Summer is in full bloom in this part of the world and to celebrate here are two more appliquéd fabric flowers. They are destined for my proposed Brash Flower Garden quilt and were stitched to mark the months of September and October.
In my real real garden there is an African daisy (Osteospermum) plant which has sentimental associations and which blooms profusely almost all year round. It is particularly abundant in spring and this is why I chose to make a textile representation of it. In keeping with the simple form of the daisy, the stitching is not elaborate. I constructed the flower in my go-to method of layering the petals on the backing fabric and machine stitching around the edges, before beginning the hand-stitching (cum quilting) which gives the flower its depth.
During October I visited the Western Cape and saw many beautiful proteas during walks on Table Mountain and in the Somerset West area. There were also fabulous floral arrangements of proteas at a family wedding. So it was the obvious choice of flower for my October block. Ha! Then I discovered what I had let myself in for. The protea is not a flower which lends its to being ‘flattened’ so that it can be stitched in a two-dimensional representation. My quilting friends failed to identify my fabric flower when I asked them to guess what it was!
For the inspiration and guidelines I used this image of the Protea magnifica from the book Proteas of the World by Lewis Matthews, paintings by Zoe Carter (Durban: Bok Books, 1993)
You may have noticed that I used the same fabric circle for the centres of both the September and October flowers. But for the protea I added a wide section of plain purple fabric and also blotted out the white circle of dots on the original fabric with a black Inktense pencil. Then I stitched the centre closely to emulate the velvet-like texture found at the centre of the protea. Instead of perle thread I used dark purple woolen tapestry thread for the centrall part of the flower and white woolen thread for the outer band.
Here is a close up photograph of the stitching at the centre of the flower:
And here are photographs of the back and the front of the block after the petals had been appliquéd into place, followed by the finished flower to show what a difference the hand stitching makes.