Thursday, November 19, 2015

Quilted Christmas Ornaments - Tips & Thoughts

The other day I was in Hancock Fabrics and while waiting to get some fabric cut I overheard another customer telling another customer about a YouTube channel called Missouri Star Quilt Co where they do video tutorials on quilting and sewing. When I got home and a couple days later when I couldn't sleep I somehow found their channel and started looking around and I came across their Holiday projects video.

One of the projects I saw on this video is for using fabric strips that you have left over from other projects to make Christmas Ornaments. They are darling! Unfortunately I don't have any strips as when my sewing machine died a few years ago I sold off 3 big bins of fabric because I just don't have room for them in my apartment. SOOOOO, long story short - I had to go buy fabric.

Here is my effort at making Christmas Ornaments. I've decided to make them up for Christmas gifts for my daycare parents (who do not visit my blog lol) and family. My sewing isn't as beautiful as the gal in the video but I still think they turned out really cute. This post will share the trials & tips that I came up with to make it easier for me - maybe it will help you if you decide to make them.

Materials you'll need:
1/4 yd of up to 8 fabrics
1 yd of backing fabrics
Fusible Pellon - I bought Med-Heavyweight
Fusible Webbing
Foil if doing what they did in the video. I used glittery fabric instead.
Sewing Machine, Scissors, Cutting Mat & Rotary Cutter
Video (above) & Written Directions

I'm not going to tell you how to make the ornament - you can watch it in the video and they explain it much better than I could. I will list the materials for you though and add some tips that will hopefully help you if you make them.

1) Cut your 8 fabrics into 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" strips. The main fabric in the center of the ornament is a striped fabric that has a 3 1/2" strip with the scene printed on it and I just cut that strip out. You could really use anything you want for that middle strip. I also have a deer scene and a cardinal scene that I'm going to use for that middle strip.
2) In the video they used a ruler called a Easy Circle Cut 2-10" as well as the 18mm Small Rotary Cutter which I did not have so I used my large glass lid from a saucepan that I already had. The ruler is $15.99 and if you are planning on making a LOT of these or if you quilt a lot you might want to invest in it. It would make cutting your front & back pieces out a LOT easier.
3) Fusible Pellon - I found ironing the fusible pellon didn't work so well and ended up raising the temp of my iron to the Cotton setting - so make sure you are using that setting. This is found in the interfacing area of the fabric store.

Later note: I find that the ornament is not stiff at all and lying flat like I thought it would. I don't plan on washing it - so Im thinking maybe I should stick a piece of cereal box cut into a circle inside or is there a stiffer pellon I could use that would still fit through the sewing machine? 

4)  Fusible Webbing - This is also found in the interfacing area. I had to ask about this item as I wasn't finding anything that looked like what I used to buy. This is thicker and I actually liked it MUCH better than the stuff I used to use. It is not the thin, cheesecloth looking stuff anymore. I THINK I got the Heat N Bond Feather Lite Fabric. It is MUCH easier to use.

5) The Ornament Hanger uses the Fusible Webbing (Heat N Bond) from tip #4. In the video (again) they made it using foil but I really did not like how it looked when I tried to use the foil method. It looked neat on the video... when I did it? Not so much. I also tried using the same stuff with the glittery fabric and I liked it but I really did not like the hole I was to cut in the top of the dome shaped hanger at the top. So, I decided to not do it at all and just to undo the top of the ornament, insert a 3/4" wide ribbon and then when I top stitched stitch it in place.

Later Note: So far, I'm not to thrilled with just the ribbon as I don't like the loop hanger - unless I hang it off a branch or quilt shelf. Does anyone have any suggestions on HOW to hang these?

6) Top Stitching. It's been a LONG time since I last did top stitching on something I was making for someone else. It doesn't look as nice as I'd like it to look and hopefully no one will care since these are gifts. The feet for this new sewing machine seem to be different than my last machine and I'm having a hard time figuring out which part of the foot I need to use for measuring where my stitches are placed while stitching.

What do you think?
If you have any suggestions on how to do the ornament topper,
displays or to stiffen the ornament itself - please share in the comments below....
(I'll add a picture of the end result Sunday - I like it just no idea how to display)

Hanging the ornaments:
As I was sewing these ornaments I got a mad, crazy idea for hanging them. Take a branch and either spray paint it a contrasting color (red or black?) or maybe use spray on snow? As soon as our branches dry out I will take one to Michaels and ask them what they would suggest. (It's been raining quite a bit the last couple days.) I like the idea of using the spray on snow but I've never used it and when would I ever use it again?

Linked Up @:
Do It Yourself Craft Party @ DIY Crush
Create w Joy @ Friendship Friday BH
Freedom Friday
Friday Features Linky Party

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