What is Ruching?
Ruching (rooshing) is a French term that means gathering,
ruffling or pleating. Ruched flowers have been used on quilts
and garments for at least 200 years. Here are two different
tools and techniques that I use to create ruched flowers.
To make a traditional strip-ruched flower, cut a bias strip 1 1/2" wide,
fold into thirds and press. Use the edge of the
strip ruching guide,
as shown to mark the zig-zag stitching pattern.
Use a matching color quilting
thread to make three or four
gathering stitches, edge to edge,
following the ruching pattern.
Begin in the center and form the
flower by spiraling and stitching
the ruched strip into place.
Tuck the final end underneath to
finish the flower.
My circular ruching guide makes a flower with similar texture from a full
piece of   fabric instead of a strip. Center the cirular ruching guide on the
right side of a square of fabric. The information card with the tool will tell
you how much fabric you need to make a certain size flower. Mark the
zig-zag ruching pattern for only your chosen size. This will show as two
rings of dots on the fabric.
Connect the outer ring of dots to
draw a full circle; this will be your
turn line. Cut out the circle adding
a 1/2" seam allowance beyond the
line. Fold the edge under and
gather from dot to dot, creating
ruched petals along the edge.
As the edge of the circle is gathered,
extra fabric will begin to show in the
center. Place the flower, right side up,
over the stem, with the petals to the
outside, as shown. Stitch the edge into
place with a tacking stitch in each petal.
Use as many random tacking stitches as
needed to secure the center fabric,
creating beautiful texture, as shown.
The flower is finished!
The Carnation pattern is included in my newest book, Pennsylvania Plain & Fancy.
Three-Dimensional Applique
Embroidery Embellishment

Whether you are reproducing traditional album blocks
or designing your own, this comprehensive guide is
sure to provide both the information and the
inspiration you are seeking. For each technique there
is a project, a small block you can refer to as an
illustration or actually complete. Work through
chapter by chapter or simply turn to the book upon
occasion with a particular need. You'll find it easy to
use and full of sound information and inspiring ideas.
43 dimensional applique techniques, plus
23 embroidery stitches and suggestions for their use.  
  Soft cover, 156 pages
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This sampler wall quilt shows the actual teaching samples
for both dimensional applique and the embroidery stitches
you can learn by working your way through this book.
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Ruched Ribbon Sunflowers

This bird and sunflower motif is appliqued
with a combination of hand and machine
work and embellished with strip ruched
ribbon and beads. Use on vest, shirt or
other garment. 4 pages
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French Basket

Create a 1920's style basket of flowers using
both strip and circular style ruching.  
Directions for wall hanging or twin size quilt.
5 pages plus full size, pull-out templates for
Garden Maze set, and full size border quilting
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This almost life-size folk art sunflower design
is appliqued with a combination of hand and
machine work.   Pattern includes full size
templates plus instructions for strip ruching,
embroidery and free-form embellishments
12 pages
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