Folk Art Ornament Tutorial

While surfing the net for some inspiration for a new project, I came across a fun and easy technique from mixed media artist, Teesha Moore.  On her site she shares a visually stunning way to create beautiful little quilted fabric squares using fabric scraps, a little batting and embroidery floss.  She then takes these squares of random sizes and stitches them together to make whimsical fabric journals!
After watching her video tutorials I thought it would be fun to try her technique in making a Christmas Ornament.  I love the ‘no fuss’ approach to this technique – it’s a quick and fun way to create a handmade gift for friends and family who appreciate your creative talents.

I decided to add a pocket in the back which is perfect for holding a gift card in, a little note or a yummy holiday treat!
I encourage you to try it – once you do – you won’t want to stop! 

To this project you’ll need the following:
·         Three round scraps of coordinating fabric cut to 4” in diameter
·         Three long scraps of coordinating fabric ¾” x 8” long
·         Thin Batting cut to 3.75” in diameter
·         Embroidery Floss – solid colored or gradient colored (optional)
·         Embroidery needle with a large eye
·         Various buttons
·         Safety pins (optional)

Step 1 – Make a braid (no - not in your hair)
Take the three long fabric scraps and use a few stitches at one end to hold them together and then tightly braid them.  This will be placed at the top of the ornament so it can be hung.  Use a few stitches to secure the end after braiding.

Step 2 – Make a sandwich (no - not the kind you eat)
Take two of your round fabric scraps and place the batting in between with Right sides of the fabric facing out.  Now you have a fabric sandwich!  Use safety pins to hold it together.  Pinch the raw ends of your braided piece together and place it in between the layers of fabric and then baste stitch by hand or by machine to hold your sandwich together.  Now trim your top layer just a smidge to match your batting layer .

Step 3 – Sew the border
This is where Teesha’s technique comes in.  Use a needle and embroidery floss to sew a boarder around the outer edge of your ornament – Like her, I didn’t separate my floss – and I used gradient colored floss because I like the way the floss changes color as you go along – either way - totally up to you. 
To sew the boarder simply stick your needle into the front side of your ornament and then bring your needle around to the front of your ornament about ¼” down from where you first inserted the needle and continue sewing from back to front around the outer edge until you get back to where you started. 

Step 4 – Embellish, Embellish, Embellish!
Use your embroidery floss and buttons to embellish the front.  I used all six strands in my floss because I really wanted the embroidery to stand out.  Feel free to use as much or as little as you want.  I used a back stitch to create my little looped lines across the top and bottom but feel free to experiment with any stitch you want!  Don’t worry about the stitches showing on the other side – that just gives is character but if you didn’t want the stitches to show through on the back side of your ornament you could leave the bottom layer of fabric off until you are ready for the next step.

Step 5 – Add the pocket!
Now your ornament at this point should look pretty much completed – feel free to take a moment to admire your handy work!  If you want your ornament to hold a little goodie then you will need to add the pocket.  Taking your remaining fabric circle, fold one side down about 1/3 of the way and sew the fold down using a straight stitch or any stitch you want!  Sew the pocket on using the same technique you used for sewing the boarder – you can use the same colored embroidery floss as before or try a contrasting color to add more depth and dimension to your ornament.

Whaa-lah!  You now have a little homemade goodie to give or add to your own tree!  If you happen to live in the Summerville area or nearby, I encourage you to join me this Friday for a fun ‘Make and Take’ of this project.  To find out more about the class, you can go here.

Until next time – Happy Sewing!

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