Tag Archives | Christmas

Chugging Along on Christmas in July

Week 2 of working on my Christmas felt kit ended with sequinning and sewing red stripes to the white rail that will eventually be sewn to the bottom edge of the train.

Christmas train felt kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week 3 was all about sequinning and sewing red stripes, too, because there were so many of them. It was good to finish this, so I could move on to a really exciting week.

Christmas train felt kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

In Week 4, the train transformed! I worked a little out of order, because I wanted to sew the appliques onto the green felt before sewing the entire piece to the background. It made sewing easier.

Every time I cut out a felt piece, I put the scraps into a bag for recycling. Bits of thread go into the bag, too. Next time I drive to Austin, I’ll drop the scrap bag (clearly marked “SCRAPS”) into an American Textile Recycling Corporation bin. To find out if ATRS has a bin near you, visit their website at www.atrscorp.com.

Christmas train felt kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

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Christmas-in-July Project Done!

The beauty of starting this 16-week Christmas felt kit project in July was the flexibility in the schedule. When I decided to enter a juried show with a new quilt, I was able to take a few weeks off of making the wreath to make the quilt.

When the quilt was finished, I still had plenty of leeway to finish the wreath in time to decorate for the Christmas season. Hmmm. Will I make a habit of starting projects early?

This is how the last four weeks went:

Week thirteen. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week fourteen. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week fifteen. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

These are the fourteen pieces that made up the Santa ornament. It seems like a lot, but you just work on one or two at a time and soon you have the piece done. The Santa took me about four and a half hours to complete.

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week sixteen. I sewed each ornament and toy onto the wreath base and added a hanging loop. Now the wreath is hanging up, and every time anyone opens and closes the door, the sequins sparkle beautifully!

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

When it was all done, I recycled the felt trimmings. I put them in a bag marked “SCRAPS” and dropped them into an American Textile Recycling Corporation collection bin. They take all kinds of used clothing and household textiles and of course, fabric scraps. To find a bin near you, please visit their website: www.atrscorp.com

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, recycling the scraps

This was so fun, I’m going to do it again next year! I hope you’ll join me to make your choice of Christmas in July project in 2017. Maybe you’ll choose a gift or a decoration to make—maybe something to sew or knit or crochet. We’ll have project planning sheets and lots of support.

If you’d like me to email you about it next summer, please send an email to knitandcrochetwithsuzann@outlook.com and type “Christmas in July 2017” on the subject line.

Christmas in July project 2017

Suzann’s Christmas in July project, 2017
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Felt Christmas Wreath Almost Finished

The third four weeks of my twelve week Christmas in July project are done, and now I’m in the home stretch. Making the ornaments and toys to decorate the wreath is so fun. They turn out very cute and they always make me smile.

Week nine. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week ten. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week eleven. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week twelve. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

I have a few more ornaments to go, and then I’ll spend week sixteen putting it all together.

For more frequent updates, please follow me on Instagram @suzannthompson.

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Here Before You Know It!

Lately several people I know have said, “I can’t believe we’re already at the end of August,” shaking their heads in disbelief. Today, for the first time this year, I heard someone say: “The holidays will be here before we know it.”

Hearing that made me feel pretty happy with the progress I’ve made on the felt Christmas wreath kit by Bucilla. It’s my Christmas in July project.

The second four weeks are going according to schedule:

Week five. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week six. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

In Week seven, all the holly leaves for the wreath are finished, and I got to make a candy cane. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Now I’m getting into the really fun stuff, with this toy train engine and a peppermint candy. At around 20 pieces, the train took a long time to put together. Totally worth it, though. It is very, very cute—so cute it tugs at my heartstrings.

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

And my sixteen week project is at the halfway point. Looking good so far! At this rate, it will definitely be finished in time to decorate for the Christmas holidays.

For more frequent updates, please follow me on Instagram @suzannthompson.

9/6/2016–Hi y’all. This poor post got tons of spam comments, so I’m closing comments. Email your comments to me at knitandcrochetwithsuzann at outlook dot com and I’ll post them here.

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Pacing Myself for Christmas

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla

I just love sparkly felt Christmas decorations!

They are fun to make, too. Herrschner’s, my favorite mail-order needlework company, has an annual sale on Christmas kits. In a fit of optimism, I ordered two kits back in 2014, thinking I could just make them in my spare time. Ha ha ha hahahahahahaaaaa!

It’s been proven that by pacing myself, I can actually get a kit finished. Blogging and Instagramming about my plan keeps me accountable. So here goes.

The goal is to finish this cute felt wreath an ornaments in time to decorate for Christmas. The kit is by Bucilla. Each week for sixteen weeks, I’ll embroider, embellish, and sew a manageable portion of the project. I started in July, and it should be done in November.

