Sunday, 19 October 2014

Ooh, la la! Lacy Top Stockings!

I wonder if the title of today's post misled you? My first title for this post was very boring so I opted for something that sounded a little more risqué! Just look at the photograph below and you will see just how naughty I am being today...

Lace-topped Felt Stocking
Hmm. Not very!

Being without a sewing machine and, also, with very little energy, I have been doing a lot of pottering and fiddling, all of which has led to me spending quite some time looking at Christmas tree decorations. This is quite a departure for me as I don't actually 'do' Christmas. Oh, I give presents to my close family [including Little Sis] but that's about all. Sending Christmas cards is very hit and miss - usually miss. I have absolutely no interest in celebrating what, for me, is a very sad anniversary. [Please don't comment below about it being an important religious festival - I'm well aware of that.]

Anyway, all of that aside, I have been thinking about decorations and this idea came to me. I have lots of tiny lengths of lace and thought how pretty they could be at the top of some little stockings, hanging on a Christmas tree.

A hanging stocking
[N.B. Peter does have all his fingers,
they are just folded in this photo!]
I drew a small stocking measuring about 6cm wide by 7cm deep and cut out two of them. I oversewed them together using two strands of red embroidery cotton. Then I wrapped a 7cm length of 1.5cm wide lace around the top and stitched it into place. I decided that I wanted my stocking to hand straight, rather than tilted, so I attached two strands of the embroidery cotton as a loop, about a quarter of the way in from the inside edge of the rim.

Et, voila!

One scrappy felt Christmas stocking
to hang on the tree!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

No-Sew Christmas Napkin Ring

No-Sew Decorative Christmas Napkin Ring


1 x 9” square piece of red felt
1 x 9” square piece of green felt
Paper-cutting scissors
Fabric scissors
Marker pen
Template sheet


Print the template onto card.

Using your paper-cutting scissors, cut out each of the shapes from the card template sheet, including the centre circle on the leaf and petal pieces.

Use paper-cutting scissors to cut out templates

The cut-out templates. Note that the centre
circles have been cut out

Place the spiky leaf shape onto the piece of green felt. Draw around it carefully with the marker pen. Make sure you have marked the centre circle.

Ready to draw around template
Ready to cut out template

Cut the shape, including the centre circle, out of the green felt. 
Cut out the template
**Tip** Cut a rough square out of the felt around the leaf shape as it will make it much easier to cut out the detailed shape.
**Tip** Roughly cut out a square of felt to make
cutting the details easier
Place the green felt leaf shape to one side.
Note the centre circle has been cut out.
Take the sheet of red felt. Place the petal shape at the corner of the sheet and the long shape along the opposite edge of the felt, as shown in the picture. 
Ready to draw the first two shapes
Draw around both shapes with the marker pen, including the centre circle of the petal shape. Move the petal shape along the piece of felt towards the long shape. Place it so that it does not overlap either of the shapes you have already drawn. Draw around the petal shape for a second time, including the centre circle.

Cut the three shapes out of the red felt, remembering also to cut out the centre circle pieces.
**Remember the tip mentioned above.**
The three red pieces have been cut out
Gather your four cut felt shapes.
Long red piece of felt and spiky green piece
Take the long red shape and the green spiky leaf shape as shown in the photograph above.
Pushing and pulling the ball-shaped end through
the centre circle gently
Push one rounded end of the long shape through the centre hole of the spiky leaf shape.
One ball-shaped end has been pushed
through the centre circle
Take one red petal shape.
The first red petal shape is ready
to be attached
Take the rounded end of the long shape that you have already pushed through the centre of the leaf shape and push it through the centre of the red petal shape.
The first ball-shaped end of the band
is going through the centre circle
This is how the ball-shaped end will
Take the other rounded end of the long piece of felt.
The other end of the long red shape
is ready 
Push it through the centre hole of the green leaf shape.
Manoeuvre the felt gently
Then push it through the centre hole of the red petal shape.
It has gone through the centre of the green shape
Take the second red petal shape. Place it on top of the partly constructed napkin ring.
The second red petal shape is ready to
be attached
Push one ball-shaped end of the long shape through the centre hole.

One end has been passed through the
Push the other ball-shaped end of the long shape through the same centre hole.
Both ends are through all layers
Gently neaten the two ball-shaped ends.
Gently neatening the end pieces
Gently move the leaf shape and each of the two petal shapes to make an attractive finished item.
Moving leaves and petals into positions
Your napkin ring is ready for use.
Beautifully arranged leaves and petals
The napkin ring in use

Embellish as desired, for example, do some hand stitching on the petals, stick glitter or beads onto the ball-shaped ends.

An alternative is to use green felt for the band. This picture shows the result of doing so.
Napkin ring using green felt band


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Manipulated Fabric Christmas Tree

It's that time of year again when crafters' minds are concentrating on Christmas and all the goodies they can make for family and friends, as well as for themselves, or even for sale.

