I spent a happy evening with friends, catching up and solving the world’s problems. As an added bonus one of them wanted to learn to make paper wreaths. She had found another tutorial (not mine!) and brought paper.
I love making these paper wreaths as they look so impressive. I want to enter another in the fair, but the large one has been entered twice. The judges commented that they had seen it before. Thus, I decided to make a series of small ones. Either I will make a mobile or some kind of wall sculpture. Not sure yet.
It was fun to work with my friends, share paper and tools as well as give them the tips and tricks I have learned.
Rhonda led us in an exercise using unconventional materials, e.g. not fabric. For me, these materials were unconventional in terms of quiltmaking, but familiar in terms of creativity. I love working with paper and don’t get to do it enough.
Rhonda brought quite a bit of stuff for us to work with, but not enough that we spent the whole time rummaging for materials. I saw a shiny binder clip as she was introducing us to the materials and an idea started to form in my head.
Everyone’s pieces came out so differently. It was exciting to see the creativity at work. I didn’t take photos of all of the pieces. I was too engrossed in my own work, but each of them were different and exciting in their own way.
I am pleased with the way my piece came out. I am also pleased that I was able to finish. Ever since I saw Nancy’s map piece for the last show and talked with Maureen about her work with maps in her collage group, I have been wanting to work with maps. I am going to check to see if there is a category at the fair that will be suitable for this piece.
The other day I posted the Origami Starburst tutorial with a second wreath picture at the bottom.
The top picture was made out of paper and very straight forward. After I made several starbursts out of paper, I couldn’t help wondering what would happen if I made one out of fabric.
The Starburst in the photo is made from charm squares from the Fresh Cuts line of fabric. You can use any size square of any 16 fabrics as long as the squares are allthe same size. It took some special maneuvering to get it to work.
You make the legs the same way you do the paper legs except you need to back them with some kind of interfacing like ShapeFlex. The interfacing makes the squares less floopy. Once your 16 Charm Squares have interfacing only to within a 1/4 or 1/8 inch from the edge, spray each square with Mary Ellen’s Best Press, so the squares are quite stiff. Once the squares are stiff, you are ready to start folding each square of fabric per the tutorial. After each fold you will need to press each fold. Press each fold really well and, then, spray each fold with Mary Ellen’s Best Press or something similar to keep them stiff and in place.
Once you start to put the legs together, you need to glue with Aleene’s or Elmer’s glue as you do it, being very careful to only put the glue on the tips of the legs. Let the piece dry thoroughly before trying to pick it up.
The paper starbursts stay together even if not glued, but the fabric starbursts are too heavy and too floopy, so glue them right away.
The fabric starbursts are much more three dimensional, much more fragile and much heavier than their paper counterparts, so decorate with and use them with care. They make great gifts.
I was so thrilled to find a tutorial on the origami starburst (paper wreath). It is a great tutorial, but I like to do my own, as you know. I made several of these and have enough paper to make a few more. We might use these to give out as gifts at the Ladies Lunch at DH’s Grand Parlor. These make great hostess gifts.
16 pieces SQUARE paper (any size) – almost all paper is suitable except very thin paper. Super thick paper will be hard to fold
glue (Elmer’s or Aleene’s are both fine)
Nota bene: you can use fabric. If you do, you will also need the following items:
Mary Ellen’s Best Press
ShapeFlex or other lightweight interfacing
16 square patches (any size)
1. Take square piece of paper and fold paper in half.
2. Open and fold in half the other way
3. Fold corners in to center point
4. Use your bone folder to make the folds nice and sharp
5. With a point facing you, fold the bottom half up to meet the center crease.
6. Do the same to the other point. Now you will have a piece that looks like a kite.
7. Flip the piece so the open bits are face down. Fold the short piece so you can see the open spot between the folded piece again.
8. Fold leg in half with short side out. That opening will be where you put the other legs.
1. Make 16 legs (directions above)
2. Put a little glue on to the tip of one leg
3. Insert each leg into 2 holes in another leg to make four quarters
4. Glue tip of each leg until you have a circle or wreath.
5. Before the glue dries, arrange the wreath so the inner circle is smooth.
Now you can carefully hang your wreath on the wall
A long time ago, I met up with a friend and she taught me to make folded paper stars. Later, I found out that they are actually called starbursts.
Back in the day, I only had copy paper and I made a practice star from that. You need 16 squares of paper to make one starburst, so it is not an insignificant amount of paper and I didn’t have that much pretty paper on hand. I was pretty proud of that simple white star. At some point, I glued it together.
It was a good technique and the results are impressive, so one Christmas, not long after, DH and I folded up bunches of legs to make ornaments for gifts. We also made some larger ones as gifts and Christmas passed. Then the process kind of fell off my radar and I forgot how to make these starbursts. Sadly, I couldn’t figure out how to make them by reengineering, because I glued the one I had left together.
So, time passed, but I kept looking at that star at the top of my design wall. I started to become obsessed by making one again. I searched the web and couldn’t find instructions. I was infuriated. I am a librarian, for goodness sake, I should have been able to find one measley set of instrustions.
I firmly put the problem into the back of my mind to torture me there – uh, rumble around – and let my subconscious work on it.
One day I was on a boring call and clicked over to Pinterest to peruse while I listened. Suddenly, I saw a folded paper star!!! It finally dawned on me to search Pinterest and after trying ‘starburst’, within moments, I found instructions on a blog!!! I know I reported on this in the last V& S post.
For awhile I basked in the knowledge that I had the instructions and could make a starburst anytime I wanted.
Last week, I decided to make one to see if works. Now I can’t really stop. I haven’t been doing much scrapbooking lately, so I took some paper and made a first star. I cut the paper to 8.5″ squares and made a pretty big starburst.
Next I went, coupon in hand, and bought some special pieces of 12″x12″ scrapbook paper and make them into another even more giant starburst. The paper I picked wasn’t matchy-matchy, but it reminded me of a line of fabric that kind of had a Paris theme with lots of pink and black. I just felt like these were the right patterns and motifs.
Paper is fun and everything, but I have a lot of fabric and I began wondering if I could make a starburst from fabric. I let the idea rattle around in my head and decided that one big problem was cutting 32 pieces of square fabric – well 16 pieces of fabric and 16 pieces of interfacing. Regardless of how much I cut in other projects, it seemed daunting for this starburst. I think it was a problem in my mind, because of the uncertainty of whether it would work.
Finally, I came up with charm squares. I got a Fresh Cuts charm pack out of my drawer and picked out 16 squares that I thought would work together. I worked on it at Sew Day and then finished it at home. You need Flatter or Best Press to make the pieces really flat.
The idea worked. I think the starburst came out really well. It is a little bright and cheerful. The only thing I need to think about is how to keep it together. Normally, the tension keeps them together, but the starburst wreath is kind of fragile if it gets handled too much. Sewing or gluing are my options.