Since I have researched the origins of the Christmas Wreath this year, I though I'd do the same with Poinsettias and was delighted to discover a truly lovely myth behind the use of these vibrant plants as decoration at Christmas time.
Poinsettias originate from Mexico and South America where they are known as Flor de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Flower). They became associated with Christmas in the 16th century where legend has it that a poor girl called Maria had nothing to give to the church at Christmas. She was visited by an angel who told her to gather plants and weeds from the roadside to leave at her church altar. The plants were transformed overnight into beautiful Poinsettia flowers and since then they have been associated with Christmas giving. The star shaped flowers are said to represent the star of Bethlehem and the red colour symbolises the blood of Jesus.
So having found out why we decorate our houses with these flowers I decided to make my own using felt. I have used them to decorate my fabric wreath (as seen in the previous post),but they also look lovely as a decoration when wrapping Christmas gifts. Here's how to make them:
You will need: Red felt, green felt, yellow buttons, thread
Cut a circle from the red felt with an 8cm diameter (you can vary the size according to the size of flower you want to make). Make five straight cuts equal in spaced equally arond the circle from the outside edge stopping about 1cm from the centre.
This will form your petals.
Now cut each of your petals in to an equal point shape.
Fold one of the petals in half and sew a few over stitches along the fold, from the centre to half way along your "petal".
When turned over to have the right side facing up the petal should now fold upwards and you can just about see a line formed from the over stitches on the back of the petal - this looks like the lines you will see along the centre of a Poinsettia Petal.
Repeat this process with each of your felt petals.
Turn your flower the right side up and sew a yellow button in the centre and add a green felt leaf.
The leaves look fab if you use back stitch to add lines along the centre.
These simple flowers take no time at all to make and are great for using us scraps of fabric to make a lovely finishing touch with a vintage feel - Happy making Christmas!