I wish you the very best of holidays! I hope you are enjoying time with loved ones and some well-deserved fun and relaxation – and good food – during these last few days of 2014.
As a thank you, I have this tiny little (albeit picture-heavy!) tutorial for you, if you have a free minute and want to make a last-minute ornament for a Christmas tree.
The design for the embroidery is similar to the designs in the Floral Geometry pattern set, which are often made up of clean, straight geometric lines, a kind of simple pattern play. What I also love about these designs is that they can be stitched in a way that’s really, really easy and fast (although you can also use more complicated stitching, like I did for my samples). The scale of the individual lines in the motifs lends itself really well to simple outlining: one stitch per line. Fast.
Supplies you’ll need:
- Two 6 cm by 6 cm (2 3/8 by 2/38 inch) squares of felt
- Embroidery thread (I used #5 perle cotton – FAST!)
- #22 Chenille needle
- cotton balls (I needed five of these in the end)
- ruler (optional)
- the patterns (download here)
Transferring & embroidering the designs:
With a sharp pencil, poke holes at the points of the snowflake designs, wiggling the pencil slightly if needed. Check to make sure your marks are visible.
Once you’ve marked marked all the points in the design, we’ll have to play a bit of connect-the-dots to mark the lines of embroidery. You can freehand this:
Or use the ruler:
Refer to the pattern design to figure out which dots to connect, oh! and take care not to smudge the pencil lines too hard, that could get pretty messy (ask me how I know! I forgot to take a picture of the piece of felt I smudged up before one of my daughters ran off with it but believe me, it’s very messy).
Now to embroider. Each line up to the points can be stitched with one stitch:
Really, these snowflakes work up in no time, and #5 perle cotton is thick enough that it will mostly cover the lines you marked on the felt. Added bonus: since the back of the embroidery won’t be visible, you can just leave it messy – use knots to start and tie off threads. (You won’t need that much thread anyway!) Here are the finished snowflakes:
Aren’t they pretty?
Assembling the ornament
Since the designs are so geometric, I’m using a bit of geometric play to assemble the ornaments. Take the two embroidered felt squares and, with wrong sides together, turn them so that the corners of each square line up with the center of the edges of the other square:
Using a blanket stitch, begin sewing the squares together, attaching a corner of one square to the center of an edge of the other square, like this:
The corner of the back square will end up at the center of the edge of the front square:
Here it is from behind:
Keep going around like this until you only have one half-edge left open.
Now it’s time to stuff the ornament with cotton balls. I needed five. Now we’ll also need a ribbon for hanging the ornament.
To prepare the ribbon, fold it in half and tie a knot at the ends. Then, stuff the ribbon into very edge of the open bit of the ornament:
Then continue with your blanket stitching, letting one stitch go through the ribbon to secure it.
(At this point I BARELY had enough thread left to finish. But it turned out to be enough!) Stitch up the rest of the opening and voilá! You have a lovely new ornament.
Happy Holidays and I will see you in the new year!