Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chrysanthemum Whale Tutorial

Ornaments are a great way to use up scraps of material. And this little guy, Chrysanthemum Whale, is a happy little whale that likes to swing from tree branches, bask in the sunlight, and protect any presents you place under your tree. He is the newest member of my Christmas tree ornament family. And below I will show you how to create one for your home.

  • gather your supplies: your scraps of material, craft batting, pencil or fabric marker, embroidery floss and needle, embroidery hoop, paper, ribbon for the hoop, fiberfill
  • trace or draw your version of a whale, or any other shape or animal that you like onto a piece of paper. Remember to include space for the seam allowance. I usually do a 1/4" seam allowance. A good way to do that is to draw the shape the desired size for the finished product, then trace around it the amount of space you will use for your seam allowance.
  • Make sure that you make your whale facing the direction you want the front to be. Draw a face on him to remember which way is front.

  • After you cut him out, place him face down on the scrap of fabric you will use for the back. Trace, cut and set aside.

  • Take the scrap of fabric you will use for the front right side up and place the pattern on it front side up. Trace but do not cut.

  • Next, trace or draw the pattern you want to embroider. I used a bunch of swirly lines coming up from a center and a stem for the chrysanthemum. Cut a piece of batting the same size as your fabric and place it under the fabric.

  • Place both pieces in your embroidery hoop. These are just a few dollars at your local craft store. I bought the smallest one for this ornament. Make sure to center the embroidery design and stretch it taut.

  • Choose your colors. I chose a soft pink for the petals, brown for the center, and a light green for the stems.

  • Using two strands of cotton floss, thread the needle and begin your embroidery. For this project I used the stem stitch throughout. If this is a new stitch for you, it is very easy to do. It is a great beginners stitch to learn with. There is a great tutorial for it here.

  • After you complete your image cut out your whale, including the batting. The batting, by the way, is useful on many levels. One being, it will keep all of the behind work from showing through.

  • Place your two whale pieces right sides together. You might want to place the ribbon for the hoop now so it can hang in between the two pieces. Make sure the ribbon is all tucked in so that you do not sew over it in other areas except for where you place it. Otherwise you can sew it to the top later. Pin together and sew around the entire whale, leaving a 1" gap for stuffing.

  • Turn the whale inside out and stuff with fiberfill. The eraser end of a pencil or a crochet hook is a good tool to help get stuffing in the fins. Slip stitch the hole closed. If you did not add the ribbon earlier, sew it to the top of the whale now. You are done!
Below, meet Chrysanthemum Whale's sister, Sleepy Dandelion Whale, and their friendly bird neighbors. The birds are easily done and much quicker, as there is no embroidery involved. Just take your two pieces of fabric and place them wrong sides together. Trace and cut your image. Place each piece right sides together with ribbon in between, pin and sew leaving your 1" gap. Turn the bird inside out, stuff and slip stitch closed. Voila!

Enjoy learning new uses for your scraps? Check out more tutorials at Sew, Mama, Sew!

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1 comment:

  1. Rebecky, these ornaments are so beautiful. I showed a picture of them to the lady I work for and she fell in love. If only I had a sewing machine....

    You're so talented, sister.