Oh Christmas Trees...Oh Christmas Trees
...You can make a delicate Christmas tree decoration using free-machine embroidery combined with ribbon. For the two samples I used cotton twill ribbon from the new and exciting Nordic/folksy range by those wonderful folks at fantasticribbons.com
For the free Machine Embroidery You Will Need:
- A darning or quilting foot for your sewing machine
- An embroidery hoop (6”-8”) – use 'back to front' so that the fabric lays flat against the throat plate
- Embroidery scissors – sharp to cut loose threads
- A disappearing fabric pen or fine felt tip pen
- Embroidery threads
- Bobbinfil – to wind onto your bobbin
- Water-soluble film – medium weight
To Make the Multi-Coloured Tree:
- Make a simple sketch of a tree, as shown.
- Place a piece of water-soluble film over the sketch. Cut strips of ribbon to follow the outlines of the trunk and branches. Pin ribbon to the film and stretch in an embroidery hoop.
- Lower the feed dog teeth and use a red or cream embroidery thread as the upper thread. Set stitch width and length to '0'. Stitch ribbon to the film and remove pins.Note: you are in complete control of the stitch length. Try to sew fairly quickly with your hands moving the hoop slowly. To start stitching it's helpful to do one stitch, then pull the upper thread so the bobbin thread comes to the top. Hold the threads while you do 3-4 small stitches, then cut the thread tails off.
- Change upper thread to a multi-coloured embroidery thread. Using free-machine embroidery, stitch concentric circles of differing sizes to follow the outline of the tree. Note: ensure the circles overlap with the ribbon or each other, so that all stitching is linked. Try a sample of stitching on water-soluble film and follow step 5 to make sure your stitching is in one piece.
- Remove the embroidery from the hoop. Trim any loose threads. Place the finished design in a bowl of warm water to dissolve the plastic film completely. Let dry.
- To finish, thread a length of ribbon through the embroidered design to make a hanger.
To Make the Gold/Red Themed Tree:
- Use a metallic thread as the upper thread. Using free-machine embroidery, stitch a lace pattern to fill in the tree shape.
- Change the upper thread to a contrasting thread. Machine concentric circles of differing sizes over the lace background, trapping strips of ribbons as you stitch. Make a ribbon bow and stitch to the embroidered tree to secure.
- To finish, repeat steps 5 and 6 as above.