Wednesday, January 05, 2011

homemade with love

I alluded to a incomplete Christmas project here and since it has since been delivered and unwrapped, I can now show you the whole project. Please let me say at the outset, I had an idea here but no definite pattern or plan. In other more plain words, I just made it up as we went along. So I would never consider this post a tutorial, I'm thinking it's more like a show-and-tell post.

Disclaimers aside, the burlap was used simply because this is the fabric that Seth has been learning to sew straight stitches onto. That said, with the exception of the bottom of the tree and its trunk, none of these stitches are straight lines, so I completed most of the stitching and saved those stitches for him. He wasn't exactly begging to do more, so I think it was a fair division of labor. :)

The cardinal came out better than I hoped although it would have nicer to make it look like it was actually resting on the tree and not hovering over it like a hen on her nest. I also tried to keep it a generic scene so that it could be enjoyed after the traditional Christmas decorations are put away.

So while we were sewing, I was toying with stuffing the burlap with something in the spice family. However I was concerned that anything I chose might eventually start coming out of the large weave of the burlap. So enter, the spice sachet! I found a scrap of muslin, folded it over and started sewing it up like a pillowcase. Then we stuck in some cinnamon sticks and a small handful of cloves.

Sewing up the spices in their own sack was an easy solution and their scent was very fragrant even through the layers of fabric.

As you can see, attaching the ribbon to the spice sack was an afterthought. I realized we wouldn't be able to secure the ribbon to the burlap with just one or two of Seth's straight stitches, so I made a mess of stitches which would have remained a secret except for these photos. :)

We then stuffed the sachet inside and out of sight, applied fray check to keep the burlap weave from fraying and then Seth began to sew straight stitches around the folded fabric.

He had to be careful not to go too close to the edge since the burlap is such a loose weave, it would be easy to lose some of the threads. But with only a few mishaps, he carefully sewed all three open edges and secured the spices inside.

And here is the completed ornament ready to be wrapped and shipped off to the grandparents.

Actually, what really happened was that Seth decided he wanted me to have the ornament, so off he snuck with it, gift wrapped it and made a tag that said, "To Mommy, From Seth". Within a day, I grew concerned when I could not find it on the pile of stuff that overtook our school table. Finally, hoping against hope that it had not found its way accidently to the garbage, I asked Seth if he had seen it. One sheepish look and he confessed that he had gift wrapped it for me and it was up tucked away in his room. While I appreciated his sweet gesture, I reminded him that we were sending it as a homemade present and we could always make another one for us. I felt bad opening up his "gift" but I had no idea he would do that considering we had discussed many times who we were making it for. So cute!

So I guess we'll be making more of these little spicy fir trees as we continue to practice our sewing stitches, now that we know what we're doing, lol.


  1. Anonymous6:27 PM

    Nannie's enjoying it right by her kitchen smells scrumpdillyicious........and reminds me of the 2 that took the time to make it:-)

  2. Anonymous8:57 PM

    Well isn't that fragrant hand-stitched oranament so precious =) What a treasure! Nice work, Seth and Mom !

  3. What a great job Seth. I'm sure your grandparents love it.

    Kathi Sewing, Knitting, Candle Making, Homeschooling Mama


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