Friday, October 10, 2014

Free Pattern: Magnolia Bloom

  The magnolia is often seen as a symbol of Mother Nature's southern charm, though many varieties can be found across the globe. Did you know there are over eighty different species of this tree? An interesting flower to behold, the blooms can be anywhere from three to twelve inches in diameter! The cone shape of the bud gradually opens its waxy "petals" to reveal a fragrant, intricate blossom.

  Here's an interesting fact: Magnolia flowers don't have petals! That green thing you see at the base of most flowers is called the sepal. The petal and sepal of a flower are two separate parts. But magnolias lack a sepal and a petal. Instead, they have what are called "tepals", sort of a combination of the sepal and the petal. Now that you've been educated about their proper name, know that in the pattern they are still referred to as "petals".

  Most varieties of magnolia are quite fragrant. This is even true of the Umbrella Magnolia, though most describe the scent of these blooms to be akin to "wet goat". Yummy...

  Unfortunately lacking the scent and grand size of the large Magnolia Grandiflora, but fortunately missing the odor of the Umbrella breed, this miniature rendition is still an impressive piece of work! This pattern uses mostly simple stitches to complete, but it will keep you thinking the whole time.

  Finished diameter, from petal to petal is 4 1/2" (11.5 cm). Height when blocked and shaped is about 1" (2.5 cm).

Skill Level:

Size 10 crochet thread - white* and a small amount of yellow
*Remember, magnolias can be seen in cream, pink, purple, and even yellow. You can make this flower using one of these colors instead of white.
Steel crochet hook size 7/1.65 MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Needle or smaller hook to weave in ends
Split ring stitch markers, optional
Fabric stiffener, optional

Not very important.
If desired, work a gauge swatch beginning with 20 sc. Work pattern from 2B - 2H. Petal measures 1" (2.5 cm) wide by 2" (5 cm) tall.

It is easy to lose track of what direction your stitches should be going when working back in the round again. Stitch markers may be helpful.

Chain 1 at the beginning of rows counts as one single crochet.

Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Single crochet (sc)
Triple crochet (tr)

Single crochet two together (sc2tog) - Insert hook in next stitch, pull up a loop (2 loops on hook). Insert hook in following st, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook). Yarn over, pull through all 3 loops.

Single crochet three together (sc3tog) - Insert hook, pull up a loop (2 loops on hook). Insert hook in the following stitch, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook). Insert hook in next stitch, pull up a loop (4 loops on hook). Yarn over, pull through all 4 loops.

Other abbreviations:
Begin/Beginning (beg)
Skip (sk)
Stitch/es (st/s)


Center motif:
With one strand of white and one strand of yellow held together, begin a magic circle. Do not work over tail.

Round 1:
In magic circle, ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 11 sc in circle. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (12 sc)

Round 2:
Ch 1, 1 sc in same st. 1 sc in each of next 3 sts. (2 sc in next st, 1 sc in each of following 3 sts) 2 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (15 sc)

Round 3:
Ch 1, 1 sc in each of next 14 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1.

Round 4:
Ch 1, sc2tog. (1 sc in next st, sc2tog) 4 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (10 sc)

Round 5:
Ch 4 (counts as 1 tr), 1 tr in each of next 9 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (10 tr)

Round 6:
Flip right side out. Bind off, leaving 6" (15 cm) tail. Weave tail gently back and forth through tops of all 10 tr. Do not pull tightly. End in center of row. Pull tail through center, through middle, and out bottom center. Pull snugly to bring tops of stitches inside center. Secure with a simple knot with beg tail. Make a few knots for some bulk, but keep small enough to push through center hole. Insert hook through outside of motif to pull tails inside. Weave tails through a few stitches, and back out center again. Make a few more knots, repeating as before. Continue doing this until the motif is stuffed, but do not make it bulge. You will need to work into these stitches again later, so you want to leave a bit of slack.

