Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Happy holidays from BERNINA Ambassador Joanne Sharpe. Joanne is an artist and teacher with a specialty in mixed media art from upstate New York. Look for her new book “The Art of Whimsical Stitching” (Interweave) coming in April 2016.

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Oh how I love to make art with my BERNINA! Enjoy this Holly Jolly Ornament tutorial to create simple, and adorable hand made fabric ornaments with a little bit of paint and free motion stitching. These “holly jolly” ornaments make a fun gift tag on a gift, and then can be reused each year as a holiday decoration. Don’t be afraid to pick up a brush to make whimsical shapes to add texture and embellish with free-motion stitching on your machine. This is an easy project that can be completed in one afternoon. Handmade holidays are the best!

MATERIALS:

  • Fabric paint in greens and reds—I use So Soft by DecoArt available at craft stores
  • Fabric paintbrushes (I use Tulip brand)
  • White/natural muslin fabric (18″ x 24″ will make about 8 ornaments)
  • Soft and Stable batting 18″ x 24″ (I use ByAnnie brand)
  • Green batik or patterned fabric for backing
  • Disappearing ink fabric marker
  • Quilting template plastic (optional to make template)
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Scissors for fabric and applique
  • Metallic thread (I use Floriani-color gold)
  • Free-motion embroidery foot #24 or BERNINA Stitch Regulator
  • Sewing machine
  • Holly Jolly Ornament Pattern downloaded and printed: Holly Jolly Ornament Pattern

Make your Holly Jolly!

Instructions to make a Holly Jolly Ornament:

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

1. Make your holly pattern.

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Print out the pattern, or if you’re really brave, draw your own free hand holly with berries. If desired, make a reusable template from quilting plastic by tracing the design onto the plastic with a permanent marker (like a Sharpie) and cut out.

2. Trace the pattern on to the fabric.

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Place your Soft and Stable batting under your muslin fabric. Use the paper or plastic template and trace the shape multiple times filling up the surface, fitting in as many as you’d like.

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Trace with a disappearing ink fabric pen that will vanish when you add paint over the lines.

3. Paint the fabric shapes.

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Choose your favorite reds and greens for the holly leaves and berries. Loosely paint the shapes (they don’t have to be perfect) that you traced on the muslin and allow to dry completely before you go near your sewing machine.

4. Cut your all over pattern.

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Rough cut around each shape leaving about 2″ around the painted image.

5. Add the backing.

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Rough cut green fabric for the backing of each piece, with about 2″ of fabric extending around the entire shape. Take the “sandwich” over to your sewing machine.

6. Stitch your shapes.

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

This is the fun part! Think of your gold thread as a colored pen to draw the details and outline of the holly shape. With the BERNINA Stitch Regulator, or your desired method of free-motion stitching, sew and follow the shape of the holly leaves and berries. Use 2-3 loose, “sketchy” thread lines so that the piece looks more artistic and intentional, not like you were frozen in fear to draw over your painting with free motion sewing! Here’s the secret, this is why you painted multiple pieces.

7. Cut out the holly.

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

When the stitching is complete, use your best, sharp applique scissors to fussy cut the holly shape at the stitching line leaving a nice raw edge.

8. Add a decorative ribbon hanger.

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

To add a “hanger” use a ribbon on the back of the piece to be sewn over the existing line of stitching. Trim the ribbon tight and close to the stitching line, as you would on an applique piece. I found this leaves a clean line in the shape of the piece and hangs the lightweight shape nicely.

Adorn a package and reuse in Holiday décor. What a simple, gratifying project to sew up for the special folks on your gift list. Celebrate the season with your creativity and BERNINA magic!

Our December 11 Gift For You

Today’s gift is a red BERNINA Roller Backpack to one awesome WeAllSew fan. All you have to do is post a comment below answering the following question:

What ornament what you sew with Joanne’s technique?

A winner will be chosen at random on December 12, 2015 and announced the following week!

Good luck!

Congratulations to our WeAllSew reader “kathryn”, the winner of the December 11 gift. Enjoy!

Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

Projects: home décor
Techniques: free-motion quilting, quilting

73 thoughts on “Holly Jolly Ornament Tutorial

    1. Probably a snowman , then I would show this idea to my grandaughter to inspire her to use her Bernina that I gave her last Christmas , she enjoys doing crafty things. This will also give her experience with maneuvering the fabric with her hands and the sewing machine .

  1. What ornament would you sew with Joanne’s technique? I really like the holly’s that she showed us how to do. If I did not do that one I would try my hands at something like Snowmen. Unfortunately I don’t have a free motion foot or a stitch regulator as I am working off of a Bernette 20.

  2. What a great idea — and I have all the materials on hand! I will start with your holly leaves and berries, but then go onto Christmas trees, Santa’s elves — the possibilities are ENDLESS! Thank you. <3

  3. What a great idea! I’m picturing this as a great kids art activity! Give them a smaller piece of fabric and some paint and then add the stitching on top! So fun!

  4. I would try the Ivy first and then the snowman from the previous blog…then maybe a sled, and a nutcracker, and a Christmas tree, and a Star…wow, I love when creativity is stirred, that possibilities become endless!

  5. Oh the holly leaves are so cute!!!!! 1) I am “dasher-ing”- not “prancer-ing” to my craft room (which today, sadly, is looking more like a crap room, to make these! What a great idea. I am also adding Joanne’s book to my “must buy ” list for 2016!

  6. Such a cute idea and the kiddos love to paint! I think I would try simple shapes like stockings, mittens, round ornaments and trees. Once I clean up the kids mess. I will do my favorite thing and sew them an cut them out. Maybe a little embellishment too! I would them as name tags on the kids gifts. They could be used year after year. 😊 Love it ❤

  7. The holly leaves look really nice.
    I think I’ll start there and then try my luck with a snowman, snowflake, angel and a tree.
    Thanks for the great project.
    Happy Holiday’s

  8. Well, you have already demonstrated my favorite, holly leaves with berries. I’m already thinking how I can switch it up to adapt it for a toddler craft. lisajcowell(at)cs(dot)com

  9. I will stay in the free theme and use her holly adding wreaths and Christmas trees. These are so cute and great tree ornaments for a home with young children ( or cats)!

  10. The berries and holly just as done on the tutorial, I’m a beginner and start with the plan first then stray off to try other ways. Thanks for the wonderful pattern! Kathe

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