Friday, 9 November 2018

Quick Stitch - Flower Fairy Lights

This project can indeed be a quick stitch or you make it into a longer one!  Winter is a great time of year for creating fairy lights to add a bit of twinkle to low light days.  These flower lights are made in sumptuous silk and they have the added advantage of providing a floral fix and twinkle!

What you need in the first instance is a set of LED lights and some pretty silk.  The LED bit is very important to avoid a potential fire risk and I opted for battery lights so that they could be draped anywhere that took my fancy.  Silk habotai is the best weight for the top of the leaves and petals and the more colour the better - I was lucky to have a friend who traded some bargain pieces with me.  It is very easy to make your own - get yourself some white hatotai silk and a set of silk paints and splodge away!

Habotai silk is generally very soft, so to increase the stiffness I bonded silk chiffon to the reverse of my pieces.  Bonding products like Bondaweb and Mistyfuse etc give the added advantage of minimising fraying edges as well.  Then I traced around my petal shape with a Frixion pen onto the right side of my patterned silk piece.  You will find the template for the flower and leaf shapes on this link.

The next stage will make this project less quick and can be omitted or reduced for those in need to create at speed.  I love free stitching on my Bernina and enjoyed stitching a simple design on the petals in Maderia Rayon thread.  You need 2 petals per light so for a string of 20 lights that's 40 petals in total!  There's no need to be very neat with the stitching as each of the petals will be folded up around a bulb.

You'll see that I stitched a circle at the centre of each petal and I used this to cut into this to make hole big enough to pop the petal over the bulb.  I spaced 2 petals slightly apart and added a touch of my favourite fabric glue, Beacon Fabritac, to hold in place.

Once the glue was dry, I bunched up each petal around the bulb and used nymo beading thread to tie around the petal base to secure.  This is a super strong thread and a few stitches before you wind the thread round helps to hold.

I repeated the same process for creating the leaves, bonding patterned habotai onto silk chiffon and free stitching veins.  It's best to do all the stitching before the petals and leaves are cut out - it's way less fiddly and will avoid fraying the edges.

I glued 2 leaves beneath each flower head and again tied with nymo thread to secure.  A thin strip of florist paper tape was the final step to holding it all together and covering any unsightly threads.

This project has already proved very popular in my Open Workshops - I guess we are in the run up to that certain time of year!  Personally, I reckon that fairy lights add a bit of sparkle during any season and I very much hope that this Quick Stitch helps you to achieve exactly that.

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