A bunch of branches wrapped in seam binding and bedecked with fabric flowers makes a striking alternative to a traditional floral arrangement. Here, we adorned branches with fabric flowers resembling a spray of quince blossoms.
For fabric flowers, tear the cotton into 1-inch strips and cut them 8 inches long. For ribbon flowers, cut ribbon 4 inches long. Using thread in a matching color (knot the end), sew a running stitch lengthwise along one edge of the strip or ribbon, leaving the needle in the fabric until you've stitched the entire length.
Slide the fabric or ribbon along the thread, drawstring style, to gather; pull taut.
Keeping the thread taut, bring the ends of the fabric or ribbon together, right sides facing, and sew; backstitch a couple times to secure. Snip off any excess fabric or ribbon, and apply seam sealant to the cut edges to prevent unraveling. Fold a few artificial stamens in half, then insert them into the center of the flower so the stam.
To wrap branches, tie a piece of seam binding to the bottom of each branch. Pulling slightly to keep binding tight, wrap it around the branch, overlapping by about a third (see photo). When you reach the end of the branch, tie a knot, and trim any excess to create a "leaf." If you run out of seam binding midbranch, tie the end to the branch and trim; then tie on a new ribbon, and continue wrapping (secure all knots with a dab of tacky glue beneath them). Glue flowers to branch.
Basic sewing supplies
1/2-inch lightweight cotton fabric or grosgrain ribbon
Liquid seam sealant
Artificial stamens, at crafts stores
1/2-inch-wide seam binding
Floral wire and floral tape, available at crafts stores
Use branches from your own yard, or purchase them from a nursery or florist.
To decorate favors, wrap each small box with layered ribbons or a strip of fabric, and glue a single fabric blossom on top.