Thursday, December 10, 2009

holiday countdown: stitch a wee tree

my mother passed away ten years ago this month (this weekend marks the anniversary) and she loved christmas more than rolos and she really liked them rolos. cleaning out her home was heartbreaking and trying and simply difficult for many reasons. too many to write about now. somehow, during all that cleaning and the going through of her things, her holiday goodies; handmade, vintage and thrifted all vanished somewhat. the ornaments have flown the coop, and her santas probably fled to the local Goodwill. i do have the felt christmas tree skirt she stitched up in 1959 for her first christmas as a married woman and my brother has her wind up toy sleigh but here is and was much more that we no longer have and while it breaks my heart when i think about it i have decide to recreate and channel her crafty powers to capture christmas once again for me, myself & i (and mr. a-go-go).

family traditions tend to hold tight in our hearts, so even if i no longer have the handmade items from my childhood i can recreate them with a twist and tickle. here is my take on the crazy felt christmas tree adorned with sequined ornaments and tucked into its very own wooden frame (sis, do you have this?). this project will hopefully use what you may already have on hand and if you don't it gives you an excellent excuse to go thrifting.

you will need:
*large embroidery hoop
*fat quarter of a happy print
*felted sweater
*small piece of felt
*needle & thread
*sewing machine
*buttons and/or beads

i seem to be a magnet for embroidery hoops of all sizes and luckily enough i had an excellent vintage hoop about the size of a 77 LP just itching to be all holidazed-up. so the first thing you need to do is get yerself a fat quarter of yer favorite print. a small print works best. iron it out as best as you can and lay it out on your workspace.

cut out a rectangle of felted sweater, you will want it to fit in your hoop space but not fill it. fold it in half and pin in place.draw a half tree shape (or a triangle if you wanna make it super simple) outward from the fold and cut along your drawn line.remove pins an open. ta-da! you have your tree! trim it a bit for your desired shape.
place hoop over your fabric and center your tree on top of fabric within the into place (use a lot of pins, the felty goodness moves a lot when you stitch it) and stitch onto your fabric with your machine. you can do this by hand if you're already too comfy on yer your happy tree/fabric combo into your hoop. pull taught and admire. gather your buttons and play around until you find a color combo you like. get comfy and stitch them on. you can stitch them on with one long thread that zig-zags all over the back. no one should be looking at the back and i won't tell. trim excess fabric around hoop or glue it in place out of sight. you can also glue the fabric to the hoop if you like.cut out a stem from a piece of felt and tack that on as well. finish your tea and find a happy place to hang, that's it! yer done! now go pick up some more hoops and make yourself an entire forest! oh and you can always paint the hoop as well. happy crafting and happy december!


  1. Missy Jek

    I really love your memories and story - this is what Christmas is all about - making happy color and memories for others! You do it so well!!

  2. Anonymous8:44 AM

    Thank you Jek for all your beautiful inspiration and love!!!

    Merry Day to you and yours

  3. LOVE this! It's awesome.

  4. Wow, it's great idea! I have to try it!

  5. Congrats, lovely idea!!!

    All the Best!!!