DIYdiy projects

diy project: jane joss’ recycled quilt flowers

by Grace Bonney

sadly yesterday ran away from me and i wasn’t able to post a project from jane joss i’d been excited about all week. jane joss is an alias for alyssa and joslyn krismer, former college roommates turned sisters-in-law (married to twins!). these self-taught seamstresses have a love of cool fabric and create some really incredible crafts and home accessories from their collections of great textiles.

inspired by nature and beautiful prints, alyssa and joslyn now create modern fabric arrangements and potted plants which they sew and construct by hand. i’ve been a fan of their “sweet leaves” collections on etsy for a while and was thrilled when they agreed to share a DIY project inspired by their textile flowers. and the best part about this project? it’s a wonderful way to use an old, dying quilt or piece of fabric that means something to you, but is no longer strong enough to stay together or is just too shabby to keep out anymore. rather than throwing it out, alyssa and joslyn’s project finds a way to showcase the fabric in a new way that you can keep around the house for years to come. so thanks to alyssa and joslyn for sharing- you can view their sweet leaves collection on etsy right here or shoot them an email here to order.

CLICK HERE for the full project steps after the jump!

Alyssa (Jane of Jane Joss) inherited a gorgeous quilt from her great-grandmother, but it was falling apart and beyond repair. We used the opportunity to turn it into a beautiful and modern fabric arrangement. This solution preserved the beauty of the vintage fabric and allowed her to display the keepsake in her home. At Jane Joss, we’ve transformed many types of fabric into arrangements for our clients and we’re happy to share the technique with the Design*Sponge DIYers.

To duplicate our project, you’ll need:

18 and 16 gauge floral wire
floral tape
wire cutters
1/2 yard of fabric
fusible interfacing
pinking shears
coordinating thread
sewing machine


Step 1: use floral tape to wrap lengths of 18 gauge floral wire

Step 2: use wire cutters to cut wire into 3” pieces.

Step 3: create a leaf pattern in desired size. The leaf pattern we used was 3 1/2 inches long.


Step 4: to create the double-sided leaves, fold your fabric in half (wrong sides together) and cut fabric into leaf shapes using your leaf pattern. For the arrangement shown, we used 84 double-sided fabric leaves.

Step 5: cut interfacing into triangles small enough to fit between the two sides of each leaf. Use an iron to fuse the two sides of each leaf together.


Step 6: using the zigzag stitch setting on your sewing machine, sew around the edges of each leaf leaving about 1/4″ of fabric around the edges.

Step 7: use pinking shears to cut around the edge of each leaf.

Step 8: using a wide zigzag stitch, sew each leaf onto the 3” pieces of wrapped floral wire.


Step 9: use the floral tape to wrap seven of the stemmed leaves onto a long piece of 16 gauge wire. Start at the top of the wire and work your way down keeping the stemmed leaves flat against the long wire. Repeat this process until you have the desired number of branches constructed.

Step 10: gently bend each leaf away from the main stem into the desired position.

Step 11: Arrange the branches in your favorite vase to create a beautiful fabric arrangement.

Alyssa and Joslyn Krismer (a.k.a. Jane Joss) are fabric florists with a love of crafting and interior design. Check out their product line or place a custom order through their online shop at www.janejoss.etsy.com or contact them at jane.joss@yahoo.com.

Suggested For You


  • This is completely ab-fab and perfect for cold weather when fresh florals may be too pricey. Thanks for always pointing out the coolest stuff.

  • hmm…someone is copying. Amy has had that free pattern on her website for sometime. A cool thing about the internet…it does not take long to sniff out a copy cat. Meow!

    • notyourrunofthemill-

      i’m not sure about these particular designers’ sources of inspiration, but i know martha stewart magazine did a project like this years ago. i had it torn out and on a board at my first apt in nyc.


  • Nothing is original in this day and age. So what if it’s been done once or twice. You can’t copyright a hand-made product – each is unique in it’s own way. JaneJoss is just making them prettier and more affordable; while putting a different spin on it. You go Jane and Joss!

  • yikes! We never claimed to invent the fabric leaf. We just love to make them and wanted to share how we transformed my Great-Grandmother’s quilt into something amazing!

  • What a beautiful display! I bet your Great-Grandmother is very proud of you for creating such a wonderful keepsake from something that she herself handmade. I’m sure it will be enjoyed for generations!

  • I checked out your website and found your leaves to be awesome! Thank you for sharing your techniques. JaneJoss, you are so creative!

  • I like the idea but it seems a shame to lose all the work in the quilting by doing something on such a small scale- you really only get the scraps of fabric in this project. Use pretty fabric- NOT a vintage quilt- for this project! This quilt would have lent itself better to something that could show the glory of the original painstaking, handsewn work…

  • patchWork, you bring up a good point! The great thing about this project is that it uses a minimal amount of fabric. In this case, we cut fabric out of the worn out section that could not be used for anything else. Now, instead of sitting in a chest, a part of her work is displayed for me to enjoy every day! And, there is still plenty of the original quilt left.

  • I am so sorry to see such criticism from so many people. It’s really sad that some cannot appreciate that “there is nothing new under the sun” and that each person’s take on any project is unique. Thank you so much for sharing. I also downloaded Amy’s pattern, and I’m sure if I wanted to look, that there are a wealth more out there. I appreciate you two!

  • This is a lovely idea. A good way to use up those tiny pieces of scraps left from a sewing project. I hurts me to think about just throwing those scrapes away and I have loads of them in a box. Now they will become leaves!

  • Hi Grace and Jane, I developed the free pattern for Amy Butler. I follow your blog every day!! Jane, I love the floral wire wrapping and your use of damaged quilts. So nice to find a use for old quilts, and so special to share that Idea with crafters. I know when i came up with my leaf pattern for Amy it was out of a brainstorm session of finding non-traditional uses for fabric for home decor use, i found an antique “society silk” cocktail napkin that was an embroidered leaf, and I thought how fun it would be to make branches of leaves for arrangements, I had the materials in my house and came up with a way to make them and then patterned it for Amy, so i was inspired by an artist from the 1800’s. Who knows, where jane was inspired? All I know is, I wish i would of thought of the floral tape and wire, I used recycled faded silk floral branches for mine. We all inspire each other everyday!! Finding a different way, a better way, or a marketable way to do something. All I know is that this work of Jane is clean and beautifully executed, and she is clearly a lover of the Amy Butler as she uses her fabrics in the leaves. Here is an extra bonus for ya Jane and a great thank you, I have been asked to make these for people since I designed the pattern for Amy a few years ago (those folk afraid of the sewing machine). Its nice that now I can send people to a wonderfully talented etsy artist’s store to purchase something similar to what they saw! Ya got skills!! Thanks!! :)
    Brice Corder

    Brice Corder Designs, LLC

  • oh Jane ignore those negative ninnies your leaves are fabulous . For the sake of argument Amy’s are made on stripping down already made fabric flowers; where as Jane uses floral wire. And really everyone doesn’t sew, so why would they even look up AB’s site! Very pretty thank you for sharing and teaching us something new!

  • really great and unique idea! I have lots of scrap fabric and have been looking for something inspiring to try it on. Thanks for sharing!

  • I copied your idea… Hope you don’t mind…I just love the results… A fall bouquet without the allergy symptoms…=:). Thanks for sharing…