Kanzashi is a time-honored Japanese craft in which fabric is folded into flower petals. While traditionally used to make hair ornaments, for this project the fabric flower petals are large enough to frame a clock kit, creating a wall clock that is more art than timekeeper.
Finished dimensions — 13" across
Seam allowance — ?" unless otherwise specified
You can fussy cut (see the glossary) the center and “petals” to make some interesting looks and highlight the fabric print. Quilting-weight cottons work great, but silks, brocades, and other fancy fabrics make a great base too. Feeling particularly creative? Try a lovely decorative paper for the clock face, or embroider, paint, or bead number markers onto each of the petals. This is not your average everyday straitlaced office clock!
Measure, Mark, and Cut
Lay out your fabric in a single layer with the wrong side facing up. Pin the clock face pattern piece close to the selvage and cut it out. Transfer the markings to the wrong side of the fabric. Next to the clock face, cut a circle with a 1?" diameter for the movement lining. Measure and mark the petal pieces with the straight edges along the straight and crossgrain lines. Cut out the pieces.
Clock face (cut 1)
Petals 10" square (cut 12)
Movement lining 1?" diameter circle (cut 1)
Cut from cardboard using utility knife:
Clock face support (cut 1)
Star template (cut 1, leaving the clock movement cutout uncut for now)
As you fold the petals, don’t press the folds; you want to create a soft and loose looking organic petal. To make each petal, do the following:
Fold one petal in half diagonally with the wrong sides together, and zigzag stitch along the cut edges to prevent fraying.
Fold the side points to the bottom point. Then fold the fabric in half again, one side corner to the other. Straight stitch K" from the zigzag stitched edges to form a cone.
Turn the wide, open end of the cone right side out, leaving about 2" of the tip of the cone unturned inside.
Holding the seam side of the cone at the bottom, lightly flatten the cone into a truncated triangle and measure along the top edge. Push in or pull out the tip of the cone until the top edge of the petal is about 4" long.
Assemble Petal Ring
Place the star template on a work surface with the cutout placement marking facing up. With the front of a petal facing you, push the inner unturned cone section of the petal all the way onto one of the points of the star template. This will flatten and unfold the top edge of the petal.
Check to make sure the top of the petal is centered on the arm, the folds are neat, and the petal is still 4" long when the tip is pulled to a point.
Repeat with the remaining petals.
With the glue gun, gently squeeze hot glue between the top of the cardboard and the flower petal, pushing the petal down gently until the glue holds. Take care to wipe off excess glue and don’t burn yourself!
Hand-tack the petals to each other 3" up from the bottom glued edge and " back from the front folded edge with a small stitch through the adjoining outer layers of each petal. Be sure not to catch the front layer of fabric in your stitch. Knot the ends of the thread together and clip them so they don’t show from the front.
Make Clock Face
Cut away the clock movement cutout at the placement mark, adjusting the size as necessary for your movement. Take care not to bend the cardboard as you cut.
Center the movement lining circle on the fabric clock face with the right sides together. Machine- or hand-stitch the two pieces together along the K" stem hole circle marked on the clock face.
With sharp scissors, poke a small hole in the center of the K" circle and clip as close to the stitching as possible, all around the circle.
Push the lining through the hole so that the fabrics are wrong sides together and the opening has a finished fabric edge. Press the opening flat.
Hand-sew a running stitch along the marked gathering line on the wrong side of the fabric clock face, leaving the thread tails long.
Place the fabric clock face on top of the cardboard clock face with the right side facing up. Pull the raw edges of the movement lining scrap through the hole in the cardboard clock face.
Smooth the fabric on the front of the clock face and pull the gathering thread tight to wrap the outer edge of the fabric around the edge of the cardboard face. The lining on the back of the cardboard will not lie flat, and that’s okay. It’s there to line the hole and keep the center of your clock face from fraying. Knot the gathering thread tightly and trim the thread ends.
Complete the Clock
Mount the clock movement to the completed clock face following the manufacturer’s instructions, leaving the hands off for now.
Place the clock face assembly on the petal ring, checking to make sure they fit together and that the petals line up the way you like.
Lift the clock face and put a generous dab of glue at the base of each of the flower petals on the petal ring.
Slide the clock face back on the petal ring, fitting the movement through the hole in the petal ring. Press the two pieces of cardboard together firmly until the glue sets.
Tug the folds straight at the base of each flower petal and shape the ends.
Put the hands on your clock, and give yourself a round of applause!