The first couple of steps involve setting up your machine. As far as I know, you have to have a machine foot that looks something like the one above. It has an open stitching area and a spring thingie. Mine is called an open toe free motion spring foot (they use them for free-motion quilting). OR you can use the original free-motion process known as hand-stitching!
Set your machine stitch length (and width) to 0. Drop the feed dogs too, that's important.
I'm using heavy canvas cloth; if you're using something lighter weight you will want to back it with interfacing or stabilizer.
Decide where you want your flower's center to be. You can mark it if you want, but you won't be stitching the center. You're only stitching the 8 petals that will circle the center point. For Petal #1, pin a scrap of fabric that's slightly longer than you want your petal to be, as shown above.
Go to your machine and begin stitching at the point of Petal #1. If you aren't familiar with free-motion stitching you should know that you are controlling all movement of the fabric. It's drawing with thread and machine, that's the only way to really describe it. You can 'draw' one line of stitching or you can go around it a second time like I've done.
Your next step will be to remove the piece from your machine and, using sharp pointy scissors, trim around the outside of your stitch lines like so.
Now, this is important...If you want your petals to be remotely evenly spaced (it's fine if you don't!), Petal #2 should be stitched directly across from Petal #1 like above. Make sense?
So now we have two petals stitched across from one another, and you're ready to cut around Petal #2.
Petal #3 will be stitched perpendicular to Petals #1 and #2. See above?
So there's Petal #3 stitched and trimmed, and then you'll stitch Petal #4 directly across from #3 (like we did #1 and #2).
When you get to Petal #5, pin your fabric where it's centered between the petals on each side. As you stitch, just keep an eye on those two other petals and know you'll want to be approximately centered between them.
You'll stitch #6 directly across from #5 and so on...
Continue to pin, stitch, trim until you get to that magical moment where you realize you've just finished Petal #8!
If you'd like, you can rough up the edges to make them fray a bit, like I did here...
And, other than stitching a button in the center if you'd like, you've just made a pretty free-motion flower.
Thanks for following along!