Cultivating Your New Year
Updated: Jan 6
A Stitched Intention Flower Bulb Tutorial
Plants and flowers have been used as symbols for thousands of years. They have represented everything from healing and protection to new beginnings and prosperity. During the Victorian Era, Floriography - the use of flowers as a secret language - became popular. We still use some of these practices today in our bridal bouquets, roses on Valentine’s Day and Lilies or Chrysanthemums for a funeral.
As we embrace the new year, you have most likely set intentions or claimed a word to live by or strive for. One intention I have set for myself is to get ‘back to my roots’ so to speak. I’ve worn many hats throughout my life, one of which was a yoga teacher. I'm not looking to go back to teaching, but I am dusting the cobwebs off my mat and embracing my yoga practice once again. In yoga, we practice poses to move our energy through the body with intention to calm the mind. This energy or prana is our life force. Through prana we experience the five senses. My intention is that by moving through my practice I can settle my mind and have more space for creating. To say the past several years have been a challenge would be a major understatement. I lost time for myself and my art. This year feels like a reawakening. An emergence from a slumber under the soil, my roots unfurling, my budding sprout reaching for the sun.
So, I thought why not harness that energy in a fun, tactile and visual way to gently remind myself of these budding intentions? Don’t you just love it when two of your worlds collide in that AHA moment?! These hand stitched flower bulbs, inspired by Mister Finch Textiles bulbs, imbued with your intentions, dreams or word of the year will serve as a gentle reminder of what YOU wish to cultivate this year.
Needle and Thread
Muslin, heavy weight cotton or tightly woven linen
Stuffing (I prefer wool as it creates a denser bulb, but polyfil is ok too)
Green fabric scraps or felt for the sprout
String for your “roots”
Paper and pen to write your intention, dream or word
Optional: tweezers, chopstick, distressing ink, tea or paint for aging your bulb, embellishments like lace or ribbon
1. Cut 3 of the Bulb Body Pattern from your muslin or heavy weight cotton. (prior to cutting, you can age your fabric by soaking it in a diluted tea bath if you wish)
2. Line up 2 pattern pieces and stitch along the long, curved edge from top to bottom using a basic running stitch. ¼ inch seam allowance is included in the pattern. (Note: if using a patterned fabric, be sure to place right sides of the fabric together.)
3. Open your bulb like a book and flatten slightly. Place the 3rd bulb pattern piece on top of your open bulb pieces and line up one curved edge. Stitch along the edge from top to bottom.
4. Open your bulb pieces again and line up the final curved edges. Stitch along the edge from top to bottom.
5. Ease your seams by carefully snipping into your seam allowance – do not cut through your stitched line.
6. Starting at the top, begin to turn your bulb right side out. Gently finger press your seams to keep your curves from puckering.
7. Using small bits at a time, stuff your bulb. Once your bulb is ¾ of the way stuffed, make a small cavity in the stuffing and add your paper with your written intentions, dreams or word.
8. Continue stuffing your bulb until it is nice and plump. It may be helpful to use a chopstick to gently shift the stuffing to fill any empty space or bulges.
9. Using your green fabric, cut out 2 sprout pattern pieces.
10. Stitch your sprout using a ¼ inch seam allowance.
11.Turn your sprout right side out and stuff. (Note: tweezers can come in handy here)
12. Stitch your sprout into the top of your bulb. Cut some small strips of your bulb fabric and add it into the neck of your bulb as you stitch your sprout into place to create the 'tunic' (leaf base) of your bulb. If you wish, you can add more than one sprout or some emerging leaves to your bulb.
13. Add your roots by cutting lengths of string and stitching them to the bottom of your bulb.
You can age your bulb by rubbing it with some distressing ink or paint.
Adding some stitching or embellishments to your bulb is a fun way to make it uniquely yours.
Once your bulb is all done take a moment to sit with your bulb in your hands and visualize your piece of paper. Now visualize what you wrote coming to fruition. Plant your bulb somewhere special in your home where it will serve as a reminder of all you hope to cultivate this year.
Amarylis - Pride, beauty
Crocus - Joy
Daffodil- Rebirth, new beginnings
Gladiolus - Strength
Hyacinth- Devotion, spirituality
Iris - Wisdom
Narcissus- Creativity, inspiration, inner reflection
Snowdrops - Overcoming obstacles
Tulip- Varies by color
Red- love, passion
Pink- beauty, possibilities
Orange- friendship, success
White- grace, peace
Yellow- happiness, hope
Green- growth, luck, prosperity