If you were around Twitter or Instagram or probably all the other social networking machines at all yesterday, you might have noticed a flood of Christmas craft tutorials making the rounds – such as my own Retro Christmas Tree Mug Rug embroidery pattern and sewing tutorial! As I mentioned yesterday, that’s because Laura from Bugs and Fishes organized a whole mess of people to post a seasonal tutorial on the same day, to rejoice in surround sound crafty festiveness!
You should check out the rest of the tutorials, because there’s some seriously awesome stuff in there! I mean, dude, check it out:
Such a fun idea! I hope you all enjoy my tutorial and all the others as well – see Laura’s original Link-Up Post on Bugs and Fishes and get crafting!
YAY! I’m so excited to be taking part in Laura’s Christmas Craft Link-Up today! If you’ve never stopped by Bugs & Fishes, definitely check it out – Laura does such adorable things with felt and is an all-around crafty whiz, her blog is definitely worth adding to your reader!
Today I’m sharing a free embroidery pattern for a retro Christmas tree design. This tree is 100% based on a project from a 1965 issue of Stitchcraft magazine:
I’ve always loved this design, it’s just so very 1950s/60s and I’ve always wanted to do something with it. I can’t take credit for its ridiculous cuteness at all – I just wanted to recreate it in a modern way. The embroidery pattern is what I wanted to share with you all, and it can be used in a zillion projects. I quite like how the original pattern repeated the motif on a table runner, so cute for a vintage-y Christmas dinner, and I have plans to stitch one up for a tree ornament. But today I’ll show you how to turn it into a mug rug – perfect for snuggling up with Christmas treats and a hot chocolate!
When you do finish, you might want to turn your embroidery into a super-cute Halloween or trick-or-treating tote! This tutorial assumes that you will use your finished full-page Dracula embroidery (as shown) – but of course you can also use the simpler version (included in the pattern) and work out the spacing yourself, or just a piece of cute Halloween fabric! This is the easiest project ever, and won’t take more than an hour or so. Let’s go!
So there’s about a week left to Christmas, right? Here’s a tutorial for a quick but lovely ornament you can make with stuff you almost definitely have around the house. It’s a good one to slip into a card, use as a tag on a gift for some extra-special wrapping, or just as a little treat for yourself to break up the Christmas panic. These are modeled on ornaments my family has had on the tree ever since I can remember* and they’re some of my favorites. I love that they’re quite large, larger than ornaments normally are, and let you showcase beautiful fabrics.
You can use whatever quilting-type fabric you have handy, but I made mine as a gift, so I went that little bit further and bought some Christmas-colored Liberty Tana Lawn pieces just for this project. That does make these ornaments extra-pretty, but it’s also a nice use for your favorite scraps. Here’s what you’ll need per ornament:
– 2 x fabric pieces, minimum 4.75″ square
– 2 x medium-weight fusible interfacing pieces, minimum 4.75″ square
– 1 piece of Wonder-Under, minimum 4.75″ square
– removable fabric pen (we use Pilot Frixion pens** – you don’t want one that needs to be washed out with water)
– sharp scissors
– sewing machine & thread to match (or contrast with!) your fabric
– some kind of string or thread for hanging (not shown) – I used some perle cotton floss
– a printed copy of my heart template (Download here!) and a bit of light cardboard – I used the back of a cereal box
** Note: be careful with these Pilot Frixion pens! We love love love them but have noticed that they leave a white mark behind when ironed away. We didn’t notice for a long time because we do all of our embroidery pattern work on white fabric and, besides, it won’t matter if you stitch right over the line anyway. But if you change your mind about line placement, it could leave a mark.
First things first. Cut out the large heart template, trace it onto your cardboard and cut that out. We’ll come back to the little heart later – until then, don’t throw anything away.
Next – apply your interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric squares:
If you are using Liberty Tana Lawn, be sure to test your interfacing on a scrap first! This medium-weight interfacing worked well for me. You want it stiff enough not to droop when hung, but not bubble or wrinkle. And iron very carefully – I went very slowly and left them untouched on the ironing board for a minute or two until they were completely cool between each ironing step.
Apply your Wonder-Under to the interfacing side of one square, peel back the paper backing, then apply the two squares together. If you’ve used a directional print, make sure they’re both facing the same direction before you iron!
Now you basically have a double-sized, interfaced, square of fabric. Trace your heart onto one side of the fabric square.
Now sew along the line you just drew. Make it easy on yourself and start along one of the straight lengths, not a curve. Also, you might want to use a small stitch length for this to make the curves a little tighter. I set the stitch length on my machine to about 2.25.
Remove your line marking and cut out the heart close to the stitching, about 1/16″ or so, or as close as you can cut neatly.
Thread a string through the top of the heart and there you go! (And I just noticed my ornament magically changed prints!)
Of course, you can use this method for any shape or size ornament you like, or with different prints on each side, or even with a bit of decorative stitching maybe. They’re perfect for customizing to the recipient.
Oh, and remember when I told you not to throw anything away? If you were really using 4.75″ squares at the beginning, you should have these funny little triangular fabric-interfacing-Wonder-Under sandwiches left. Cut the smaller heart from my template and it should be just the right size to make mini-ornaments from those scraps! I didn’t sew these because I didn’t trust my skills on something so small, but I bet they’d be cute with some hand-stitched running stitch or blanket stitch along the edge.
I hope you like them, and come back here to show off if you make some!
* Because these are not really my original idea, I’m just re-creating something made long ago by some unknown crafter, I’m happy for these to be made for sale by the enterprising among you. It’s hardly mine to own!
The third and final post of my little Threads Mini-Samplers series is up over at the &Stitches blog – I had such a great time doing this project, I hope you all enjoyed it!