* sewing machine sampler ornaments

Posted on November 27th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Holiday, Projects with Instructions.


I entered the annual ornament swap run by freshlyblended and cake & pie. It’s going through swap bot this year, which I am not a huge fan of, having done a couple of swaps through there. In one, someone accused me of purchasing the pinecone ornament I made, and in the other I was called “rude” for not replying to an email right away. The “rude” comment was even made using my last name, which is seriously not cool. Hopefully nicer people signed up for the ornament swap.

Anyway, my idea this year is machine embroidery on thick felt. My machine doesn’t have any of the fancy decorative stitches, but the weird useful stitches look pretty cool anyway. Here are the prototypes.

I think I like the band on the ball one better than the all over pattern of the long one, so I’ll probably do them all that way. Less is more. What’s awesome is that these are crazy easy to mass produce. In case anyone else wants to try them, here are instructions (though you can probably figure it out yourself).

  1. cut a strip of thick felt as tall as your ornament and as long as you want.  The beauty of this is you embroider them all at once and cut them apart at the end.  As for the felt, I just got a swatchpack from fitzfelt and they are awesome. They also sell precut rounds if you’re a perfectionist like that.  I also made a post on whipup a while back with thick felt suppliers.
  2. using contrasting thread, sew a straight stitch down the middle of the strip, longways. I did a tension test on a scrap first since the felt is so thick. For bonus reversibility, put a different color in the bobbin thread.
  3. sew decorative stitches on either side of the central stitch, keeping everything parallel as best you can. I made mine symmetrical above and below the equator, but you don’t have to. What with variations in stitch length, width, style, and spacing, there’s pretty much infinite combinations here.
  4. for the circles, I pressed a cookie cutter hard onto the felt to make a guide impression to cut around. For the long ones, I used a rotary cutter and eyeballed it. Once you’ve done one side, you can use the scrap as a template for the other side.
  5. Make an embroidery thread hanger.

The one thing I’m worried about is that the stitches aren’t secured and they might pull out. Since the ornaments won’t really be handled, I decided it probably won’t matter.

If instead of making your own, you’d like to swap me for one, send me an email (maitreya@craftlog.org). I love all my collected handmade ornaments from swaps. :D



12 Responses to “sewing machine sampler ornaments”

  1. meg Says:

    fantastic idea! and they turned out great!

  2. Anotheryarn Says:

    These look great and I also love the green ornament. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  3. Nicole Says:

    Maybe the edges could be secured with a little clear glue.

  4. amy Says:

    such a clever yet simple idea, one of those you see and think “doh! why didn’t i think of that?!” =]

    for the thread ends, you could probably dab a super tiny bit of fray check on the thread ends to secure them a little better. it’d probably be wise to test it first to make sure the fray check doesn’t leave a visible spot on the felt though.

    thanks so much for sharing. i think i’m gonna make a bunch for my tiny real tree at work. =]

  5. Rachel Says:

    Oh how cool! and I love that you do the design first, then the cut out. Genius easy! I’ll be linking.

  6. geek+nerd Says:

    That is such a sweet little idea! I love the Ornament Swap. I’ve been doing it since the first year, and it’s one of my favorite Christmas traditions :)

  7. Christine Says:

    Wow those look fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Kate Says:

    This is SUCH a great idea!! So simple and elegant!

  9. anicia Says:

    These are so fun…and easy!

  10. Sew: Festive | Says:

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  11. Sasha Says:

    Love this idea, so simple but effective.

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