Ever since I learned that my BERNINA Q 20 uses standard BERNINA feet I have become totally obsessed with using the BERNINA Free-motion Couching foot #43 to stitch my art out in free-motion sewing. It’s thrilling to “draw” with chunky threads and yarns watching the foot move the fibers with perfect stitch laying down my free form lines, patterns and designs. Such dramatic, unique textures are created with palettes of assorted yarns, cotton and metallic threads that I can explore. To me the Free-motion Couching foot #43 foot is genius, as I can do couching on my Q20 quilting machine, and even better, on all BERNINA machines models. The holidays are perfect for sewing up playful décor with an abundance of colorful subjects and themes. A whimsical, sparkling Christmas tree is the inspiration for the “Jingle Bell Door Hanger”.
Materials to Create a Jingle Bell Door Hanger
- Assorted small pieces of fabric in holiday and Christmas colors (I use my palette of batiks)
- Fusible interfacing for applique, I used Steam a Seam Lite 2
- Fusible fleece for center
- Metallic yarn or thread, size 1.5mm-2.0mm
- BERNINA Free-motion Couching foot #43
- BERNINA #1 foot for ¼” to sew up the sides of the banner
- Chalk marking pencil
- 80/12 machine needle
- Jingle bell, any craft size is fine. I used a 3″ ornament that was not in the craft aisle. If desired, look in the ornament section of the store to find the large bell.
- RIBBON or RIC-RAC for hanger and bell trim
- Scissors and rotary cutter
- Needle and matching thread for hand sewing the banner top
- OPTIONAL- 26 gauge copper jewelry wire for easy threading yarn through channels on couching foot
- Your sewing machine, I sew on a BERNINA Q 20
Choose a fabric palette of your favorite Christmas colors
Scraps are perfect for:
- GREEN—Triangle tree shape
- YELLOW—star shape
- BLACK/WHITE—tree pot
Sewing Instructions to Create a Jingle Bell Door Hanger
Prepare the Appliqué: Apply fusible interfacing to the backs of all the pieces; green, yellow, black and white fabric.
Prepare the Sandwich: Cut two red pieces of fleece to the top RED banner shape. Set the bottom piece aside.
Make a Point: With the rotary cutter cut the bottom into a slight point by folding the banner in half, mark 1″ on the raw edge. Align the ruler to the point on the fold and cut.
Cut Out the Shapes: Perfectly imperfect is best! Free hand cut GREEN fabric a triangular tree shape (approximately 5″ wide base x 11″ to the point). Cut a wonky rectangle (approximately 2″ x 3″) BLACK/WHITE fabric for the base. Cut your own YELLOW chunky YELLOW star shape (3″ x 3″) and 5-6 rays (2″-3″)
Fuse the Shapes: Assemble the tree with the star on top, rays coming out of the star and the tree stand pot at the bottom. Fuse the design elements to the red background.
Draw Your Couching Lines on The Tree Shape: With a chalk pencil, mark off doodled lines over the green tree shape to mimic a garland wrapped tree. Start at the top and draw a repeating continuous letter “S” shape all the way to the bottom.
What About The Yarns? Use only yarns or threads 1.5mm to 2.0mm in thickness. It’s a good idea to experiment with the yarns and practice free-motion on scrap fabric before you start with your project. If you have a yarn stash, this is a good time to go through it and see if you have yarns or threads that will work with the couching foot.
Secure The Thread Guide To The Machine: The foot comes with a wire pieces that will attach to the side of the BERNINA machines. Thread the yarn through the wire and pull towards the presser foot.
Attach The Couching Foot: First, insert a new 80/12 needle into the machine. Before attaching the couching foot to the machine and thread the metallic yarn through the channels. Use the thin wire thread aid that comes with the foot to east the yarn through the left side and down the center of the foot. Pull the yarn out about 3” and secure the foot to the machine.
Lost Your Thread Guide? I think I sneezed in my studio the day I opened the package with my #43 foot and the thin wire thread guide was lost down the rabbit hole in my sewing room. A simple alternative solution for threading the yarns through the foot is purchase an inexpensive spool of 26 gauge copper wire (in the jewelry making section) from the craft store and cut into 3″-4″ pieces. Bend the copper wire into a U-shape, insert the yarn and then to thread it through the foot. You’ll never have to feel guilty about losing the original thread guide again!
Set the Machine: Program the Free-motion couching foot #43 with the feed dogs down. You are ready to do free-motion stitching.
Trace Your Shapes With Couching: Drop your feed dogs and free-motion stitch around the shapes. The yarn will go where you go.
You are drawing with the yarn on the raw edge of the appliqué. I like to go over each line 2-3 times to thicken the impression and make sure all the yarns are secure.
To start and finish, go over the first stitch 3 times back and forth to secure it, then cut. This is an art piece so you don’t have to worry about fussing to sew it to the back.
Add the Tree Garland: Take your time, go slow and stitch over the hand drawn chalk lines creating a loopy garland that wraps around the tree shape and a swirl at the bottom.
Front side of the banner is complete.
Take the back banner fabric and with right sides together stitch around the sides and bottom leaving the top open. Turn the piece right sides out and carefully press on the back side. Don’t press over metallic yarns, as the might react to the hot iron.
Top Seam: Use 2 yards of ric rac or ribbon and pin to the top seam on the back of the banner and stitch.
Roll the top twice over the sewn trim creating a thick band across the top.
Hand sew a quick whip stitch to close. This becomes the hanger. You could also choose to sew a simple hem for a wire or wooden dowel as a hanger.
Add the Jingle Bell all the Way: Hand sew the bell to the bottom point of the banner. Tie a fun decorative ribbon over the hand stitching.
Hang Over a Door: Display your festive joy with a jingle that jangles every time the door opens and closes.
Breathe in joy, breathe out peace. Wishing you and your loved ones a creative, blessed and merry holiday season.
Joanne Sharpe by Joannesharpe.com.
Our December 11 Gift For You
Today’s gift is the Merry and Bright Embroidery Collection created by OESD and designed by Amanda Greene to one awesome WeAllSew fan.
All you have to do is post a comment below answering the following question:
How do you decorate your door for the season?
A winner will be chosen at random on December 12, 2016 and announced the following week!
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Congratulations to our WeAllSew reader “stadust”, the winner of the December 11 gift. Enjoy!