Derby Rose

Derby Rose

My friend has a great Kentucky Derby party each year with great food, fun hats and beautiful decorations. Oh, and we do watch the Kentucky Derby too! Each year I think that I will make some felt roses as a hostess gift but so far, that hasn’t happened. So I decided to get it together this year and make her a rose. Possibly more than one depending on time factors.

I picked out a variety of red wool. I had originally thought I would do a deep, dark red, almost maroon. But then decided to add some lighter colors too. I wanted to make the rose like you make a ruffled felt scarf, just smaller.

I wanted to  make the center darker and move towards lighter wool on the edges. So I laid out the center wool from right to left in a long narrow band. I should have made this much more narrow for the length as you’ll see at the end.

I then laid out the lighter wool from top to bottom at right angles to the center and overlapping a bit.

I added red, pink and white wool to the edges. All the edge wool was laid in one direction, opposite to the direction of the center strip. This allows the center strip to shrink along its length and gives you ruffled edges.

I added another layer of center wool laying it all out lengthwise. The layout is about 2 to 2 1/2 feet long by 1 foot wide.

I then wet it all down. The edges are very scraggly and I purposely did a very light layer for the edge wool so it would be thin petals when completed.

I then started working on the edges to get all the wool together. You can see I have started on the right hand side on the photo above.

Here it is after I have worked all the way around the edges. I also began some gentle rubbing. I could have rolled it at this point but rarely do any rolling.

Here it is after I flipped it over to the other side. A bit redder on this side.

I continued rubbing working my hand along the length to shrink it lengthwise. I generally rubbed the edges in a circular motion allowing “petals” to form as they wanted. The photo above shows about midway through the process.

To full it, I did roll it upon itself and worked it lengthwise. After a bit of rolling, hot and cold water, it had shrunk down quite a bit.

Here you can see the shrinkage of almost 50%. I didn’t measure it but it looks about half the size to me.

Then I took it and folded it in half lengthwise and rolled it up shaping the petals as I went. As you can see, there is a lot of the center in a wad behind the rose. I suppose I could work on attaching it lower so more of the center shows. Or I could cut it in half lengthwise and roll it up into two roses. But I didn’t really like the contrast of the dark maroon to the lighter pink petals. Too much contrast.

I just happened to have a couple of pieces of nuno felt saved over from my tree that I made several years ago.  Here they are showing the silk side.

And here with the felt side up.

I put the rose in a small cup to take the photos. Perhaps I’ll make a small pod for the rose or roses to sit in. That would make a nice gift.

And one more photo with the petals rearranged differently. I’m pleased with the outcome even though I would probably change a few things for the next one. Hopefully, I will get another one done before Derby time.


17 thoughts on “Derby Rose

  1. Beautiful rose. I agree the lighter rose looks great. Thanks for sharing your process. How did you attach the leaves? A nice crystal cut votive may look nice.

  2. Wonderful rose. I should cut it in half as you supposed to get two roses.
    Than take a needle and yarn and I get a thread through and pulled it to get ruffles.

  3. The petals are lovely and the leaves are well suited to the rose. I like Marilyn’s idea of presenting the rose in a cut glass votive.

    1. Thanks Lyn, I’ll have to see what I have in glass votives. The Derby party has actually been cancelled so I have time to work it out.

  4. A very lovely rose and the leaves are just right.
    If you were to cut it in half along the length, but still roll it as a double layer and make some “V” shaped cuts into the cut edge as far as the outermost wrap, you would lose a lot of bulk and would sit in a fine conical green felt sepal with a little stalk – with the lovely leaves of course.
    Does that make sense? I don’t think I’ve explained it very well. 🙂

  5. The rose looks great, Ruth! I reckon if it wasn’t so fuzzy one could mistake it for the real thing at a glance. I had to make a couple of roses a few days ago and they certainly don’t look as good as yours!

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