Little Dorrit & Co. will share another new Christmas-themed embroidery pattern with you next week (and it’s a darn cutie!) but until then, here’s a little reminder of my already-existing holiday-themed tutorials!
Use up Christmas scraps (or just red and green bits, like I did) and make an adorable wreath ornament (this one’s my favorite!):
And lastly, combine a little stitching and patchwork (why the heck not!) and make yourself a Retro Christmas Tree Mug Rug. Or just use the provided 1960s-style embroidery pattern and stitch in on the holiday project of your choice!
I’ve just added an automatic 20% off discount to all of the knitting patterns in my Ravelry shop, which will be applied at checkout! This discount will be good until the end of July – it didn’t seem fair to celebrate Christmas in July with only the embroiderers. :)
If I’m going to turn my leftover half-square triangles from my Giant Christmas Swoon into a new Christmas quilt later this year, I better start looking at Christmas fabrics to add to it. I didn’t use many (or any, actually) actual Christmas-themed fabric on the front of my Swoon, just reds and greens that gave the right Christmassy feel.
But I think it’d be fun to put some theme / novelty fabrics into a second quilt! They’d have to be just so though, I’m very particular about my Christmas decorations. Tacky is great, but only if it’s really, properly tacky. Half-tacky is no good, it’s usually just cringe-able – you’re aiming for a so-bad-it’s-good sort of thing, you know?
I also love retro Christmas – I think the cutest Christmas quilting fabrics from the last few years have definitely been the vintage-inspired prints. Here’s two adorable prints from one of my favorite UK fabric shops, Fabric Rehab, both from Dashwood Studio’s Christmas Wish collection:
Here’s some happy little elves from The Village Haberdashery (Michael Miller’s Candy Claus collection):
And fabric fair isle (from Studio E’s Winter Essentials II)?! This one absolutely has to be in my quilt!
And lastly, from Emma’s Fabric Studio, these amazingly weird floating Santa heads! Dude, I gots to have these!
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m often unsure what to do with embroideries once they’re finished! I love making them into useful or decorative items, which is why we try to share ideas for turning your Little Dorrit & Co. embroideries into finished objects. If you’ve grabbed yourself our new Little Elves embroidery pattern, here’s how to turn it into an easy holiday wall hanging. After all, there’s a lot of embroidery in there – it should be a feature!
THE LITTLE ELVES WALL HANGING TUTORIAL
Finished size: 19″ square
1/4″ seams throughout
Press seams outward (away from embroidery)
Fat quarter for border around embroidery (we used an unbranded red pindot print)
Fat quarter for backing (we used Kona Mint)
Fat quarter for binding (we used a print from Denyse Schmidt’s Florence)
A piece of batting, about 20″ square
Standard (machine) sewing tools: thread, scissors, rotary cutter, etc.
Thread for hand-stitched quilting (optional – we used DMC Perle No. 8, color 321)
Curved basting pins (optional)
Wooden dowel for hanging, about 17-18″ long
(Before we start, I want to point out that my tutorial for our Night Before Christmas pillow is basically interchangeable with this one up to a point, but for slightly different measurements. They even have the same finished size – so you can always make the Little Elves into a pillow, or the Night Before Christmas into a wall hanging! Use the fabric cutting measurements for the embroidery you’ve done, but follow the instructions for whichever finished object you prefer!)
Here’s what to cut:
Trim finished embroidery to 14″ square, with design centered
From your border fabric: 2 strips 14″ x 3″ and 2 strips 19″ x 3″
2 pieces 3″ x 5″ (for hanging tabs – from scraps or leftover from trimming border pieces!)
about 80″-85″ worth of binding strips, 2.25″ wide (if you cut from the shorter end of your FQ, cut 3 strips)
All we need to do to make the top of this mini-quilt is sew the border strips to the embroidery. Sew the shorter strips to the top and bottom, press the seams away from the embroidery, then do the same with the longer strips on each side:
Done! Now make a quilt sandwich with your backing fabric (right side down), then batting, then the mini-quilt top you just finished (right side up). Make sure everything is nice and smooth and secure layers with curved basting pins or whatever basting method you prefer.
You might prefer to do a little machine quilting, but I stitched ours by hand. I used DMC Perle Cotton No. 8, in color 321 – a cheerful, Christmassy red.
I simply went around either side of the border’s seam in a fairly large running running stitch. Yum – I do enjoy large stitches.
Trim away excess backing and batting to square up your finished sandwich.
Now we’ll make a pair of hanging tabs for the back of the quilt. (Please forgive that ours is shown hung with washi tape above! There’s no well-lit good-hanging spot in this crazy house!) Take your 3″ x 5″ pieces and fold them with 3″ sides together, wrong sides together. Sew along the 3″ side:
Then turn right-side-out and press with the seam in the middle of one side. Fold again, raw edges together (and seam sandwiched in the middle) and press.
Pin each tab, raw edges aligned with the top edge of the quilt, about 3″ from each side:
Baste in place (less than 1/4″ from edge, so the basting stitches will be hidden by your binding). Now time for binding!
To hang your quilt, hand-stitch the folded edge of each tab down the same as you did your binding, then slide your dowel inside the tabs. Rest the dowel on a couple of nails or hooks and that’s it! Enjoy your Little Elves wall hanging through the holiday season!
(Did this tutorial make you want to get your Christmas stitch on? Save 20% on Little Dorrit & Co. embroidery patterns through July with the code CHRISTMASINJULY.)
Introducing (or re-introducing) the first of our new Christmas embroidery patterns for Christmas in July – we’ve revamped our Little Elves pattern and popped it into the Little Dorrit & Co. shop, complete with color and stitch guide.
We added some new detail to the pattern, and spruced up the colors a little. We really hope you guys like these sweet little elves!
Now, this isn’t a small, quick project – the finished embroidery is 11″ across! We like a meaty project to sink our stitchy teeth into, don’t you?! But if such a large project makes you nervous, the pattern also looks adorable without the wreath – stick to the center elements and pop it into an 8″ hoop for a charming Christmas decoration.
We’ve also taken the opportunity to turn our Little Elves embroidery into a simple wall hanging – come back tomorrow for a tutorial for this holiday project!
Put your jingle bells on, people, because today is the beginning of Christmas in July here at button button! Mom and I have been planning this for a while because we know that December is, let’s be honest, the most hellish month. We crafters know that good intentions alone are not enough to get all of those fun decorations and thoughtful handmade gifts done before the big day!
So join us this month for Christmas in July here on the blog and get an early start! We’ll be sharing new Christmas-themed Little Dorrit and Co. embroidery patterns and tutorials to turn them into lovely finished decorations – and just generally being Christmassy. :)