The tutorial I created for the Folded Fabric Christmas Tree proved so popular that I have decided to repost it. it will save anyone having to trawl through my old post to find it! [That's my good deed for the day!]

I still haven't figured out how to include a link to a .pdf file so, if you want a printed copy, I'm afraid you will have to copy and paste it all. Apologies but I am not able to deal with requests for a .pdf file for the foreseeable future.

Have fun making the tree and I hope you will send me pictures if you do make one.

Manipulated Fabric Christmas Tree

Materials required:
  • Two different designs of Christmas fabric (I have used a red design and a green design and will refer to these throughout.)
  • Cotton thread in complementary colour(s)
  • Scraps of brown felt and red felt
  • Beads for embellishment (if desired)
  • Rotary cutter
  • Quilter’s ruler
  • 60° triangle template
  • Pins
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Beading needle
  • Fabric glue
Tools and materials needed to make a
Manipulated Fabric Christmas Tree
Additional items required to make the tree
Trim the ends of each piece of Christmas design fabric to ensure they are straight.
Creating a straight edge on fabric
Cut a strip of fabric measuring 33” x 6” from the green fabric and from the red fabric.
Measuring and cutting fabric strip
Using your 60° triangle template or, alternatively, the 60° line on your quilting ruler, cut ten triangles measuring 6” on all three sides from each strip.
Measuring triangles
Cutting triangles from fabric
Cutting fabric using rulers and
rotary cutter
You will now have 10 red 60° triangles and 10 green 60° triangles, all with sides measuring 6”. This photograph shows ten pairs as I cut double thickness.
Red and green fabric triangles ready
for folding
Place one red triangle and one green triangle right sides together. Pin them together as shown by the red triangle in the picture below.
Place one triangle of each colour together
with right sides facing
Stitch the triangles together, leaving a gap along one side of approx 2.5”, for turning.
Stitching triangles together
Leave a gap in the stitching for
Snip off each of the points being careful not to cut your stitching.
Snipping the points off the
Turn the triangle so that the right sides are on the outside.
Turning the triangles inside out
Ensure points of triangle are neatly
Press the triangle, making sure that the opening is neat and level.
Press the triangles
Neatly hand stitch the gap closed.
Hand stitch the gap closed
Repeat these steps for all the triangles. You will have 10 double-sided triangles.

Take one of the triangles and fold it in half so that you have a right-angled triangle with points 1 and 2 together.
Finger press the fold.
Fold in half into a right-angled triangle again so that points 2 and 3 are together.
Finger press the fold to find the centre of the triangle.

Finger press the fold
Fold one of the points so that it touches the centre of the triangle, where you have made your creases. Stitch in place.
Fold one point over to the centre of the
Likewise, fold and stitch the second and third points in place at the centre. This will create a hexagon shape.
Fold second point into centre
Repeat with third point
Turn the resulting hexagon over. Find the centre of one of the edges of the original triangle (rather than a new folded edge) and fold it in to the centre of the hexagon. Stitch in place.
Folding the first edge to the centre
Repeat the previous step with the other two original edges.
Fold second triangle edge to the centre
Repeat for third edge
You will now have a piece as shown in these two photographs below.
Make each of your triangles into this shape, making sure that you fold the fabric in the same way each time so that all finished triangles have the same fabric on the front.

**The two shapes below have been folded in the two different ways to show the contrasting end result.**
Triangles folded from front and from back
Now begin to construct your tree as follows:
Take two of your triangle shapes and place them side by side with one red fold on each lined up as shown in the picture below.
Place two triangles abutting at one corner edge
Place the triangles with right sides facing and stitch the red fold line firmly together.
Tutorial for Stitch triangles together firmly
Repeat this step to stitch all the triangles together to create the tree shape below.
Two rows of triangles stitched together
The reverse of the tree shape when all
triangles have been stitched together
Take your scraps of felt and pinking shears.
Cut a bucket shape from the dark brown felt, a tree trunk from the light brown felt and two decorative strips from the red felt, using the pinking shears.
Cut trunk and bucket shapes from felt
Stick the red decorations and the trunk onto the bucket.

Stick stripes onto bucket
Place trunk onto the back of the
centre of the bucket 
Secure trunk with PVA glue
To create the hanging loop, cut a strip of dark brown felt measuring 4” x 0.75”. 
Cut felt to make hanging loop
Fold it in half along its length then form a loop, as shown above.
Front view
Rear view
Stitch in place at the top of the tree.
Stitching hanging loop in place
When the glue has dried on the bucket, sew two lines of running stitch on each red stripe. (Sorry, the stitching does not show up very well.)
Stripes on bucket
Attach the trunk and bucket to the tree by stitching on the reverse.

Stitch trunk into position
The tree is now complete but you may wish to embellish it further.

The completed Christmas tree
I decorated my tree by threading four beads together and hanging them in each gap, as shown.
Stitching bead embellishments
to tree
Hanging bead detail
Hanging bead embellishments
on tree

Manipulated fabric Christmas tree complete
with bead decorations

** This tree was made using fabrics generously supplied by: