Sunday, February 27, 2011

Flower Fairies

The snowdrops popping up reminded me that, after our garden composition stories and before diving into Botany per se, we should make flower fairies! We can read the poetry of Cicely Mary Barkerand take nature walks to discover the flowers on the school grounds that are currently in bloom. Cicely Mary Barker was such an amazing naturalist, and the personality of each flower clearly shows in both the words of her poems and the illustrations.

Happily, I have a lot of cards for the Nature table from the Flower Fairies Postcard Book

For this Language/Science/Handwork project I'd like the children to choose a flower, write a poem, and sew a corresponding flower fairy which we can display in the classroom. They can then take it for their nature table at home. Hmmm... another nice introduction to this project might be a root-child story (I have a lovely set I needle felted at a workshop with Suzanne Down) and The Story of the Root-Childrenby Sibylle von Olfers.

I've pulled all the festival and handwork books off my shelf that I thought might have flower fairy patterns and projects in them. Now I have to choose:

The Nature Corner: Celebrating the Year's Cycle with Seasonal Tableaux

I will list all the different patterns included in this book -- there are many! -- but only the simplest would be appropriate for my young students to make. They can knit but cannot purl yet (although the knitted moss stitch flower fairy is lovely, and might be a reason to teach purling), they cannot crochet, and they are too little to make a fully formed Waldorf head.

If you yourself are making flower children for your Nature table, this book has the most variety of patterns and instructions.

This book contains patterns for a crocheted root child and a sewn root child which requires a Waldorf style doll head. For flower fairies, the books contains directions for a simple "Flower-Child made of teased sheep's wool" which we could easily do, a knitted flower child which requires moss stitch, a crocheted flower child, and a sewn flower child with a flower in her hand.

Of these patterns we could only do the simple wool/felt one.

Materials required:
15 cm wool roving
a strip of felt
scraps of felt
embroidery thread

Rank in order of difficulty: 1

Feltcraft: Making Dolls, Gifts and Toys

This book contains Flower Children patterns. The flower children are sewn simply of felt (a felt tube stuffed with wool, a simple head, collar and hat details added). The patterns included are crocus, snowdrop, bluebell, tulip, daffodil.

Materials required:
pieces of felt
pink or white knitted cotton
unspun wool
carded wool or fairy-tale wool
pipe cleaners

The pipe cleaners are not for arms but are the stems of flowers, if the doll has a whole standing flower as part of the costume. These patterns seem a bit finicky to sew for 1st/2nd graders.

Rank in order of difficulty: 4

The Children's Year: Seasonal Crafts and Clothes

This books contains "Spring flower fairies" made of wool felt with a pipe cleaner frame and a bead head. Patterns given are for snowdrop, crocus, primrose, and violet.

Materials required:
pipe cleaner
2 cm diameter bead for head
glue and thread

The pipe cleaner goes through the bead to form the neck and the dress is simply stitched around it.

Rank in order of difficulty: 2

All Year Round

This book contains "Flower fairies" for Candlemas and afterwards: snowdrop, primrose, and crocus. The patterns are a felt body and stockinette head, similar to Feltcraft.

Materials required:
flesh colored stockinette
fleece or cotton wool for stuffing

Rank in order of difficulty: 3

P.S. I do not have


but they both look lovely.

I also don't have the version of The Story of the Root Children with gorgeous quilted illustrations... but I wish I did!

Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairy Tale

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