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What do a pocket watch, a subway schedule and a scientific butterfly illustration have in common? These “eclectic elements” are beautifully blended together in a fabric line of the same name. We’re very pleased to introduce you to Eclectic Elements by Tim Holtz for Coats. This is the debut fabric line for the legendary Coats brand, and the premier collection for renowned paper crafter and designer, Tim Holtz. We have nine projects, including today’s Fabric Flower Tutorial by Paula Cheney of Tim’s creative team, plus an amazing Great Giveaway at the Series’ conclusion. We invite you to lose yourself in the myriad of unusual and imaginative motifs that make up this collection. We can see Tim’s inspiration behind each and every one, “This unique combination of salvaged findings and vintage palette creates a collection to inspire your artful imagination. I believe creativity is not in the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found.” 

If you are a regular visitor to Sew4Home, you know we put a lot of effort into the photography of our project samples, including the props that surround them. These settings give you a glimpse into our own eclectic collections, from a vintage cookie jar to a salvaged fruit crate label to a classic bakelite radio. These and other memorabilia give you a hint at why we were so drawn to Eclectic Elements.

Tim Holtz is a renowned paper crafter, and his move to fabric brings with it a sensibility for wonderfully layered detail. In fact, many of today’s popular new designers hail from this genre, and the connection certainly makes sense. Attention to color, pattern and texture is an integral part of both worlds. 


As Creative Director for Ranger Industries; one of the leading manufacturers of innovative inks, paints and embossing products, Tim travels the US and internationally, teaching and inspiring people of all ages. 

We’re very proud to be one of the first sites to bring you a complete compliment of unique (and eclectic!) projects made with his first, fabulous collection inspired by timeless elements, salvaged finds and vintage palettes.

You can find the entire selection of Eclectic Elements as yardage and bundles at your local independent fabric shop as well as select designs at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores®. 

We’ve used today’s flower tutorial to create embellishments for two of our Eclectic Elements projects. Our thanks to Paula Cheney of the Tim Holtz creative team for putting together this fun and easy fabric flower inspired by Anj from Snowy Bliss.

Fabric Flowers by Paula Cheney

  1. From the Eclectic Elements fabric, cut ONE 5″ x WOF (width of fabric or 44″) strip. Each flower uses one strip.
  2. Fold the 5″ strip in half wrong sides together so the strip is now 2½” x 44″. Press to set a center crease. 
  3. Unfold the strip wrong side up so the crease line is visible. Run a machine basting stitch right along this fold line (you will gather this later).

    NOTE: When making a lot of flowers, create an assembly line by cutting all the fabric, then ironing, then sewing. It makes for a whole lot less thinking rather than completing one flower start to finish, then starting over.
  4. Re-fold the strip wrong sides together. Along the raw edges, measure and mark every every 2½” the length of the strip.
  5. Hand-cut scallops between these marks. Your cutting does not have to be perfect. 
  6. On one end of the strip, cut as shown below to leave a 4-5″ tail.

    NOTE: If you are making multiple flowers, once one strip is cut, lay it on top of the other strips and use it as a pattern.
  7. Using a ¼” seam allowance, follow the line of the scallops to stitch the strip closed, including the ends as shown in the photos below. Feel free to change thread color depending on the fabric choice. We used a red thread for contrast, but you could also stay with a matching thread for a more muted look. 
  8. Once stitched, gently pull one string of the center basting stitch to gather the strip. It should automatically begin to spiral in on itself.
  9. Cut a stick or dowel to use as a stem to your desired length. Tie the “tail” of the strip to the stick with the end of the tail pointing towards the end of the stick.
  10. Wrap the tail around the end of the stick to create a sharp point. Glue into place with a low temp glue gun.
  11. Add more glue, and begin wrapping the gathered fabric around the stick, adding lines of glue about 1½” at a time.
  12. Once you’ve wrapped once around the stick, position the glue so it is at least ½” below the gathering stitch.  This will allow your flower open better.
  13. Keep rolling and gluing, little by little, until you run out of fabric.
  14. To cover the bottom of the flower,  we cut a wool flower using Sizzix Alterations Tattered Floral die (you could also cut a similar free-hand shape from flat wool or heavy felt). 
  15. Cut a hole in center of the wool shape to accommodate the stick. Slide the shape up into place against the base of the flower. Add a dot of hot glue to secure the wool to the bottom of flower.
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