There are several different ways you could use this rag crochet flower design. It could be a trivet, hot pad or coaster -- among other things.
Tools and Materials Needed:
Sewing Machine: A sewing machine is optional, but it's a real time-saver. I've processed some of my fabric strips without it (when traveling and away from the machine) but it is sloooooow to do it that way.
Fabric and Matching Thread: This flower is crocheted using strips of fabric and a large crochet hook. I chose a purple batik fabric for making my sample project, but there are so many possibilities for different fabrics you could try using. In any case, I do recommend that you use cotton, especially if you are going to make a trivet or hot pad. Do not under any circumstances use a synthetic fabric (like acrylic or polyester) for projects that will come into contact with hot dishes; if they get too hot, they could melt. Cotton is a much safer choice, which is why I recommend it.
The fabric strips I used measure about 1 1/4 inches. When the strips are stitched together end to end, it turned out to be a bit less than 10 yards worth of fabric strips all together. I recommend preparing more than that in case your crochet tension is different than mine. You can always add more strips at the end, but it's kind of a pain to have to stop and do it once you are crocheting.
I used a size K crochet hook, although in hindsight the hook I used was too small for comfortable crocheting. I recommend going with a larger hook. If you do, your flower is likely to urn out larger than mine did, which is fine if you are making a hot pad or trivet. If you're making a coaster, it'll be a big one -- great for use with super-sized drinks or extra large tankards / mugs / etc.
My sample flower measures about 5.5 inches in diameter.
How to Prepare the Fabric Strips:
Cut strips of fabric measuring about 1 1/4 inches by however long they turn out; if you can, it's a good idea to cut them on the bias (diagonally.) Then stitch your pieces together end to end to form one long continuous strip.
If you like sewing better than you like cutting, you can use a quilter's jelly roll for this project. A jelly roll is essentially a bundle of fabric that's already been cut into strips. However, in most cases, the strips will not be the right size, and they will still need to be cut down some more. I used a bundle of "Stripz" fabric to create my sample project, and I ended up cutting the strips in half again.
If you are using fabric that frays at the edges, here is what you can do to keep the fraying from being visible in the finished project. Fold each of the edges in so that they meet in the middle, then fold the entire piece in half again, then stitch all the way down the strip so that it will stay closed. I did this to all of mine.
When you are finished cutting and stitching, wind your strips into a ball for easy crocheting.
Crochet this easy flower pattern using your prepared fabric strips instead of yarn. Note that I did have to make one significant modification to the original pattern; the pattern calls for a starting chain of five stitches. I had to increase the number substantially; my starting chain for the fabric version was nine stitches.