When I took sewing classes in high school, the electric machines scared the pants off me. Ultimately, I did all of my assignments on Mom’s treadle sewing machine. Years later, I’m thrilled to say, it’s made its way into my home, bringing with it many childhood memories.
On this dependable little machine, Mom sewed clothes for all of us and even a wedding dress for my Barbie. Unfortunately, years of disuse have left the veneered surface peeled and warped.
To hide the damage, I’ve made a runner with two bowls of fabric tulips to bring both Easter and spring’s colours indoors, and you can too.
Stiff burgundy felt. Add 24 inches to length of the surface. Width — 1 inch less than the width of surface. Burgundy 3/8-inch-wide trim. In upholstery, it’s known as “gimp.” Yellow fabric 24×5 inches Mauve fabric 40×4 inches
Light green for leaves 40×15 inches Dark green for stems 28×7 inches Textured brown fabric 24×9 inches Matching and contrasting threads Batting; about a handful to stuff each piece
Hot glue gun and glue sticks Long tweezers
NOTE: The tulip flowers and the bowl patterns DO NOT have seam allowances. After many attempts, I discovered the only way to get a tulip and bowl that matched my sketch was to trace the bowl and tulips onto the inside of the fabric and sew on those lines.
At D, on the tulips, as you make the turn in the valley, sew 2 small stitches before turning toward centre-top of tulip. This will allow you to cut very close to seam so when you turn the flower right-side out, there will be no puckers in the seam. It took me many hours to figure this one out. Leave an opening in the bottom of the tulips with a bit extra in the centre to fold up inside to close around the top of the stem.
The leaves and stems have a 1/2-inch seam allowance in the pattern. Once the pieces are sewn, trim the seams as close to the stitches as your fabric will allow without fraying. Iron all pieces for crisp seams.
Cut the felt to your measurements. At each end measure from the corner toward the centre, 3-1/2 inches. From the corner along length toward the centre, 4-1/2 inches. Cut the corners off.
Start at centre back of the felt; attach trim with hot glue. Allow 1/8 of trim to overhang edge.
Using the tweezers, fill all pieces with small amounts of batting to give them dimension. For the bowl, cut a slice widthwise on the back to fill.
Trace the lines of the tulips on the underside of each tulip. Stitch on these lines with contrasting thread. Tuck the stems into the opening at the bottom of the tulips. Glue in place.
CREATIN GTHEBOWLOF TULIPS:
Measure up 10-1/2 inches from the edge of the trim. This will be the top of the yellow tulip. Protect the area you are working on from glue drips with a strip of foil. Follow the photo for the layout: the largest leaf in the centre, middle size to the left and the smallest one on the right. On the pattern, “A” marks the top side of the leaves. Fold “A” in half. “B” marks the seam that will fold toward “C” to make the curl of the leaf. Gluing the tulips in their final positions helped me line up the way the leaves and stems would fit into the bowl. Glue one piece at a time; wait for the glue to set and then work on the next piece until finished. Repeat to create this splash of springtime colour for your home just in time for Easter.
When not being used, hang on a hanger with the flowers facing inward.
Dana Ramstedt is a freelance writer and preschool teacher of 18 years.