes in my new templates and the sepal, and sewed all the components into a trumpet shape. This approach was much quicker and had a terrific result.

The last step was to roll each petal around a wooden skewer to give the petals their natural shaping.


And here are all five flowers -- completed and ready to be sewn into my Daughter's Valentine. I photographed them in a thimble so you could appreciate the scale of the flowers. They're pretty tiny!


Hope these little flowers brightened your day as much as they did mine. Be well and see you next time!

24 comments:

Maureen said...

Susan, It's amazing the things you create. You are a true artist!! I'm going to have to try this myself.

Lisa said...

Stunning! I have to repeat what Maureen said ~ you are a true artist! Love the new header featuring these little beauties!

Sheila said...

You are such a good teacher! Thank you for sharing your technique! The flowers are lovely!

Allison Ann Aller said...

These are just wonderful, Susan, exactly what you wanted!
Your weeks in Charm School this summer have sure paid off...

coral-seas said...

Wow, these are miniture marvels.

I love the new banner as well.

I get tingles just thinking how this page is going to be when you have finished it. I truely understand the love and emotion that is flowing from you into this page. I got that when I stitched my Flutterbies and can feel the same energy from your current posts. See, I'm tingling all over now.

Vicki W said...

Oh, wow, these are lovely!

Anonymous said...

stunning - well done! I could not even imagine doing individual petals that size! Paula

zees5 said...

These are amazing and I am sure your daughter will treasure them for the rest of her life. When I first glanced at this post I had to stop and read it in full to see which flowers were the handmade ones. They are beautiful! Are you adopting any daughters to send cards to by chance (: izazbz at yahoo dot com

Jane said...

How lovely, looking forward to the next instalment.

Janey

Barbara C said...

Your attention to detail is always impressive. These flowers are lovely, and your story is too.

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

Sensational!

Wanda said...

Oh Susan!!! Your creation looks REAL!!! How beautiful! I love the tradition and I love the stumpwork!

Dees said...

Dear Susan,

I am stunned...such simplicity (not in the making of cours), such beauty! Nature is the most inspirational thing there is.

love Dees

Dovilė said...

so creativly and perfect idea:)

pam T said...

OMG Susan, these turned out perfect. you are a master of flowers, of tiny work, of recreating. I am not worthy... (picture me bowing to you here)...
Incredible. can't wait to see it all together!

Anonymous said...

Susan, your flowers turned out beautifully. You are certainly one creative lady, and I feel honored to know you and watch your talent blossom.
Mary T, in Baltimore

Marty52 said...

Beautifully done, Susan! You are truly and artist.

méri said...

Lovely! Just lovely!

MarchAnn58 said...

Oh My Goodness those are wonderful and sooooo life like. You do the most wonderful work. I agree with Lisa you are a true artist.

Anne said...

Man, you are GOOD!
Anne

Hifa said...

looks wonderful. I also make ribbon flowers and create tutorials on my site. but have never experienced painting ribbons on petals. but will give it a try :)

Susan/CqLily said...

Susan,
These are absolutely delightful! A work of art!

Robin said...

You are such an explorer, adventurer, discoverer!!!!! I love being along for the journey. Love your new Alstroemeria header.

Elmsley Rose said...

Hi sweetie,

I'm just googling on making Rose Sepals (I've got some memory wire - wondering whether to use that) - and came across this entry.

I'm glad I did - coz cutting templates from the ribbon is a whole new idea for me.

And you've met Di! We've had several long conversations. She's an ex-nurse, and knows all about my health, and is fantastic, as well a being a great help technically.

Now, you mention "I didn't use stabilizer, tho I later I found that it helped".

Could you please expand on that comment?

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