The Flowering Tea Bag

Pat Winter © 2006

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One talented needlewoman's creative discovery

From this

To this

For those of you who love tea and embellishing as I do, you must read about Maureen Bond's discovery using a new cloth-like tea bag. After doing so, I know you will go purchase Lipton's new line of tea in the "pyramid pouch," if only for the bag! By the way, my favorite is the green tea with real Mandarin orange pieces.

Maureen Bond is from Victoria Australia. As a girl she was spoiled by having her mother and older sister do all the stitching for her. That is until at the age of sixteen as she watched her mother embroider tablecloths. She yearned to try this and started making embroidered place mats. Knitting for her family took her interest for the next 40 years until her eldest daughter, Catherine discovered the online group, Southern Cross Crazies. There she learned to tat from Linda Barraclough who Maureen found to be a great and patient teacher. Catherine put her mother, Maureen to work tatting motifs and edges for her. Next Maureen found herself in a Round Robin, and the rest is history. Maureen has continued her love of needlework from encouragement and the many instructional books her daughter gifted her with. Among these are Stumpwork, Goldwork, Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery, Woolwork, Crewel, and more.

I find Maureen's idea of working on a project much like mine, rushing through with an eye, not to follow patterns, but to make it her own, what pleases her. Just having fun creating. She often finds inspiration from an ad in a magazine and re sizes it and works it her way. She admits to being a “born fiddler”. Hence the Tea bag Flower. Seeing other's work inspires Maureen and hopefully Maureen's Tea bag Flower will inspire you as well.

Although Maureen is modest in acknowledging her talent, I am witness to the perfect Stumpwork and hand embroidery she produces. I happen to be one of the fortunate owners of one of her amazing hearts from an Australian based group named, “Chain of Hearts”.

Blooming Tea bag Supplies:
1 tea bag opened flat (makes 3 flower bodies)
1 tea bag will cut into 4 corner pieces, so you need 5 tea bags to complete 3 flowers.
Fusible product (Vlisofix in AU, Wonder under in US)
Base fabric

Warning: DO NOT iron directly on tea bag or it will melt.

With iron on silk setting, lay the Vlisofix glue side up and the tea bag over this then a sheet of Gladbake, or Parchment paper on top, press together.

Draw flowers on fusible paper.
Cut out flowers and fuse to the background fabric using baking paper to shield tea bag.   
Sew beads around the edges of the flat flower body, or couch with thread.     

Using tea bag corners, tack very close to the curved edge, draw up tightly and backstitch to secure. Without cutting thread, continue until all 5 petals are complete.

Complete the ring and attach to flower body and finish off with bead in center. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Maureen made the purple flower by fusing the Vlisofix between the tea bag and a purple sheer fabric, then again on the back of the purple fabric before ironing onto background.

She cut the fabric and inserted it into each tea bag corner piece and trimmed the leftover. Holding tightly will prevent it from slipping out while sewing the edges. The edges do not fray so you can work with it to your satisfaction.

Thank you Maureen, I can see these as water lilies on a pond.

You can learn more about Maureen and her talent on her blog.


A daffodil made by Pat Winter following the above instructions.

Editor's Note: The tea bag does not dissolve or stain, so it can be used after enjoying a nice cup of tea.

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Editor: Published by: Pretty Impressive Stuff