Handmade Christmas trees

IMG_3734-3

I seem to have a soft spot for Christmas tree craft. I have done 5 types of Christmas trees using different techniques in the past three or four years.

One of my favourites is the Patchwork tree softie. This tree softie is made with the smallest of scraps and is super easy to make. You can even make a little forest in different sizes!

The easiest and quickest by far is possibly the Christmas tree softie. I recommend you use the Patchwork tree softie pattern instead of the one provided as the patchwork tree sits a lot better.

There’s a third tree softie I made last year using embroidery as the main technique. It is the Embroidered Christmas tree softie. I like the effect of using long and short stitch in a gradient.

Finally, if you prefer a no sew project I have made two trees this way using head pins and polystyrene cones.

The Snowed top Christmas tree was my first of this kind. Unfortunately I don’t have a pattern for this tree as it belongs in a book I contributed this project for.

And finally there is the No sew Christmas tree ornament that I made as I got into fabric manipulation (see my 41 fabric manipulations I have used in the making of 2 textured quilts). It uses fabric scraps, ribbon and sequins pinned to a polystyrene cone.

I hope you enjoy making these. And if you do please share a photo in my Flickr group.

No sew Christmas ornaments using styrofoam

IMG_3820

Fabric, ribbon and heaps of headpins is all you need to make these 4 Christmas decorations. All of them are easy enough to make with young kids.

All four Christmas ornaments are made using a polystyrene shape, fabric or ribbon and head pins.

No sew Christmas tree

This treel is made with polystyrene cone, head pins, fabric, ribbon and sequins.

No sew Christmas ornament

This Christmas ball is made with with a ball covered by wide ribbon in matching colours attached to the ball using head pins.

No sew Christmas wreath

Use wide ribbon to make this wreath though it can be made as well with fabric folded as per instructions. For a more country look use checks fabric.

Quilted Christmas ball

These are called quilted Christmas ornaments and you can make them in different ways. My post shows you the simplest way to make a quilted Christmas ball.

Enjoy making these ornaments and show your pictures at TeresaDownUnder flickr group.



Tiny foundation piecing pincushions with free template

I am not very experienced with foundation piecing but last time I made some foundation piecing blocks I quite enjoyed the process and discovered a handful of its benefits, one of them being that your blocks look perfect or almost. With that in mind I thought that foundation piecing would also be a good way to make rather small blocks with little fuss and have them look really good.

Having finished my Farmer’s wife quilt sampler recently I thought I would just reduce some nice blocks to about 5 inches square and try them out. So I went to the Yahoo! FWQS group where you can get all the foundation piecing templates for this quilt under Files, got the template for Windmill and Waste not, reduced them to about 5 inch squares and put them into a page for you to download.

For this project you need small fabric scraps big enough to cover each individual piece and have at least 1/4 in around each of them, including the outer edges. For the pincushion use polyfill or batting scraps.

Foundation piecing

I made a foundation piecing tutorial a while ago but I will go through the process again.

Cut your template leaving 1/4 inch around the edges.

Then fold along the printed lines. Use a piece of plastic or thin cardboard to help you.

Now cut the pieces. To waste as little fabric as possible measure each piece on the largest sides as well as the length. You will end up with squares or rectangles. Sometimes like in this case you can cut a square and then use it in both triangles. My squares, pink and orange, were around 3 1/2 inches square. Then I cut both squares on the diagonal.

The process is always the same. Start with your piece number 1.

Place it on the wrong side making sure that you have 1/4 inch seam allowance all around.

Pin the piece.

Now trim the piece. To do that, fold along the line you pressed earlier and then cut leaving 1/4 inch allowance.

Now the stitching starts between piece 1 and 2.

Align both pieces, right sides together, and pin together and to the paper.

Turn paper around and stitch between piece 1 and 2 along the line.

Time to trim piece 2.

Turn over and fold the paper between piece 2 and 3.

Trim leaving 1/4 inch allowance.

Add piece 3 aligning your piece with the previous trimmed piece.

And so on. The process is the same. Trim, add next piece, align, stitch, trim, and so on.

You place on the back of the paper and stitch following the lines on the front.

Once you have both pieces, stitch them together using a 1/4 inch allowance.

And there you have it, a 5 inch block.

Press well.

Pincushion

After making the block what to do with it. I always do something with my samples, be a potholder, a pincushion, even a quilt! At 5 inch square I chose a pincushion design I can donate for a good cause or give as a gift.

Cut the back of the pincushion using the block.

Stitch around all sides leaving a 1 inch opening to turn inside out.

Trim the corners.

Fill the pincushion with polyfill or some batting scraps.

Close the opening using a ladder stitch.

There you have it!

This is the second block on the pattern sheet.