my first kanzashi August 1, 2009

I got my copy of Diane Gilleland‘s beautiful new book, Kanzashi In Bloom, recently and I couldn’t wait to try some of her lovely projects! Lucky for me, Diane and I are in the same town, and she offered to come over and kanzashi with me… bringing vintage fabric, buttons, and a little tiny iron with her for good measure. I snapped some photos of our crafty morning and my little finished flower — my first one ever, and I just love it!

my fabric squares ready to go

We started out by cutting squares of fabric (I picked a lively, tiny vintage print) and prepping them for petal-making. I love that the raw fabric square is almost exactly the size of the finished flower — crafty alchemy!

pressed almost-petals

A quick press with the mini-iron later, they were ready to fold. (Diane’s book has wonderfully clear step-by-step photos and instructions — these are just a few snaps of my process as we went.)

first kanzashi petal

Folding the first petal felt like magic! I love origami and using fabric instead of paper was a really cool experience.

little pinned petals

And in just a few minutes, I had eight of them pinned and ready to join! A neat stitch and pull later, they formed the sweetest flower-petal circle.

last step - covering the back!

Then it was time to choose the center button (I am into buttons, and the red moonglow round was just the thing) and hot-glue a little circle of fabric down to cover the back.

my finished kanzashi!

I love my little flower! It took me a few days to decide what to ornament with it, but Diane looked awfully cute holding it brooch-style with her pretty new dress… so that’s what I did, too.

Diane and my first kanzashi flower!

I’m excited to make some flowers in different sizes and colors — maybe some tiny bright ones for hairclips, and larger and summer-ier colors for brooches or stitching right onto a handbag. Kanzashi in Bloom illustrates so many possibilities for projects to make with the flowers, as well as invaluable tips for choosing fabric and deciding on details like centerpieces and petal shapes.

Kanzashi in Bloom!

You can check out lots more kanzashi excitement at the book website, and in the flickr pool of reader projects! And if you’re in Seattle this weekend, Diane will be at Urban Craft Uprising today (Saturday, August 1), showing everyone how to make kanzashi from 12:30-1:30 and then signing books from 2-3 pm. I’ll be there too, and would love to see what you make! The projects from her Twisted event last week are so charming.

And then she’ll be back in Portland for another book signing at Powell’s Books downtown this coming Tuesday, August 4th, from 7:30 – 9:00. Locals, be sure to mark your calendars!

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