I love to just freehand a spiral from a circle - my favourite flowers to make! I've made a schwack of them out of felt for my daughter's hair, too!
Here is a trick I use for the paper ones, to make them look "softer": take your circle of paper, and BEFORE cutting the spiral, crumple the paper really, really well. I mean REALLY well. Then you can actually take the paper apart - it peels rather easily into two layers. This way you get a nice, soft, vintage-y looking flower. And, for those thrifty crafters out there - you double the number of flowers you can make from each sheet! LOL!
*Disclaimer: I have only tried this with SU! paper, not sure if other papers work as well or at all. If anyone else knows, please share!