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So having taught sunflowers a few times and having made hmmm how many dozens for the annual centerpieces I do have a bit of a handle on how to make these and since a lot of people asked here are instructions:

Sunflowers are easy peasey especially if you have a proddy tool (kind of like a spring loaded needlenose plier). If not you can do it with a big fat primitive hook… You will need about a fat 8th of wool for the center in various colours and about a fat 8th for the prodding plus a scrap for the back (approximately 1/2 of a 16th…

1.  Draw circles  on linen – I did 2 different sizes – one about saucer sized and one a bit smaller as I wanted bigggg sunflowers – you can draw a bunch on one piece of scrap linen but you need to leave about 4 inches between them because the proddy takes an inch and you need about half an inch of linen around the sunflower to turn under.

2.  Hook your centers – use scraps or yarns or thready stuff that you would usually not want to hook a rug with – thready or thick or yarn will give it wonderful texture.

3.  Once the centers are done PRESS THEM now because you don’t want to do what I did and press them AFTER you have prodded – flattens the prodding! but do not cut out!!!

4.  Prod around each center – make the petals as long or as short as you want.  I made my pieces about 1 inch wide by 3 1/2 inches long and tapered the ends.  Mix them up – they don’t all have to be the same colour but should relate to the center.  To prod you push your proddy tool down one hole and up about 3 holes over and clamp your strip in the jaws of life (proddy tool) and pull it through so that the center of the petal is centered in the holes. If you don’t have a proddy tool  push your hook down one hole and pull up one end of your proddy strip and then move over a few holes (say 2 – 3) and pull up the other end – you will now have “petals”. I leave about 2 holes between the last row of hooking and where I start to prod and about 2 holes between prodded petals.

5.  Once the prodding is done cut out each sunflower leaving a good 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of linen around each prodded sunflower and then finger fold this to the back. I used to press at this point but again that flattens down the proddy so you really don’t need to press. If it bugs you having the linen loose then do a really long basting stitch to hold the linen to the back of the sunflower in a circle. So from the front your flower looks finished – from the back it looks pretty darn ugly!

6.  Cut out a piece of scrap backing that is about half an inch wider than your center (thready or too thick stuff is good) – I actually draw a circle on freezer paper using the original template for the center of the sunflower made a tad wider and cut it out and then iron it to my wool backing and cut out around it adding half an inch  all the way around. I then press the seam allowance over the edge of the freezer paper with my steam iron giving me a perfect circle – then remove the freezer paper.

7.  Pin the circle backing to back of sunflower and stitch it on using the same technique as a show binding i.e. stitch down in between the loops and tug as this will totally cover the backing – leave about 2 inches open at the bottom.

8.  Stuff with fiberfill and then take a walk! Find a good gnarly stick, stuff it all the way up to the top inside the sunflower and stuff in some more fiberfill and then finish stitching the bottom together around the stick – et voila you have your sunflower!!!! You can add fabric leaves if you want at this point.

If my instructions are not clear – email me!!!!

14 responses »

  1. Thank you Loretta! I look forward to making them.

  2. Crystal clear…off to make some now. Already collected the sticks. Thanks a “bunch”.

  3. Thank you bunches. I am going to make mine mini size to use as pins.

  4. Thank you, you are very generous to share with all of us.

  5. Thanks Loretta, I made some last year at the workshop, and I love them. I am going to make more. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Deborah Schryer

    Umm, do you teach a course for this?

  7. I would explode and this crazy iPad changes my words. Grrrr

    Love, Julies

    Hopefully no bears were shot.

    Sent from my iPad

  8. You are such a sweetheart to share your excellent instructions and tips. I wanted to make some after seeing your picture but had no energy in this heat to try it. I can’t wait ro make some now and thank you for telling how to do it without the proddy tool Have a blessed day. I love ready your posts.

  9. Sorry to be so ignorant, but how much is a ‘fat 8th of wool” ? june w

    • Hi June A fat 8th is basically an 8th of a yard but instead of being torn across the bolt at 4 1/2 inches the wool is torn at 18 inches and then into 4 pieces so an 8th of a yard it measures once felted or dyed about 16.5 long by 13 wide…hope this helps…Loretta

  10. Thanks for the instructions. The sunflowers are beautiful. I did a take on your directions and made mine small—the centers about 2″ circle then the petals. After covering the back on went a pin back. Made about 2 dozen to add to other designs being made for our Fall Frolic hook-in (Oregon). They will be name tags for all the guest. Card stock will be added for folks to add their names.

  11. Jacqueline Whynott

    Do you have any kits for the sunflowers?🌻


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