by Julia Schwartz
Photos: Julia Schwartz
I got really frustrated when I was trying to decorate my bathroom with sunflowers. Everything I found was way too county, out of date, or just not right, so I resorted to coming up with something on my own. I looked through my closet for past projects (I know you have those projects in your closet too… the ones that you are unhappy with but hate to get rid of because of the time spent on them), and I came across a doily that I had made that really turned out badly. Oddly enough, it looked like a sunflower. As you know from my last pattern, I love to play with starch. When it hardened, I painted it to look even more like a sunflower.
I hung it up in my bathroom, and everyone who visits always says how great it is. The pattern on this page is the second sunflower that I made. I knew I could make it even better the second time around and improve on the design. This pattern is dedicated to all the projects that get thrown to the back of the closet!
- Size 10 crochet thread (two balls)
- Size 4/2.00mm steel crochet hook
- Wax paper
- Folk Art acrylic paint in Sunny Yellow and Burnt Sienna
- Apple Barrel Colors craft paint in Apricot and Goose Feather
- 2 and ½ paint brush
Time to Complete: Approximately one week. (3 to 6 hours for the crochet, 48 to 36 hours of drying time, 1 hour of painting, and another 24 hours of drying.)
Picot: Chain 4, slip stitch in fourth chain from hook.
Note: The Painted Sunflower is worked with two strands of thread held together as one.
Rnd 1: Ch 8, sl st into first ch to form a ring. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), make 11 dc around ring, sl st into beginning ch-3. (12 double crochet made)
Rnd 2: Ch 8, sl st in 4th ch from hook (picot made), ch 1, dc in starting stitch. (Dc, ch 1, picot, ch 1, dc in next stitch) repeat till end of round, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning stitch. (12 picots)
Rnd 3: Ch 9, sl st in 4th ch from hook (picot made). Ch 1, make 2 tr in next dc, picot, tr in next st, (ch 1, picot, ch 1, 2 tr in next st, picot, 1 tr in next st); repeat to end of round. End with picot, ch 1, sl st in beginning ch-4. (24 picots)
Rnd 4: Ch 6, 1 tr, picot, 1 tr in same st, ch 2, sk 1 tr and 1 picot. (Make 1 tr, picot, 1 tr in next tr) Repeat to end, finishing with sk 1 tr, picot, tr in next tr, sl st in 4th chain at beginning. (24 picots)
Rnd 5: Ch 4, 2 tr in second ch, (ch 2, 3 tr in next ch-2 space), repeat around, end with ch 2, sl st in beginning tr. (24 3-tr groups)
Rnd 6: Ch 1, sc in beginning st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, 4 sc in ch-2 space. (1 sc, 2 sc in 1 st, 1 sc, 4 sc in ch-2 space) Repeat to end. Sl st in beginning stitch, do not finish off.
Row 1: Ch 1, sc in same st. (Ch 3, sk 1 stitch, sc) 11 times. Ch 1, sk 1 st, hdc. You should have twelve loops.
Rows 2-12:Ch 3, turn, sc in next loop, (ch 3, sc in next loop) one time less than the previous row, ch 1, hdc in last loop.
Insert thread with a slip stitch into last single crochet used in flower center. Follow the directions for the First Petal.
Insert thread with a slip stitch into any ch-2 space on petals. Make 2 sc in each loop around; when you come to the tip 3 sc, (ch 1, make 3 sc). When you have gone all the way around, sl st into beginning round, finish off. Weave in all ends.
I like using sugar starch. You will need handy some cardboard covered with wax paper.
- Mix 1 cup of sugar with ½ cup water, put it over medium heat, and stir it until the sugar melts and becomes translucent. (This will happen right before boiling.)
- Take the starch off of the heat.
- Soak your sunflower in the starch, making sure all parts of it are saturated.
- It will be hot and sticky, so remove it cautiously. Wring out, or allow excess starch to drip off.
- Place it on the wax paper covered cardboard, stretch and pin the center of the flower into a tight circle. Arrange the petals to your liking and make sure all of the picots are standing up.
Depending on the weather it should dry and harden in 48 to 72 hours.
Starting with the Burnt Sienna and a ½ brush, paint the center of the flower. When that is dry, paint the picots with Goose Feather. Go back with a dry brush and brush the wet Goose Feather onto the Burnt Sienna. Next, paint the petals with the Apricot, then highlight with the Sunny Yellow. Allow another 24 hours to dry.
About the Designer
Julia Schwartz is the wife of a seminary student, a mother of a two year old daughter, and a daughter of a long line of crafters. She has been sewing since she was five, cross stitching since she was ten, and picked up crocheting and knitting in college. She also enjoys cooking, card making, and painting, but her true love will always be crocheting. She especially loves taking old patterns and making them contemporary.
Pattern & images © Julia Schwartz. All rights reserved.