Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hanging Ornaments: block tutorial

Hello and welcome!  I am so excited to share today's block with everyone, and that Sara asked me to be part of her 12 days of Christmas Sampler quilt along.  I don't know about everyone else, but one of my absolute favorite parts of the holiday season is decorating the Christmas tree.  I may be slightly obsessive, (no, you can't just hang the ornaments anywhere on the tree, as my husband likes to...is it so wrong to want the "nice" ornaments on the front of the tree, and to bury a few of my not so favorite ones in the back??)  but I just love going through the box of tree decorations and hanging them for all to see.  

When Sara asked if I'd like to take part in this quilt along, I immediately said yes, and almost just as immediately knew I wanted to put together a block that had something to do with ornaments, which leads me to block #9 of the quilt along: Hanging Ornaments.

Hanging Ornaments Block tutorial:
12.5" unfinished block

(1) 12.5" square piece of white or light colored print fabric
assorted scraps of red/green or holiday fabric
scrap of black or dark fabric approximately 3" x 9"
one or two sheets of fusible web (I use Steam a Seam Lite)
ornament template ( click here to print template--when printing, the template should take up the entire page, like pictured)
red 1/4" satin ribbon (optional)

1. Print out the ornament template and trace onto one sheet of fusible web.  When doing this, make sure to trace onto the side of the fusible web that does not peel off easily, this will serve as our cutting line when the fusible web is adhered to the fabric.

(please excuse my very faint tracing lines)

2.  Roughly cut out your traced fusible web shapes like so:

3.  Be as creative as you like with your ornament designs!  Here is how I made a few of mine:  For one of the medium sized ornaments, choose a scrap of colored fabric that is slightly larger than your cut out piece of fusible web with the ornament tracing on it.  Peel off the side of the fusible web that pulls of easily.  One side should now be tacky, and one side (the side with your tracing on it) should feel like paper.  Place the tacky side of the fusible web on the WRONG SIDE of your fabric, and press.

4.  The fusible web should now be adhered to your fabric.  Cut your fabric along your traced edge, and voila!  One ornament is complete (you can leave some ornaments just as is, or as pictured, I fussy cut a second circle, and followed steps 1-3 to adhere the fussy cut circle to my red circle ornament)  again, be as creative as you like!  Set your ornament aside for now.

5.  To make the strip pieced larger ornament, I sewed together approximately (9) 1.5"x 5" strips together and pressed the seams open.  Again, peel off the easy to pull away side of your fusible web tracing and press fusible web to the WRONG SIDE of your pieced fabric.  

6.  Again, cut along the traced line on your fusible web, and set ornament aside.  

7.  Once you have all six ornaments made and adhered to the fusible web, pull off the second paper side of your fusible web, so that the wrong side of your fabric is now "tacky".  Arrange your ornaments in any way you like on your 12.5" piece of fabric (be sure to keep a 1/4" inseam around the entire block for piecing the quilt together).  DO NOT press into place yet.  Set your block aside.   

(just imagine these paper templates are my actual ornaments made of fabric)

8.  To make the black "strings", cut a 2" or 3" piece of fusible web from the short side of your fusible web sheet.  

9.  Peel off the "easy to peel" side and fuse to the wrong side of your scrap of black or dark fabric.  Trim your fabric to the size of your fusible web adhered to the fabric back.  Cut 6 strips of your black fabric (with fusible web attached) measuring approximately 3/8" wide (I varied my widths as small as 1/8" and as large as 1/4").     

10.  Peel off the paper side of the fusible web so that the back of the fabric is now "tacky" and arrange black strings on your 12.5" block with your ornaments like so:

11.  Leave your ornament strings long, and once you are happy with the layout, press your block, adhering the ornaments and strings to the 12.5" block.  (don't press your extra ornament strings hanging off your block!)  Once you have pressed everything into place, now use your rotary cutter and ruler to trim off the excess strings.  

12.  You are now ready to stitch!  Using a medium to narrow width zig zag stitch, machine stitch around all six ornaments, and any extra fussy cut fusing to hold everything in place.  To stitch the "strings" I used black thread and a zig zag stitch width about the width of my strings.  

13. If you wish, you can tie a few bows using a 1/4" width satin ribbon, and hand sew your ribbon right where your ornaments and strings meet.  Apply a dab of fray check to the ends of your ribbons, or CAREFULLY expose raw ribbon ends briefly to an open flame to seal and prevent fraying.  

Ta-Da!  One completed ornament block.  I hope you enjoyed stitching along with me today, and be sure to add your completed block to the flickr group.  If you've missed  any of the previous blocks or want to jump in on the fun, here is the 12 Days of Christmas Sampler quilt along schedule:

Oct 25 - Julianna @ Projektownia Jednoiglec
Oct 27 - Sara @ Sew Sweetness
Nov 1 - Kaelin @ The Plaid Scottie
Nov 3 - Jennie @ Clover and Violet
Nov 8 - Elizabeth @ Don't Call Me Betsy
Nov 10 - Riel @ The Q and the U
Nov 15 - Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts
Nov 17 - Lindsay @ Lindsay Sews
Nov 22 - Jessica @ SewCraftyJess
Nov 23 - Sarah @ Fairy Face Designs
Nov 29 - Heather & Megan @ Quilt Story
Dec 1 - Kim @ My Go Go Life

Merry Christmas and happy stitching!


  1. Very cute indeed - and yes, the best should be where you can see them and the "less impressive" a little more hidden!

  2. i love this! i was hoping there would be an ornament block involved somewhere along the way. can't wait to do this!

  3. So cute! I am just going to pick out my fabrics now. Thanks.

  4. Great idea, love it, especially the one with the reindeer in it!

  5. Thank you so much for doing this block, Jessica, it turned out lovely!! I can't wait to make one, you're a star!!

  6. Wonderful block. Love your ornaments and the ribbon bows are sweet.

  7. This is so professional and sooooo adorable! Love the little ribbons, too!

  8. Very cute. I must remember this for next year.