Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Christmas Ornament

Sometimes it takes a gentle nudge to get me moving. Early yesterday morning in an email, that nudge arrived from a sweet friend asking me to consider a tutorial for a beaded and embroidered wool felt ornament. And so dear friend, this is for you...
Trace desired shape onto non-shiny side of freezer paper twice.
On one shape draw lines to divide into sections and label with color name.
Cut out freezer paper shapes and heat set with warm iron to the wool felt.
Cut out shapes and rearrange back into original shape on lightweight fusible interfacing. It is important to make sure that each of the pieces is fitted snuggly next to one another. Do not heat set them until you are certain that there are no gaps between pieces.
Using two strands of embroidery floss and decorative stitches, stitch across each seam being careful to catch both edges so that there are no open seams. The white lines you see on the edges of the stitches are from a rolling chalk marker that I use to mark as a stitching guide. They will wear away over time or with gentle brushing.
A jelly jar full of beads is way more than you will need. I've used gold, purple and ruby beads of assorted sizes on the sample.
Stitch beads on one at a time using two strands of embroidery floss to match the color of the bead. Not all embroidery needles will pass through the center of small beads, you may need to change the size of the needle to stitch the beads. If the eye of the needle is too small for two strands of floss then use one strand doubled over. After all embroidery and beading are complete, trim interfacing away as closely as possible to the edge of the shape being careful not to clip through embroidery stitches that may be close to the edge.
Place embroidered heart on top of second heart and pin edges. Using two strands of embroidery floss, stitch completely around the edge of the heart using blanket stitch and changing colors as desired. On this sample I have used a single ply of red perle cotton as a simple hanger. MERRY CHRISTMAS MILAH! A Simple Supply List freezer paper 6" square of lightweight fusible interfacing Black wool felt scraps 4" x 5" 2" x 3" Red wool felt scrap 2" x 3" Gold wool felt scrap 2" x 4" Olive wool felt scrap 2" x 4" DMC embroidery floss #725-gold, #470 - olive, #792 - purple, #321 - red assortment of beads and baubles in reds, purples and gold 5" of perle cotton or ribbon for a hanger Note about felt: This sample was stitched in wool felt that can be purchased through Magic Cabin. It is very easy to work with and is more forgiving then acrylic if you need to rework stitches. The wool also offers a wider range of colors. Each heart uses very small amounts of wool and the pieces of felt that can be purchased through Magic Cabin would allow you to make many, many ornaments. Note about beads: The sample was stitched with beads in a bag labeled 'Bead Heaven' that I purchased at Michael's. I have seen similar bead collections and assortments at both Hobby Lobby and Joann's. These ornaments don't require large amounts of beads so I shop for smaller bags in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. If you would like a copy of the heart shape I used, please email me and I will send a scan of the image.