advent sew-along: your ornament questions answered

I'm hearing a few common questions concerning the advent ornaments - how many layers are they? How do you hang them?  How do you sew a blanket stitch edge?  I don't know how to embroider - where can I learn the stitches?

Here is how I make them:
  • Each ornament is two layers, because I like to hide my messy stitches and knots inside.  The top layer is decorated, and the back is a solid color, plus the thread loop.
  • When I am doing little felt strips, like on this candy cane, I cut them much longer than necessary.  After they are sewn on, I trim the edges to fit.  This way, they are always the perfect length and don't get sewn on crooked.
  • I am using a full piece of embroidery thread (all 6 threads) for my ornament hanging loop.  I simply tie a knot in the thread, make a loop though the back piece of the ornament, and tie a second knot inside to close it off.
  • Embroidery is a valuable skill and just takes a little bit of practice!  Stitch School is an excellent blog to check out if you want to learn many embroidery stitches.  Here is a link to the blanket stitch, specifically.


One of my favorite parts of this advent project is I've been able to use this box of embroidery thread.  My mom brought it to me when Ruby was born.  It originally belonged to a much larger set of my grandma's thread collection.  She was an avid (and talented, I might add) cross-stitcher.  I love that I have a little bit of my grandma's supply sewn into every ornament!

12 comments:

Stephanie said...

I like the idea of using a second layer to 'hide the knots'! I'll have to keep that in mind when I make one.

Kirsten W. said...

Thank you for sharing! I was just coming to ask if you were leaving the backside exposed or covering it with another layer. So far mine are just one layer (seems like the Inchmark ones might be, too?) so I'm trying to decide what to do. Thanks for the inspiration and keeping us motivated!

Anonymous said...

This is great! I just stumbled upon your sew-along today (linked from vintagericrac). I made an advent calendar over the summer, but had no idea how to make ornaments for it. It has sat ornament-less in our closet all fall. Hooray for your tutorial! I'm so excited to start following along now and making all these great ornaments. Thanks for posting the tutorials (the tip to leave the candy-cane stripes long until the end is genius).

-Holly

Katie said...

A little jealous of the organized state of your embroidery thread, mines all shoved into a plastic bag :).

Jessica said...

I had some thin tube elastic left over from a project that I am using to hang the ornaments.
I am hoping to post some pictures of my calender tomorrow on my blog. So you can see what I mean.

justenoughstyle.blogspot.com

Diana Smith said...

Love all the colors of your embroidary thread! Very pretty!

Anonymous said...

Jill, I am a new follower and have found your projects and blog style simply beautiful. You have inspired me to get back crafting, which is perfect just as winter is setting in. I just wanted to add I love your support of using vintage sewing notions because it puts the items to great use. I have boxes full of items from an elderly neighbor and I love continuing the work of another generation! Keep being a great mom, Paula

Cassie and Mitch said...

thanks for posting this!!! This will help so much!!! Too bad I already had 11 ornaments done, they won't be as nice as the ones I will make now :)

maddmomma said...

You are a jewel! I love that you are using your grandma's floss! I feel her smiling right now!

Huddyma said...

I love that your grandma's crafty spirit is inside all of your projects!

And thanks for the stitch link--I've been wanting to learn some for some dollies I'm making.

Amber S said...

I love this idea and hope to make one as well. I just found your blog today and it's already one of my faves! I nominated you for an award on my blog at http://allamberallthetime.blogspot.com/2010/11/blogger-award.html !

Amber P said...

I inherited my Grandma's embroider floss as well! I love making projects with it and telling the girls stories about my Grandma and how I learned to embroider from her. One day I'll be brave enough to pull out the dish towels she made for me and use them. But for now they are safely stored in a box that I look at from time to time :)