• Rhona Norrie

A Year of Christmas Stitching: February Chart

Welcome back! It's time for our second installment of our 'A Year of Christmas Stitching'. I'm excited to share our second free Christmas chart with you. (If you've just stumbled upon 'A Year of Christmas Stitching' you can find the first chart here.) Hopefully you have finished the first design - doesn't it feel good to be organized and on schedule to get all that Christmas stitching done in plenty time for Christmas? :)


So if you're chomping at the bit and desperate to know what the next design is, well here it is... a Celtic Noel design! Chart can be found at the bottom of this page.


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Now I know many of us are in lockdown again (Ughh... when will this end? I have a beautiful new grandbaby I want to show off!!!) and if you don't have the threads listed you may not be able to get to the craft store to buy the threads listed in the key... don't worry, I'd already thought of that and have you covered, so, if you can't get or don't have the threads I've used, don't panic, just search in your stash for three blues that are in the same colour family.


You'll need a dark blue, a medium blue and then a lighter blue. I used (DMC) 311, 3842, & 3760, but if you don't have those colors you could use (DMC) 820, 797, & 799 or (DMC) 3750, 930, & 931... or whatever you have in your stash - this design will work with whatever you have on hand. In fact you don't even have to use blues... use your favorite colour or whatever colours you have in your stash! If you're not confident in picking thread colors, you could use a DMC colour card (or any other thread brand colour card for that matter!). Just look for three threads that are together in the card, making sure that you can tell the difference between the colors (some threads are very similar so you'd want to skip one and use the next colour in the set).


My thread colour card is a very old one, the new ones are much nice than this! But this gives you an idea of how it would work when picking threads. You can see the newer version of the thread colour card here.


For example, 3755 and 334 would be too close to see the difference, but you could use 3755 and 322, skip 312 and use 311.



This design was stitched on an oatmeal Aida... I like the rustic kind of look from the fabric and thought it went well with the Celtic style lettering but feel free to stitch it on whatever fabric you are happy using. I'm all for doing what makes you happy :)



Now many of you lovely stitchers said you liked the last tutorial on how to finish your stitching (thank you for all your kind comments... much appreciated!) so I'm going to share another way to finish this design, but as always, finish your stitch however you'd like to!



The finish shown in the picture above is quite simple to do and I'll walk you through each step of the way. I know that not everyone has a sewing machine so I have shown how to finish the design by hand sewing... it's easier than you think - I promise!


You will need:

  • Your finished stitching

  • A second piece of aida - the same brand and count as used for the front

  • Polyfill for stuffing

  • Thread

  • Scissors


Method:


  1. Decide the size you'd like the finished ornament to be. I use quilting pins to gauge the finished size. I decided ten squares from the edge of the stitching was a good size, but you can do whatever you feel looks good.




2. Using two strands of thread (I used the darkest blue from the design), stitch a backstitch border all round the design ten squares from the edge of the stitching (or whatever you decide you'd like).


3. Take the second piece of Aida fabric and stitch the same backstitch rectangle. It must be exactly the same size as the one around the design.



To make counting easier (I always lose count - or get interrupted half way through!), I stick a quilting pin in every block of ten squares. Do the same for the second piece of Aida fabric... no losing count now! :)



4. Trim fabric six squares from the back stitched border (this is your seam allowance) on both pieces of Aida. Trim corners (this will make for a neater finish).



5. Now it's time to join the two pieces together! Grab two strands of thread - use the same colour that you used for the backstitch border.


I used a different colour so the photographs were clear as to where the needle was going in each stitch.


Lightly crease the fabric along the back stitch border and fold in the edges of the fabric. Both 'right' sides of the fabric should be on the outside. Line up the borders as in the picture below.

Secure the thread on the back of the design then bring the needle up at the first corner stitch then whip stitch all round. To whip stitch, you need to take your needle and slip it underneath the first backstitch on the front piece, then through the first back stitch of the back piece. Go directly under each stitch, do not catch any fabric or thread.



I stitch right to left, but you can go left to right - whatever is easiest for you. Pull the thread all the way through the stitches then repeat on the second backstitch, then the third and so on till you have caught each backstitch on three sides of the ornament.



6. Stuff with polyfil. You can add as much or as little as you like... it's all a personal preference.



7. Continue whip stitching along the last side of the ornament and finish off the thread.



And you're done! Wasn't that easy?!! Two down... ten to go :) Doesn't that feel good?


I've left this ornament as more of a little pillows or cushion, but if you want to use yours as a hanging ornament, just add a narrow ribbon or cording, attaching it at the edges of the pillow.


Don't forget to share your stitching with us on our Crafters' Corner or on social media using #TangledThreadsAndThings.


Remember that each month we will have a free Christmas chart here on the website along with some ideas of what you can make with the free design, such as ornaments, cards etc. Our email newsletter will contain other free charts and/or ideas of what to make with the design, exclusive to our email subscribers (you can subscribe at the bottom of this page to add your name so you're not missing out).


Don't forget to pop back next month for the March free chart!


FREE CHART:


AYOXS February
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