Cute Christmas Tree Decorations

Last weekend, I did my first ever 10k.  It was a charity event to raise money for a little girl called Sophie, who lives in the next village.  Sadly, Sophie has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and is facing many years of treatments.  Her Mum set up a Facebook group (called Sophie’s Journey, if you’re interested) and it was through this that I found out about the virtual 10k event.  You could run, walk, cycle or swim the distance – I jogged half and then walked the rest – between 4-13th December and afterwards, collect your medal from Sophie’s house, socially distanced of course!  The medals were designed by Sophie and are super cute!

When I went to collect my medal, I wanted to take a little something for Sophie and her two sisters.  I’d seen this idea from Sew Dainty on Pinterest for a Christmas tree garland and thought they’d work well as individual decorations too.  First, I drew and cut out my Christmas tree shape on paper before pinning it onto felt sandwiched between two pieces of Christmas print fabric.  You can use wadding or anything in the centre of the sandwich, it’s just to give the trees some body.  It’s a good way to use up random pieces of fabric!

Next, I added in a hanging ribbon at the top before taking my tree sandwich to the sewing machine and sewing around the outside of the template, pivoting at the corners to give nice sharp points.

After I’d finished, it looked like this.

Using pinking shears, I cut around the outside of the tree, taking care not to chop off the ribbon hanger!

Lastly, I stitched some zigzag lines up the tree.  I wanted a tree topper but I’d run out of star buttons so I hand stitched a pair of wooden hearts to the front and back of the top of the trees instead.

I love how these came out and think I’ll be making a garland of trees in the near future.

A Whale of a Time

For the past month, I have been sewing up a storm to complete a set of 12 Days of Christmas ornaments for my Mum’s birthday.  This is the 4th set of these ornaments I’ve made (see post from April 2019) and usually, they take me about 3 months to make (at a leisurely pace!) so making these in 4 weeks was quite a challenge.  I decided to make them in a limited colour palette to give the cohesive look of a set, choosing felt in two shades of red, green and grey together with white and gold.  The embroidery was done in coordinating threads. Here’s the finished set.

1-4: Partridge and Pear, Turtle Dove, French Hen and Calling Bird
5-8: Gold Ring, Goose-a-laying and her egg, Swan-a-swimming and Maid Milking
9-12: Drummer, Piper, Lady Dancing and Lord-a-leaping and a bonus heart!

My Mum’s Christmas tree is only diddy and would be overpowered by these ornaments so I got her a twig tree for displaying these.  I’m really hoping Mum will like them.

For the birthday card, I used the Stampin’ Up! Whale Done and Whale of a Time DSP to make a shaker card.  First of all, I used the Seabed embossing folder with some vellum to decorate the inside of my card as this looks really pretty against a dark cardbase.

Next, I made the shaker element, using the Whale of a Time sequins.  I covered the top of the frame with some metallic card embossed with the Subtle embossing folder.

The set didn’t have the sentiment that I wanted so I handwrote them onto thin strips of Pretty Peacock card using a white gel pen.  The last job was to add a square of card inside to write on, which I stamped with the tiny fish from the set.

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

Christmas Tree Skirt

Whilst your decorated artificial Christmas tree may look stunning, the stand usually doesn’t, by virtue of it having to be practical rather than aesthetic.  I used to just lay sheets of cotton wool ‘snow’ around mine but then heard of a tree skirt and set about making my own.  We have two trees so I made one with Christmas trees on and one with snowman.  Here’s the snowman skirt.

A friend was admiring the skirts and asked where I’d bought them and subsequently commissioned me to make one for his tree.  His daughter then admired that one and requested one of her own so I thought it’d make the perfect Christmas project for the blog.  So, if you fancy having a go at making your own, here’s how I did mine.

First, draw a circle that will cover the legs of your stand plus an extra inch or two for the seams.  Cut out a section so that the skirt will form a cone shape and then cut this out from your main fabric and backing fabric.  I divided my paper template into 3 pieces and sewed them together to save on fabric.  You may also need to divide the template into more pieces if the pattern on your fabric is directional.  Remember to add extra width for seam allowances!

Now is where you can go wild with your decorative elements!  My friend wanted Christmas trees so I drew out a tree shape, divided into three tiers, as I wanted to use different fabrics.  I traced around each shape and the trunks 5 times onto Bondaweb and roughly cut them out.

The beauty of Bondaweb is that you can then iron your shapes onto your chosen fabrics and cut the shapes out precisely.

I then peeled of the backing paper, revealing a layer of fusible adhesive web, and placed my trees onto the skirt base, ironing them in place to secure, ready for quilting.  The quilt sandwich was stuck together with Odif 505 temporary adhesive and formed using polyester wadding and another piece of fabric.  It doesn’t really matter what fabric it is as it won’t be seen.  I like to reuse old bed sheets (washed, of course!) for this purpose.

Using a satin stitch on my sewing machine, I quilted around the edge of each tier of the tree and around the trunk.  This makes the trees puff up and adds lovely texture.

Once the appliqué was complete, I sewed on 3 rouleau loops onto one side (for the buttons) and then sewed on the backing using the bagging out method, turned right side out and top stitched all around the edges.  Finally I hand stitched some rope trim around the edge, gold stars on the trees and some covered buttons to hold the tree skirt in place.