Let me introduce you to my latest crafting obesession: kanzashi. Kanzashi is the Japanese art of folding flower petals, an art form which was originally used to create elaborate hairpieces. This technique first came to my attention a few years ago with the publication of Kanzashi in Bloom, but it wasn't until Clover came out with these clever kanzashi-makers (Fabric Depot is running a nice sale on them) that I decided to give the technique a try.
I have only made kanzashi with the Clover templates but they produce nice results and I love that they're dead easy to use. You simply fold the template over a piece of fabric, trim the excess, then run a needle and thread through the template holes in the indicated order (see the templates in action here). You can string together any number of petals on the same thread and when you pull the thread tight and knot the two ends--voila--instant flower! I can easily knock together several of these flowers in one sitting.
I'm looking forward to more experimenting and eventually making kanzashi without the aid of a template. I aspire to someday make kanzashi half as lovely as what is on the 'Gaijin Geisha' page of this website, but in the meantime I'm happy making some simple flowers.