When I come upon a species I haven't seen before, I can't help it- I've got to research it. I've often got the latest crush on my kitchen counter available for viewing every time I walk by. I obsess until I've figured out for myself what sets that particular flower apart from all it's other cousins in the flower world.
And so it was with the King Protea. The first time I saw one in person was at Whole Foods. (FYI, Whole Foods has an amazing floral section- I often go just to snap pics. And yes, they know me and think I'm nuts.)
I went in for quinoa, and came out with a King Protea bouquet. Typical.
So according to my research, King Protea are native to South Africa. My sources say they are the national flower. I like to imagine that there are fields of King Protea just covering the countryside like the poppies in the Wizard of Oz. Ok, that's probably an exaggeration, but hey, a girl can dream!
So after much thought, I decided that the King Protea has the following distinguishing features-
- A velvety, cone shaped center (you could use velvet, minkee fabric, or velour)
- A couple of layers of delicately shaded, pointy petals (mmmm, I'm thinking ombre fabric…)
- 6 inches across or larger (go big or go home.)
Fast forward through the mental gymnastics how to make this happen in fabric, and boom, The Protea Pincushion Pattern! :
|Made with Kaffe Fassett's Kim fabric in 'red' with periwinkle velvet center.|
|Actual pattern cover|
|Made in Kaffe Fassett's 'Kim' fabric in blue with green velvet center.|
|Made with Kaffe Fassett's 'Mirage Stripe' fabric with turquoise velvet center.|
|I like to add beads to the inner petal tips. Little crystal ones look kind of like dew drops, don't you think?|
Want to know one of the best things about this new pattern? You can use my fave new toy- the Accuquilt Go fabric die cutter- to make this Protea come together even faster!!
I first met up with the Accuquilt peeps at the Houston Quilt Market. Yeah, I'd heard of fabric die cutters, but it wasn't until I tried one myself that I realized the potential with my patterns…
The dies are designed with the quilter in mind. Lots of different circle sizes, 2 ½'' strips and squares, etc. etc.
The Protea Pincushion particular pattern uses LOTS of circles. You can definitely make the Protea Pincushion with the circle templates included in the pattern. But you can't image what a time saver die cutting them is!!
And SO fun. I swear that crank just invites volunteers. I have named my Accuquilt cutter 'Tom Sawyer'- all I have to do is set it up, and the kids come running volunteering to cut all the shapes I need!
The Accuquilt peeps were kind enough to send me the Accuquilt Go to check out. This is the one I have:
Want your own die cutter? Want to check out the gazillions of dies available? Hop on over to Accuquilt.
I love this gadget so much that I will be editing past (and future!) patterns with optional die cut instructions!!
Want your own Protea Pincushion Pattern? Go here :)
Happy flower crafting!