Monday, July 16, 2012

Christmas in July - 2012 Felt Ornaments Part 1

I love making Christmas things in the summer - there's no pressure to get everything done!  So I've decided to make Christmas in July a regular yearly celebration!  All this week, my blog will be Christmas oriented.  Today I have two of the felt ornaments I've designed for this year - the next two will come out the week before Thanksgiving.

This summer I got hooked on genealogy.  It kind of all started with working on My Sewing Circle.  My father gave me some hand written lineages he had and I wondered if I could trace our ancestors back further.  It turned out to be an addictive past time!  I've discovered some amazing stories - they don't always jive with the family stories I grew up with, but they're even more fascinating.

My father's paternal grandmother, Olga, was an amazing woman.  Even in grade school I knew she had more energy than most people!  She came over from Sweden in the early 1900's, but we never knew much about her family there.  In fact it was seemed to be such a dead end that I was convinced we'd have to go over and look at the parish records of the town she came from to learn anything.  And that's when genealogy becomes addictive!  One breakthrough on the internet and I had her ancestors back to the 1700's - and I would've been thrilled with just getting the names of her parents!  So ... in honor of finding Olga Petersson's roots, one of this year's ornaments is a Swedish Dala horse.  And in case you're interested, she came from the island of Styrsö and the village of Tången, from a long line of fishermen.

*felt - red, white, and green
*embroidery floss - red, green, white, and black
*felt glue
*1/8 inch white ribbon
*patterns found here

1.  Cut two horses from red, the saddle and both straps from white, the mane and the saddle decorations (teardrops) from green, the mane pieces from red and white, and six freehand ovals from green.

2.  Lay out the felt pieces as in the photo below and attach with a blanket stitch, using 2 strands of green embroidery floss.  It helps to first attach them with a small dot of felt glue.

3.  Attach mane, saddle, and straps using a blanket stitch and two strands of red embroidery floss.  Add red french knots to the center of each saddle and strap decoration and a black french knot eye.  Sew reins with 2 strands of white embroidery floss and an outline stitch and an eyebrow in black.

4.  Cut 8 inches of ribbon and attach to back of horse.  Attach back to front with three strands of red floss and a blanket stitch.

The second ornament is a beaded star.
*white and yellow felt
*white and yellow embroidery floss
*beads - 6 orange bugle beads, 7 yellow seed beads, 30 gold bugle beads, 25 silver lined clear seed beads
*patterns found here

1.  Cut two star backs from white felt, one star from yellow, and one star center from white.

2.  Pin star center to star and attach with 2 strands of white floss and a blanket stitch.  Don't use felt glue this time - it's hard to get a beading needle through it.

3.  Add beads to the star center as below.

4.  Using gold bugle beads and silver lined seed beads, sew the pattern below.

5.  Sew star to star back using a blanket stitch and two strands of yellow embroidery floss.

6.  Cut 8 inches of ribbon, double over and attach to the second star back.  Attach two star backs together with 3 strands of yellow floss and a blanket stitch.

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. I really like the dala horse one. My mormor came to America from Sweden in the 1940s. I just made a dala horse one. I added something though. The beading on the star ornament made me think of putting beads on the horse. I put little red circular beads on the green circles on the belly strap and on the neck strap. I put red tube beads on the tear drops on saddle and on the mane. It turned out quite cute if I do say so myself. Thanks for the pattern and tutorial. :)

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Bee Craft Inspirations, under the Page 4 post on Aug. 11, 2012. Thanks again.

  3. Lovely :)
    I really like the Dala Horse, a fibre artist friend know makes gorgeous Dala horses by needle felting:
    I know what you mean about genealogy being addictive, finding lost ancestors is a great feeling :)