*You will begin by working on top of center motif sts, as for surface crochet. Insert hook from left to right under post of st.

Round 1:
Begin with last row of triple crochet facing away from you. With one strand of white only: Insert hook through post sp of Round 1 of center motif. Pull up a loop, sl st, ch 1 (counts as 1 sc). 1 sc in each post sp of Round 1. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (12 sc)

*In the next two rounds, you will work in the round, turn, then work in rows. The pattern will then continue in the round. The round is broken into sub-parts to keep track of rows.

Round 2:
A. Ch 8, sk 1 sc, sl st. Turn, (sl st, ch 1) in 1st available ch. 3 sc in each of next 6 chs, 1 sc in last ch. (20 sc)

B. Ch 1, turn. Sc2tog twice, 1 sc in each of next 3 sts. 2 sc in each of next 4 sts, sc2tog twice. 1 sc in last st.

C - H: Repeat B.

I. Ch 1, turn. Sc2tog 3 times. 1 sc in next st. 2 sc in each of next 4 sts. 1 sc in the following st. Sc2tog 3 times, 1 sc in last st. Working down side: 1 sc in each of next 7 post sps. 1 sc in ch-8 sp.

J. Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in each of next 25 sts. Working down side: Sc2tog 4 times. 1 sc in ch-8 sp.

K. Working in the round: Sl st in each of the next 2 sts.

Repeat A - K (2) more times.

Round 3:
A. Ch 8, sl st in the skipped sc in middle of ch-8 sp (middle of petal, sc of Round 1), turn. (Sl st, ch 1) in 1st available ch. 3 sc in each of the next 6 chs. 1 sc in the last ch. (20 sc)

B - I: Repeat 2A - 2I.

J. Insert hook under post of row 2 of center, sl st. Turn, 1 sc in each of the next 26 sts. Sc3tog twice in side post sps. Sc3tog beginning in next st, ending in ch-8 sp. Insert hook under post of Round 2 of center motif, sl st.

K. Turn, ch 6. Sl st in 1st sl st between current and next petal, turn. (Sl st, ch 1, 1 sc) in 1st ch. 2 sc in each of remaining 5 chs.

L. Ch 1, turn. Sc2tog, 1 sc in each of the following 2 sts. 2 sc in each of the next 2 sts. Sc2tog, 1 sc in the last st.

M - O: Repeat L.

P. Insert hook under post sp below tr of center motif, sl st. Turn, sc2tog 6 times. 1 sc in each of the next 4 side post sps. 1 sc in ch-6 sp. Sl st to 1st available sl st between current and next petal.

Repeat A - P (2) more times. Bind off, weave in ends.

-The finished piece needs to be blocked. The stitches pull in multiple directions. If you don't shape it, the finished piece may look like this:

-Block the petals outward first, then run along the inside with your thumb to the tip. If you would like to harden the flower, use fabric stiffener of craft glue diluted with water.

  Do you have a magnolia tree? Is it worth cleaning up after, or do you think it's too much of a hassle? 

  If you have an Umbrella Magnolia, does it really smell like a wet goat?


  1. Jenny, I'm using your flowers to put on a blanket. Is there any advice you can give me to help them maintain their shape during use?

    1. Hmm... You sure have me thinking this one over. If it were for a stand-alone decoration or added to another craft I would suggest hardening it with craft glue, but that will never do for something that will be washed! (And most likely wouldn't be very comfortable, either.) Fabric starch could be an option, though I wouldn't want the chore of maintaining that each time the blanket is laundered.
      The best idea I can come up with at this time would be to weave a thread through the outer stitches and pull tight to help keep the curl in the petals... That sounds like a lot of extra work to me (perhaps because I'm not fond of sewing), but I also think it's the best option to keep the flowers soft.

  2. If anyone else has any advice for keeping the shape when adding to a blanket, please leave a comment... We'd love to hear your suggestions!


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