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

The wreath project fits nicely in a small totebag, along with scissors and a plastic container for the sequins and beads. Contrary to the instructions, which advise keeping the different colors of sequins separate, I put them all together into the container. The day I can’t pick out a green sequin from the container is the day I need to quit sewing felt kits.

I like being able to carry the project along, like I did a couple of Sundays ago. While waiting for my daughter, I lunched at Subway, ate a delicious sandwich, eavesdropped on conversations, and embroidered holly leaves. It’s amazing what you can get done between bites. A very pleasant time was had by me.

Here are the first four weeks’ work:

Week one.Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week two.Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week three.Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week four.Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

For more frequent updates, follow me on Instagram @suzannthompson (see sidebar for link).

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Christmas in July: Make an Ornament from Crochet Garden’s Poinsettia!

Wild poinsettia in bloom

The native poinsettias have been blooming this month, here in north central Texas, inspiring me to make a little Christmas in July!

Along with a few hints for crocheting the showier, everlasting Poinsettia in Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights, I’ll show you how I turned a crocheted poinsettia into a Christmas ornament.

For a very thorough Poinsettia photo-tutorial, please visit http://cache.lionbrand.com/faq/590.html

Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

To make an ornament, you will need:

  • Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights, pages 91-93
  • Aunt Lydia’s No. 10 crochet cotton in your favorite red and green
  • US 4 (steel) (2mm) hook
  • 4″ square of felted wool, 1 each of green and red
  • Beads for flower center
  • Sewing needle, pins, sewing thread in green and red

I designed the Poinsettia to be realistic, so it isn’t symmetrical. That means we have to follow the instructions very carefully and avoid making assumptions. (Yes, me, I’m talking to myself.)

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

When Rnd 2 is finished, you’ll see three small petals (marked with ‘s’ in photo 1). These are like the small petals in the hothouse poinsettias we can buy around Christmas time. The small petals are worked into the hdc sts. The other petals are worked into the ch-spaces. They are supposed to look like red sticks.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

Rnd 3 is worked around the red sticks of the previous round. First work up the side, placing stitches in the ch-2 space (yellow arrow at right), then the free loops of the chain (yellow dots on the right). Several stitches go into the ch-3 loop at the tip of the petal (pink arrow). Work down the other side of the petal into the stitches (yellow dots at left) and into the ch2-space (other yellow arrow).

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

Photo 3 shows a completed Rnd 3. Every two leaves have a ch-1 space between them. You will crochet into this in the next rnd.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

For Rnd 4, fold the petals out of the way to the front. Sometimes you will ch 3 behind a petal (yellow arrow in Photo 4). Then you’ll anchor the next petal in the ch-1 space between petals.

Rnd 5 finishes the petals in the outer round. For the ornament, you don’t need to leave a long sewing length of red thread. The leaf is crocheted separately and sewn on.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

To block the cotton poinsettia, I held it under the running tap, then stretched and pinned each petal to the ironing board, and let dry (photo 5).

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

To make the ornament, pin the poinsettia to green felt, leaving at least a 1/4-inch overlap around the flower.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

The yellow marks in Photo 7 show how to sew the flower to the felt: sew invisibly (matching sewing thread helps) around the outside first. Gently sew down the sides of the top petals. Take one stitch in the tip of each small petal.

Add beads or other decoration to the center of the flower.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

Cut excess felt away, leaving about 1/4 inch showing around the edges of the flower. Start by leaving too much felt showing. Cut away tiny slivers of felt until the border around the flower looks good.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

This is how the ornament looks from the back. Ew, messy! But don’t worry. Use this piece as a pattern to cut a piece red felt. Now, go to “How to Make an Ornament Hanging Loop from Embroidery Floss or Crochet Cotton,” and follow directions for making a hanging loop.

Determine the top of your ornament and sew the hanging loop to the wrong side, with the loop emerging beyond the top edge.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

Pin or hold green and red felt together, with red in back to hide all those stitches and the end of the hanging loop. With No. 10 crochet cotton, sew the layers together with a whip stitch or a buttonhole stitch (my favorite).

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

The oak trees around here look like they’re celebrating Christmas in July, too. See their bright, round ornaments? Oh. Never mind. They are oak galls.

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Corrugated Leaf Poinsettia

Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Table Mat

Corrugated Leaves from Crochet Bouquet make a good-looking poinsettia for a Christmas table mat. I used only five leaves. Seven red leaves will give you a much fuller poinsettia.

A fuller seven-leaved poinsettia looks good with a couple of green leaves tucked behind the red. With only five leaves, a green leaf overwhelms the red flower. That’s why I just suggested leaves with green buttons.

