Oh friends, it's been a while since I've done a good ol' craft post. Mostly because all of my stuff is in a POD and that makes me a little twitchy, especially during the holidays when I am supposed to be up to my eyeballs in schellack. You know me, I LOVE a good shellacking.
However. The last thing I need is paint fumes, or anything sticky, so for today's tutorial, we are going with fabric ornaments. May I present, the "Peace on Earth" or the "Joy to the World" ornament....
1. You'll need some blue & green fabric, and something round as your template--I happened to have some
turquoise canvas fabric on hand, but also did my second attempt on a light cotton, and it worked out just peachy. See, most times when I craft and have to improvise, NO ONE DIES. I doubled my blue fabric over and used a ball point pen to trace a circle (using a cup straight out of my cabinet, because I am like MacGyver). Cut two circles (if fabric is doubled, you only have to cut once), and set aside.
2. I ALWAYS have Pellon Wunder-Under on hand, because it's made for applique (I think?). You can find it at fabric/craft stores, and it is on a bolt that you will have to have cut by the yard (or 1/4 yard, or whatever). So here's the deal--you iron a piece of it onto your green fabric, or whatever you are using as the "land" pieces on your earth. You will then have, what appears to be, a paper backing on your green fabric.
3. Here is where I used my plastic cup and traced another circle onto the papered side of the green fabric--and began playing with the way I wanted the "land" pieces to look. You NEED the shape of the circle to get the curves right, so ALWAYS start there...and just play. It took me a few minutes to get the proportions right, and to get it to look...right. Also, since I stitched the entire ornament with a rough edge, I left some space between the edge of the ornament and the edge of the land pieces. I just think it looks better, visually, but to each her own...no one will DIE if you line your land pieces up with the edge of the ornament.
Once you cut the land pieces out, you are going to peel the paper backing off of them--take your fingernail, and GENTLY try to peel it off of a section of the fabric. It should leave behind a kind of "film" that feels a little tacky. If it doesn't, you are peeling the wunder-under off of the fabric, and you'll need to re-iron it to get it to adhere properly. Once the paper backing is off, you can iron your "land" pieces on to one of the blue circles you cut in step #1. The wunder-under will hold it there, and make it SO MUCH EASIER to stitch.
4. Now you are ready to stitch the land pieces--on my machine, I use stitch #14, the one that looks like a ladder? I'm officially naming it the ladder stitch and I'm fairly certain that will kill some old lady who is a master seamstress (sometimes crafting DOES kill). Anyhoo, you take the ladder stitch, and you stitch the perimeter of all the land pieces. You could also do a standard, straight stitch, but I think the *ladder* makes it look more awesome.
5. After you stitch your land pieces, you're ready to sew the blue circles together. I literally used a straight stitch, about a quarter inch from the edge of the ornament. Leave a small opening to shove some filler in, and...Voila! I was going for a look that was homemade and a little rough around the edges. Like me.
6. After you stuff the ornament, take it back to the machine and stitch another circle around the perimeter--I like the double stitch, it adds to the whimsy. Your ornament probably puckered up a little bit with the stuffing, and the second line of stitching will help it even out a bit (but not totally, just roll with it, homey). Also, you will want to add a loop of grosgrain ribbon as your ornament hanger...just slip it right into the opening you left for the stuffing.
7. Have your seam ripper handy for when you INEVITABLY forget to add the ribbon to hang the ornament. I made three of these today, and forgot EVERY TIME.
8. Last step--the "peace" or "joy" flags. I just sort of eyeballed it...one piece of a fabric scrap (in the color of your choice), folded in the middle, and cut with an inverted "v" at the end. I wrote "peace" or "joy" with a fabric marker, and then just looped it on the ornament hanger and sewed it with a crude stitch. You know my opinion, the less perfect it looks, the more character it has. Also, you may want to experiment with the fabric pen first--in my experience, they tend to bleed if you apply too much pressure, so know that up front.
9. The finished product! Happy ornamenting, friends!!