Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ornament Progress!

By-Jenny2

FINALLY! Some progress on my Christmas in July projects!

After a wonderful, whirlwind visit, my niece and mother left Seattle yesterday and I found myself with some free time during one of those miraculous simultaneous naps by the boys. Yippee! I turned on some music, lit a candle (getting romantic with my old self!), grabbed some candy and a cup of coffee and... sat down to thoroughly enjoy a little bit of handwork! Breathe a sigh of satisfaction with me, would ya? Aaaah.

Here's my first finished ornament, using the Layer Play ornament pattern designed by Laura Howard for Fa La La La Felt:

Jenny: Christmas in July Ornaments

I decided to go with a simple color combo rather than a whole rainbow. The result is interesting, quite different from the original design. Not sure if I like it. Just like you Angel, I had issues cutting even circles (as you can plainly see!) and it bugs the perfectionist in me to no end.

Jenny: Christmas in July Ornaments

Jenny: Christmas in July Ornaments

Jenny: Christmas in July Ornaments

I had plans to make several Layer Play ornaments because I love this design, but I think I'll wait until I get better scissors or figure out how to sharpen my embroidery scissors. (See Laura Howard's tips for cutting circles in this post.)

Jenny: Christmas in July Ornaments

I also was able to get rolling with my Little Birds Garland yesterday, using the lovely pattern designed by Lisa Jordan! I debated between using a mix of bright colored felt or a combo of heathered gray and sand felt. I decided that since I might keep the birds around the house as a decorative item year-round, I'd better go with a neutral, natural look that I won't get tired of. I'll keep the bright colors for the tree ornaments!

Jenny: Christmas in July Ornaments

Instead of 200%, I increased the pattern by 300% and it's just right for my awkward fingers. I knew that I would make myself crazy with the needlework required on the small pieces. Lisa Jordan recommends using fabric glue to secure the wing to the bird body before stitching it, but I didn't have any on hand.

Jenny: Christmas in July Ornaments

Jenny: Christmas in July Ornaments

I went through my button stash to find a mix of clear and grey button pairs. I am stitching everything with a slightly off-white embroidery floss (3 strands as instructed by the pattern). It's working out pretty well! I've been able to complete the eye and wing detail on 2 pairs of birds so far. It took me a couple of tries to get the hang of the "feathers" but I think I've got it now.

Jenny: Christmas in July Ornaments

As with most handwork and needlework, this is the perfect project to do in front of the TV. I am hooked on America's Got Talent lately and don't feel as if I should blush admitting that if I'm being productive while watching, he he. Here's my TV stitching set-up (that tray has "legs" that open up like a little table):

Jenny: Christmas in July Ornaments

And that's about it for my progress! I hope to show you my finished Little Birds Garland soon! How about you? How's your ornament-making going? Let me know in the comments or share pics in the Christmas in July Flickr pool.

You can find the pattern and template for the Layer Play ornament here, and the pattern and template for the Little Birds Garland here, both from the book Fa La La La Felt and courtesy of Lark Crafts. If you need to stock up on felt, our friends at A Child's Dream Come True have offered our readers $5 off your purchase with the discount code FALALA. Happy stitching!

>> See all our Christmas in July posts here. And psst, don't forget to enter the giveaway from Fashionable Fabrics here for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate.

9 comments:

  1. I am so glad I'm not the only one who had trouble making perfect circles! But now that you have reassured me, I remembered what some blogger once said - "It doesn't have to be perfect." Isn't that wonderful? We can love our creations as they are!

    I need to start on my birds!

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  2. I was thinking... (about those vexing circles), Ellen has circle templates for her "Thrifted Trees" tutorial. I wonder if some of those sizes would work for this? Here's the link on The Long Thread: http://thelongthread.com/?p=1656

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  3. Thanks Mary, I'd love to see your ornaments when you're done!

    Melanie, that is such a smart idea! It looks like if you cut circles 1 through 7 from the first page of Ellen's template, you would get exactly what you need for the Layer Play ornament. Thanks for the great tip!

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  4. By the way, Ellen's Thrifted Trees are also in Fa La La La Felt!! I love that design.

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  5. Love it Jenny! Your birds look great. I like aqua and red together! You might go back and trim up the circles a bit, that's what I had to do. My Gingher embroidery scissors work great!

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  6. I bought (with a coupon)an Olfa circle cutter at Joann last year and it was SOOOOOOO worth it! It looks like a drafting tool, quite frankly, but was easy to use and you can make all different sizes of circles. WHY didn't this come along when I was younger! I look forward to the rest of this series--thanks!

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  7. I like the two-color ones (and also the multi-color ones)- I agree its a different look but also very nice! I love the muted greys you chose for your birds, too :)

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  8. I used my sizzix to cut circles for this craft. They have 4 nesting sizes- they worked great!

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  9. Thank you guys so much! I love all the tips (and the compliments too). ;)

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