Crocheted Poinsettia Table Mat

You will need:

  • Crochet Bouquet
  • DK weight yarn, bright red and a darker red
  • A package of Kunin’s Shaggy Plush Felt, cream color
  • Sewing thread and needle, pins
  • Five small yellow buttons and five green buttons
  • Trim for edges of felt, like gold braid, rick-rack, buttons (as shown)

close-up of Crocheted Poinsettia

  1. With bright red yarn, crochet three Corrugated Leaves (pages 109-110 of Crochet Bouquet), with three points along each side. Make a stem with ch4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in remaining chain. Finish with a needle join to the base of the leaf.
  2. Make two more leaves with the darker red yarn. Weave in ends on all the leaves.
  3. Cut the felt in half to make two pieces approximately 17-1/2 x 11-1/2″.
  4. Pin the leaves in an uneven star arrangement, with stems toward the center, leaving space in the middle for the yellow buttons.
  5. When you’re pleased with the leaves, sew them in place. Sew the yellow buttons in the center of the leaf arrangement as shown in photo.
  6. Sew a green button between each leaf pair, as shown.
  7. Add trim around edges of felt.

Crocheted Christmas Tree and Poinsettia Mats

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Crochet Christmas Trees

Crocheted Christmas Tree Mat

Ella and I had fun sorting through buttons to find enough to make this crocheted Christmas tree mat. The tree is a simple variation on the Fern pattern from Crochet Bouquet. Find complete instructions at Curious and Crafty Readers.

Ella's Crochet Christmas Tree Mat

The mat is Shaggy Plush Felt by Kunin. The edges were wavy, and I knew it would need some kind of trim. While we were playing with buttons, I noticed how good the cream-colored buttons looked on the felt. There were plenty to trim two mats. And now our button jar is just full, instead of chock-full.

Ella wanted to make a mat, too. We found a scrap of felt, a crocheted leaf, and cute buttons for her to use. We sat together and sewed. It was a pleasant afternoon.

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Christmas Tree from Fern Pattern

Crocheted Christmas Tree Mat

Just add a few more picots to the Fern pattern in Crochet Bouquet, and you have a Christmas tree motif to embellish cards or garments, or home accessories.

I made the tree motif in a light worsted weight yarn and decorated it with red buttons, for a Christmas table mat. For a Christmas card, crochet the tree with bedspread cotton, glue to a blank card, and decorate with sequins or beads.

To crochet the tree, turn to the Fern pattern on pages 110-111 of Crochet Bouquet. First, crochet the pattern as written, so you get the hang of how the leaf is constructed.

Notice how the lower leaflets of the Fern each have two pairs of picots plus a cluster of three picots at the end.

To make the Christmas Tree motif, work as for Fern, except

  • Add two extra pairs of picots to the Bottom leaflets. Look at the photo to see the extra picot pairs.
  • Add one extra pair of picots to the Next-to-Bottom leaflets. Again, look at the photo. It will help you figure out what to do.

Crocheted Christmas Tree Mat close-up

Mat with Crocheted Christmas Tree

You will need:

  • Crochet Bouquet
  • Worsted weight yarn, green
  • Small amount of metallic gold yarn
  • Crochet hooks to give a firm gauge with the chosen yarns
  • One package of Kunin’s Shaggy Plush Felt, cream color
  • Sewing thread and needle
  • Small red buttons to decorate tree
  • Trim for edges of felt, like gold braid, rick-rack, or buttons (shown)
  1. With green yarn, crochet a Christmas tree motif, using the altered Fern leaf from Crochet Bouquet (see instructions above).
  2. With metallic yarn, crochet a Baby Star from page 26 of Crochet Bouquet.
  3. Cut the felt in half to make two pieces approximately 17-1/2 x 11-1/2″ each.
  4. Arrange tree and star on felt and sew in place.
  5. Sew red buttons on the tree to resemble decorations.
  6. Add trim around edges of felt.
  7. Save the other half of the felt to make a Poinsettia Mat (nstructions in the next post).
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Advent Day 9, Mosaic and More Mosaic

Suzann's knitted Advent calendar ornament, day 9

Mosaic knitting is a kind of slipped stitch color knitting. Barbara Walker made it famous, charting and publishing all kinds of motifs. Once you figure out how to chart mosaic patterns, you can make surprisingly representative patterns, like this pear. The nature of slipped stitch color knitting doesn’t allow for large areas of solid color. That is why charted patterns like this always look dotty. (Here’s another charted mosaic knit: a fish rug, inspired by one of my daughter’s drawings.)

Speaking of mosaics, my husband and I love mosaic made of glass, stone and tile. We want to include several mosaic pieces in our new house, so he suggested that I might like to take a week-long mosaic workshop. When? In February. Where? Italy, of course! Why Italy? Because it’s the land of Roman and Byzantine mosaics. I’m all signed up and have airline tickets. This is another reason I needed fabulous new shoes (see Day 5).

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