December 19, 2018

How to Finish an Embroidery or Quilt Block as an Ornament

For a few years now, I've been wanting to share how I assemble the annual cross stitch ornaments I make for the boys, but usually by the time I'm ready to put them together I'm scrambling to get them done and I don't have time to take pictures of the process. This year, though, I've been working on some embroidered snowflake ornaments and I did take the time to get pictures as I finished them 😊
This same process will work for any small textile that you want to turn into an ornament: a cross stitch, an embroidered motif, a small quilt block or a piece of much loved fabric. I finished these snowflake ornaments as circles, but most of the process is the same for any shape. The one step that's different, I'll show how I do it for squares and rectangles, too. I've never tried triangles, but I'm guessing it would work the same as the squares and rectangles.

To begin with, decide how big you want the finished ornament to be. For circles, I find things in my kitchen that are the right size. In this case, a small glass was just right for the snowflakes. For squares and rectangles, I draw the shape onto a piece of thin cardboard, like a cereal box, and cut it out.

Trace around the template, centering your design.
How to finish an embroidery or quilt block as an ornament | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Leaving a seam allowance of  ¼" - ½", cut out around your design. I generally find that the more generous seam allowance makes for easier assembly, especially for squares and rectangles.
How to finish an embroidery or quilt block as an ornament | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Along with your design for the front of the ornament, you'll also need:

  •  a piece of backing fabric the same size as the front piece
  • two pieces of batting. Trace the template onto the batting and cut out on the line. FYI, this is why I'm always saving small pieces of batting. Of course, I could probably decorate a whole town's worth of trees with the scraps I have, but it seems wrong to throw out a piece that is big enough for an ornament!
  • two pieces of thin cardboard, like a cereal box, also cut out on the line
  • a piece of ribbon about 5" long. You can go longer or slightly shorter, depending on how long you want the ornament hanging loop to be.
How to finish an embroidery or quilt block as an ornament | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
For circular ornaments, stitch a row of basting stitches around the edge of both the front and back pieces.
How to finish an embroidery or quilt block as an ornament | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Layer a piece of batting and a piece of cardboard on the wrong side of both the front and back pieces, placing them on the drawn lines.

How to finish an embroidery or quilt block as an ornament | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Pull the basting stitches tight to draw the fabric tight around the cardboard circle. Stitch a small backstitch to secure the thread, then press both pieces.
How to finish an embroidery or quilt block as an ornament | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
For squares and rectangles, layer the batting and cardboard pieces on the wrong side of the fabric, then fold the corners in and press. This is the back piece of one of the boys' annual ornaments 😊
How to finish an embroidery or quilt block as an ornament | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Then fold in the sides and press.
How to finish an embroidery or quilt block as an ornament | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Stitching only through the fabric on the back, take a couple of stitches in each corner to secure the folds.
How to finish an embroidery or quilt block as an ornament | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Arrange the ribbon between the two pieces and use clips to hold the layers together.
How to finish an embroidery or quilt block as an ornament | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Using thread that matches, whip stitch the pieces together. If my two pieces of fabric aren't the same colour, I match the thread to the front fabric.
How to finish an embroidery or quilt block as an ornament | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
When you come to the ribbon you won't be able to whip stitch, so just take small stitches back and forth until you're past it and then continue with the whip stitch.

At the end, knot your thread, pop the knot under the fabric and you're done! Once you have whatever you're using for the front, turning it into an ornament is pretty quick to finish, so you still have time to whip up a couple to hang on your tree this year 😊

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm still trying to finish the boys' cross stitches (one left to go!) so their ornaments can be hung on the tree Christmas Eve.

7 comments:

  1. I like how full this makes the ornaments, Leanne! Great tutorial; thank you for sharing your method, and good luck finishing up the ornaments for your boys. :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing. The ornament looks great.

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  3. I love the red and white...so festive! Thanks for sharing your process!

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  4. Have been wanting to give the kids a tatted snowflake each year but knew they wouldn't hold their shape for very long. This will work! Thank you for flipping the switch in my brain!

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  5. This is a great way to finish ornaments.... I hope I can remember this post next year when I have ornaments to make for the grands.

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  6. Great tutorial Leanne. Thanks for taking time to share this when you must be so busy :-) Happy Christmas!

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  7. Thank you so much for your tutorial. I'm sure I will want to make some next year, well actaully I could start right now seeing that time passes so very quickly!

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